French champions Lille claim second win of season


Paris (AFP) – Struggling Ligue 1 champions Lille held on to beat Reims 2-1 on Wednesday to claim just their second win of the season, while Monaco also found form with victory over Saint-Etienne.

Canada forward Jonathan David put the hosts ahead at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy just after the half-hour mark and midfielder Benjamin Andre doubled the advantage before the break with his first goal of the campaign.

Lille, who saw title-winning coach Christophe Galtier leave in the close season for Nice, came through a nervy final 15 minutes after Alexis Flips’ penalty cut the deficit for Reims.

The defending champions, now coached by Jocelyn Gourvennec, are still down in 13th in the table despite bouncing back from successive losses to Lens and Lorient.

The defeat by Lens last weekend was marred by a pitch invasion, with local authorities launching an investigation, including for “inciting hatred” and “sexual exhibition” after a supporter was pictured, according to witnesses, exposing himself to a section of Lens fans, including a number of families.

Monaco are above Lille on goal difference after also sealing their second league win this term by seeing off 10-man Saint-Etienne 3-1.

Kevin Volland put the home side in front in the principality before Les Verts goalkeeper Etienne Green was dismissed for fouling Dutch youngster Myron Boadu when he was clean through on goal.

Denis Bouanga’s leveller was not enough for Saint-Etienne, though, as Wissam Ben Yedder came off the bench to score twice for Monaco, including from the penalty spot immediately after his introduction.

Saint-Etienne remain winless and second-bottom in the table.

Elsewhere, Rennes bounced back from three straight losses by thrashing Clermont 6-0, while Nigerian Samuel Kalu rescued Bordeaux a 3-3 draw at Montpellier.

Later on Wednesday, Paris Saint-Germain will bid to maintain their 100 percent record without the injured Lionel Messi when they visit bottom side Metz.

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