Lille resurgence slowed by defeat at Clermont


Paris (AFP) – Reigning French champions Lille suffered a 1-0 loss away to promoted Clermont on Saturday, slamming the brakes on their mini revival after a three-match winning run in Ligue 1. 

Vital N’Simba drilled in from 20 metres just after the half-hour to earn Clermont a first victory in eight matches and deny Lille the chance to break into the top three.

Lille struggled in the absence of the suspended Burak Yilmaz, with top scorer Jonathan David limited to 20 minutes off the bench after returning late from World Cup qualifying duty with Canada.

Portugal defender Jose Fonte had the best chance for Lille in the closing stages but shot straight at Clermont goalkeeper Arthur Desmas.

Lille slid to a fourth league defeat in 10 matches under Jocelyn Gourvennec and sit eighth, 13 points behind runaway leaders Paris Saint-Germain.

Kylian Mbappe converted a soft late VAR penalty award to give a PSG side missing Lionel Messi and Neymar a 2-1 win over Angers on Friday.

Monaco are seeking a fourth straight victory later on Saturday when they visit Lyon, while Jorge Sampaoli’s Marseille will hope to bounce back from successive losses when they host Lorient on Sunday.

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