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French Ligue 1

LOSC Lille Metropole 15th February 2013 - Kick off 19:30 Ref: J Cailleux

Lille Lille vs Rennes Rennes

Lille 2

C Mavinga (og 24)
D Payet (61)


Rennes 0

Lille battle for victory

Last Updated: 15/02/13 10:56pm

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Marvin Martin and Chris Mavinga tangle.

Marvin Martin and Chris Mavinga tangle.

Lille boosted their hopes of a Europa League spot - and dented Rennes' European ambitions - with a hard-fought 2-0 victory at the Grand Stade Lille Metropole.

Nice defender Chris Mavinga put through his own net after 24 minutes to hand the hosts the initiative, with Dimitri Payet's goal just after the hour mark clinching the three points for LOSC.

The result lifted Rudi Garcia's side to eighth in the Ligue 1 standings - three points behind their fifth-placed opponents.

The visitors, who headed into the game on a four-match unbeaten run, started brightly with Mevlut Erding latching onto Julien Feret's pass and testing Steeve Elana with a low right-footed shot which the Lille goalkeeper did well to block.

The same duo linked up again soon after with Erding supplying Feret for a header which was deflected to safety via the thigh of Franck Beria.

Lille took the lead, though, from their first attack of note - against the run of play. Salomon Kalou burst down the left and unleashed a powerful left-footed shot which was pushed away by Rennes goalkeeper Benoit Costil but only as far as Ronny Rodelin, whose fierce low effort hit Mavinga - on the ground - before going in.

Rennes continued on the front foot for the rest of the first half despite the setback, but could not find the equaliser. The closest they came was when Feret's 20-yard free-kick skimmed the right post on its way wide.

The visitors suffered a further blow before the interval when the influential Romain Alessandrini sustained a knee injury and had to be replaced by Abdoulaye Sane.

LOSC came out for the second period showing no mercy on their visitors, though.

Rodelin's blast was cleared off the line by Jean Kana Biyik after Costil had only partially cleared Payet's corner in the 56th minute.

And, just after the hour, they had their second goal. Marvin Martin released Kalou down the right, and the former Chelsea forward crossed for Payet to send a diving header past Costil at the near post.

Costil had to be alert to keep the score down to 2-0 in the closing stages, producing a fine save to keep out a Marko Basa header. He then looked on helplessly as Kalou's curling right-footed attempt brushed the frame of the goal on its way over in stoppage time.

The third goal was not forthcoming but Lille had already done enough.

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French Ligue 1

French Ligue 1
Pos Team P Pts
1 Marseille 18 38
2 Paris St Germain 19 38
3 Lyon 18 36
4 St Etienne 18 33
5 Monaco 19 32
6 Bordeaux 18 31
7 Nantes 19 30
8 Rennes 19 28
9 Reims 19 28
10 Montpellier 19 26
11 Nice 19 22
12 Guingamp 19 22
13 Lille 17 21
14 Toulouse 19 21
15 Lorient 19 20
16 RC Lens 19 19
17 Evian Thonon Gaillar 17 19
18 Metz 19 19
19 Bastia 19 18
20 Caen 19 15