Coach Girard opens with victory
Last Updated: 10/08/13 10:46pm
Divock Origi (left) won the game for Lille
Divock Origi's first-half goal ensured that Rene Girard's reign as Lille manager got off to a winning start against Lorient.
The 2012 title-winning coach has swapped Montpellier for Northern France with the aim of restoring Lille to their own trophy-laden days of 2011.
There are plenty more steps to be taken this season and in a division of big spenders Lille are not the favourites, but they will be pleased to have kicked off the campaign with a win.
Origi's strike proved the difference tonight, with Lorient unable to take the chances they had and finishing the game with 10 men after Lamine Gassama's 83rd-minute dismissal.
That was all after Lille had done the spadework required to win the game, though, with goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama outstanding.
The home side watched on as Yann Jouffre dragged just wide (10) but took the lead when Origi tucked in after Marvin Martin's pass was not dealt with by Bruno Ecuele Manga.
Lorient tried to respond through Jouffre but his free-kick was mopped up by Enyeama, with the goalkeeper having to be at his best after the break to deny the same man from 25 yards.
Lille remained dangerous themselves and Idrissa Gueye was kept out by Fabien Audard, but the Lorient number one was outdone again by Enyeama, who made a stunning point-blank save to frustrate Wesley Lautoa.
Lorient were finding it hard enough to break Lille down as it was and then lost Gassama for a second yellow card for a reckless challenge and, with his departure went their hopes.
French Ligue 1
|3||Paris St Germain||22||44|
|16||Evian Thonon Gaillar||22||23|