Ligue 1 champions Lille have extended their unbeaten run in the Ligue to nine matches with a 3-1 win over Lorient in Wednesday’s rearranged week 20 fixture.
Troyes recorded an important win at Montpellier in another delayed Round 20 game, while Strasbourg defeated Clermont in a Round 19 fixture to move to the 4th spot.
Playing without coach Jocelyn Gourvennec, who is in isolation due to COVID-19, the Champions disposed of a struggling Lorient side at the Stade Pierre Mauroy.
The visitors never looked like a team that needs a win from the blast of the whistle, having failed to win any of their previous 25 away trips in the top flight.
Lille went into the driving seas when Isaac Lihadji put them in front on 10 minutes. This is the first senior goal for the youngster. He scored from a close range after Lorient goalkeeper Paul Nardi parried a shot into one of his defenders, Léo Pétrot, and the ball could not have dropped more kindly for Lille.
Lille made it two nine minutes later when Burak Yilmaz’s free-kick ricocheted off the wall. Although Nardi saved under pressure from Amadou Onana, the ball strike Pétrot’s centre-back partner Moritz Jenz and finish in the net (19′).
Lille then put the game to bed at the half-hour mark. Reinildo flicked Renato Sanches’ free-kick into the net, leaving Nardi stranded. This was Reinildo’s first league goal for Les Dogues.
Having won five of their last nine games, the champions move into eighth place, five points off third-placed Marseille with a game in hand.
Lorient, without a win in 14 league matches, scored a consolation goal through Sambou Soumano’s first top-flight strike.
In another development, Strasbourg moved into fourth place with a win against a Clermont side.
The visitors made a strong start that see Ouparine Djoco being forced into some saves before they eventually beat the Clermont keeper with half-time approaching.
Habib Diallo made the perfect run to meet Jean-Eudes Ahoulou’s through ball, and the former Lorient and Paris Saint-Germain striker made no mistake as he expertly dinked the ball over Djoco to score the third.
The visitors got the next goals after Cédric Hountondji on his birthday after putting the ball in his own net 13 minutes to the end of regulation time.
Meanwhile, Montpellier suffered their second straight defeat after losing to Troyes 0-1.
Written by: Oladipupo Mojeed