Lille back to winning ways
Last Updated: 08/02/14 9:32pm
Ryan Mendes celebrates his goal
Lille returned to third place with their first win in Ligue 1 since the turn of the year.
Goals fully 90 minutes apart from Divock Origi and Ryan Mendes inflicted a 2-0 defeat on Sochaux and took Lille three points clear of St Etienne, who drew with Toulouse on Friday evening.
Sochaux remain second from bottom, eight points adrift of 17th-placed Evian, after failing to build on their win over Nantes.
The visitors included debutant goalkeeper Yohann Pele, but just three minutes in he was forced to fetch the ball out of the back of his net. Florent Balmont swung over a corner which Origi headed powerfully in.
Pele made a positive impact in the ninth minute with a point-blank save from Djibril Sidibe and, four minutes later, turned Salomon Kalou's shot around the post.
Origi went close to his second goal midway through the half, skating past Roy Contout before firing in a shot from an angle, but Pele stood firm and half-time arrived with no addition to the score.
Sochaux coach Herve Renard sent on striker Cedric Bakambu in place of Emmanuel Mayuka at the interval and the newcomer almost equalised two minutes later, heading just over from Sebastien Roudet's cross.
Nolan Roux shot wide and Balmont fired over as Lille struggled to put the game to bed.
That almost allowed Contout to snatch a scarcely-deserved point for Sochaux, but his shot on the turn failed to test home keeper Vincent Enyeama.
And Lille killed off the game in the third minute of stoppage time when Mendes finished confidently at the end of a smart counter-attack.
French Ligue 1
|4||Paris St Germain||8||14|
|18||Evian Thonon Gaillar||8||7|