Osimhen on target but Lille beaten in Valencia
Victor Osimhen scored his second UEFA Champions League goal as LOSC Lille looked on course to claim a point at Valencia only for the hosts' late flurry to give them a 4-1 win on Tuesday.
Tuesday, 5 November 2019
UEFA Champions League
Group H, Camp de Mestalla
Valencia CF 4-1 LOSC Lille
Bottom of Group H with just a single point, LOSC arrived in Spain knowing a victory was all but obligatory. Their approach to the match reflected that urgency. Though Valencia knocked the ball around confidently and crisply in the opening minutes, Lille snapped terrier-like around them.
Yusuf Yazici tested Jasper Cillessen in the home goal (9') and then provided a cross aimed at Osimhen that — but for a desperate lunge from Gabriel Paulista — would surely have seen the LOSC forward seriously test or even beat Cillessen (19').
The Nigeria international did that on 25 minutes. Benjamin André's pressing won him the ball and he immediately released Osimhen. The summer signing raced clear of the pursuing defenders and still managed to keep his cool sufficiently to slot the ball between Cillessen's legs for his second goal in the competition and his first LOSC strike away from home.
Valencia responded and Domogoj Bradaric headed a Gabriel Paulista header off the line (31') before Cillessen flew high to his left to push out a Loïc Rémy shot (40').
Mike Maignan then took centre stage as the hosts sought to level before the break. First, he brilliantly parried Rodrigo's point-blank effort (45') and then thwarted the Valencia forward again when Zeki Celik had allowed him to get a shot away from a tight angle (45+1').
The offside flag was raised twice when André shot wide (47') and Yazici was denied by Cillessen (51') as LOSC sought a second goal that would surely have given them a comfortable ride to the final whistle.
Instead, Rodrigo burst into the penalty box and though his cross was blocked by José Fonte, the ball ricocheted up off the UEFA EURO 2016 winner's thigh and onto his arm. Valencia captain Daniel Parejo cheekily chipped home the spot-kick to equalise (66').
The equaliser revitalised the hosts and Lille suffered, notably when a Rémy-led counter-attack was swiftly nipped in the bud, and a panicked LOSC back line only just managed to hold out (70'). Osimhen tried to break clear again, but found José Gaya pacy enough to stay with him and block his shot (74').
But LOSC hopes were ended when Adama Soumaoro touched a cross into his own goal (82'), former AS Monaco man Geoffrey Kondogbia smashed home a superb third from 25 metres (84') and Ferran Torres made it four (90') to leave LOSC all but out of contention for the knockout stages.
THE PLAYER: Mike Maignan
The LOSC goalkeeper has come in for some criticism in recent weeks, but was sure-handed and made some crucial stops, notably at the end of the first half. Totally wrongfooted by Parejo's penalty, but any goalkeeper would have been, and couldn't do anyting about the second, third or fourth either.
THE STAT: 12
LOSC had 12 attempts at goal, but only four on target.