Dramatic Cup win sees Lille on track for double
By S. Willis
Lille overcame their nerves - and a feisty PSG side - to claim their first Coupe de France in 56 years 1-0 over PSG thanks to a wonder goal from substitute Ludovic Obraniak with just a minute left on the clock.
Saturday, May 14, 2011
Coupe de France final
Stade de France, kick-off at 20:45 CET
Paris Saint-Germain - LOSC Lille Métropole
In fact it could have been 2-0 had Grégory Coupet not managed to get a foot to Mathieu Debuchy's 90th-minute penalty but in the end scoreline was of little interest to the Lille players as they gave way to their emotions after winning the club's first trophy in over half a century.
The penalty save would have done little to assuage Coupet's regrets, however, the PSG 'keeper - who, like teammate Claude Makelele, is set to hang up his boots in three weeks' time - being caught out by a wickedly flighted free kick from Obraniak to concede the only goal of the game a minute earlier.
Brought on for striker Moussa Sow in the 79th minute, Obraniak assumed the dead ball duties and looked dangerous from set pieces before stepping up to take the free kick wide on the right just ten metres from the touch line.
Spectacular strike ends tension
Somehow the Poland international imbued his strike with such swerve and such dip that Coupet assumed it would fly past his far post - but luckily for Lille, the ball snuck over the PSG custodian and just under the bar to send one half of the Stade de France in hysterics.
Many neutrals too would have been overjoyed by the stupendous goal - just Lille's eighth in their Coupe de France campaign - that brought an end to 89 minutes of tension after the two sides had duked it out in a physically gruelling and very attacking, but somewhat nervy, fashion.
The game started at breakneck pace, both sides looking for an early goal, but soon calmed down with Nene - who drew a save from the right boot of Mickaël Landreau (18') - and Moussa Sow - who blasted a wicked dipping shot just over from outside the box (23') - carving out the only two real chances of the fist half.
Landreau paves the way
The second term saw PSG climb into a slight ascendancy, but Landreau was ready when called on and produced some excellent saves to deny Guillaume Hoarau and Nene, who would have scored directly form a corner had Landreau not produced an excellent reflex stop.
Things swayed back in Lille's favour when Obraniak came on, however, the technique and creativity the midfielder brought with him - as opposed to the pace and power of Sow - allowing Lille to set up camp in the PSG half and rain in the corners and free kicks that paved the way - just as extra time looked inevitable - for the stunning goal and the historic win.
Double on the cards
Lille will now head into their mid-week clash with Sochaux looking to stitch up the second part of the double - if Marseille should lose in Lorient - by clinching the league title with a win. PSG travel to Bordeaux, where they have a chance to keep hounding Lyon for third spot and a place in Champions League qualifying.