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HomeSportsLigue 1: Lille held in check at Saint-Etienne (0-0)

Ligue 1: Lille held in check at Saint-Etienne (0-0)

Five days before the return match against Chelsea in 8and Champions League final, Lille was held in check by Saint-Etienne (0-0), 16and in the Ligue 1 standings. A result that is cause for concern when the Northerners had already lost 2-0 in the first leg against the English club.

Losc also suffered a setback with the injury of midfielder Renato Sanches. The Portuguese, who injured his left thigh on an acceleration in the 20and minute, will probably forfeit for the European duel on Wednesday. In the first leg, the former Bayern Munich player was the only Lille resident to rise to the level of the reigning European champion.

The Mastiffs, who could temporarily take fifth place, lost another two precious points at home and missed the opportunity to put pressure on their direct competitors for the European places. With 43 points, they are in sixth place, just ahead of Nantes (42), whom they will challenge at La Beaujoire next weekend.

ASSE, solid defensively and dangerous on the counter, grabs a point and climbs to 16thand rank with 26 points, two more than the play-off, Lorient, and thus move away from the relegation zone.

The Mastiffs often had great difficulty creating play, like a ghostly Hatem Ben Arfa, while the Stéphanois were solid and attractive offensively, with in particular a very leggy Denis Bouanga.

Pascal Dupraz’s players posed a lot of problems for the northern defense. Thus, after a cross from Thimothée Kolodziejczak repelled in extremis by Tiago Djalo (17and), the first opportunity was the work of Mahdi Camara with a shot well blocked by Leo Jardim on a cross from Bouanga that Ryad Boudebouz had intelligently missed (24and).

Unflattering statistics

Zeki Celik, the best Northerner on Friday, then made a decisive intervention in the area against Arnaud Nordin (29and), then his return hampered the Forézien striker who stumbled on the Lille goalkeeper (45and+2).

The Turkish right side almost proved decisive at the other end of the field on Losc’s only opportunity: after an overflow on the right side, Jonathan Bamba centered back and the poorly cleared ball returned to Celik, who sent his shot powerful on the pole (40and).

During this match, Lille experienced all the trouble in the world to approach Paul Bernardoni’s cage. With only two shots on target throughout the game and significant technical waste, their statistics are indeed unflattering.

If they have chained a fifth game without conceding a goal in a row in Ligue 1, the Mastiffs will have to do much more in the offensive animation to hope to worry Chelsea on Wednesday. And without Renato Sanches, it looks complicated…

The World with AFP

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