Lille thrash Montpellier
Last Updated: 22/12/12 6:57pm
Lille celebrate against Montpellier
Lille will head into the winter break in high spirits after hammering reigning Ligue 1 champions Montpellier 4-1 at Grand Stade Metropole.
A Daniel Congre own goal and further strikes from Dimitri Payet, Nolan Roux and Ryan Mendes boosted Lille's European aspirations.
Souleymane Camara got a late consolation for the visitors, who had Younes Belhanda sent off when they were 2-0 down just before half-time.
There was an early warning sign for Montpellier when Salomon Kalou broke into the box and was denied by Geoffrey Joudren's save.
The opener arrived in the 23rd minute. Payet teed up Roux, whose fierce shot took a deflection off Congre to loop over the helpless Joudren.
Roux and Payet combined again for the second just three minutes before the interval. Roux picked out his team-mate, who controlled before firing a curling strike beyond Joudren's despairing dive.
Things quickly got worse for Montpellier when Belhanda was dismissed seconds before the interval.
The midfielder was shown a red card for his challenge on Benoit Pedretti, although replays suggested the Morocco international's second dismissal of the season was extremely harsh.
Joudren kept out a Roux header with a sharp save but he could not prevent the striker making it 3-0 just after the hour mark.
Marvin Martin played him in on goal and he coolly rolled a right-footed shot into the bottom corner.
Mendes converted from close range after Joudren had tipped away a Roux shot after more sharp work from the lively Kalou.
Montpellier did at least get a goal back with eight minutes to play. Lille keeper Steeve Elana and defender Lucas Digne left a loose ball to each other and Anthony Mounier pounced to give Camara a tap-in.
French Ligue 1
|2||Paris St Germain||18||37|
|17||Evian Thonon Gaillar||17||19|