Draw little comfort for Lille
Last Updated: 24/01/14 10:18pm
Salomon Kalou in action for Lille
Lille were unable to make the most of an opportunity to close the gap on second-placed Monaco with a disappointing 1-1 draw at home to Rennes in Ligue 1.
Salomon Kalou fired the hosts into an early lead under the closed roof of the Stade Pierre-Mauroy, but the hosts' joy was cut short when Abdoulaye Doucoure levelled just seven minutes later.
Failure to win for Rene Girard's team has left Lille four points adrift of Claudio Ranieri's Monaco, with the principality side due to host Marseille on Sunday evening.
The pressure on Rennes coach Phillip Montanier also continued to mount as he saw his side fail to win in Ligue 1 for the sixth consecutive game, a result which leaves them languishing in 15th.
Lille did all the early pressing and Sidibe went close just after the 10-minute mark but his effort from a tight angle nestled into the side-netting.
Visiting goalkeeper Benoit Costil was called into action soon after and only a magnificent save from the 26-year-old prevented Lille's Marco Basa opening the scoring with a firm header.
The high-tempo opening continued and soon Rennes created their first opening when dangerman Romain Alessandrini cut the ball back into the path of Doucoure, but he fired just over from the right angle of the area.
However, it was Girard's men who took the lead after 35 minutes when Nolan Roux did well on the right before picking out Kalou in the area and the Ivorian nodded beyond Costil for the opener.
Undeterred, the visitors hit back and, after Alessandrini went close himself, the much-coveted playmaker teed up Doucoure, who confidently sent the ball beyond Vincent Enyeama from 12 yards to level the scores before the break.
Both sides continued to create chances after the restart but it was Ronny Rodelin who went closest for Lille with almost a quarter hour played in the second half, with his seemingly goal-bound effort pushed round the post by Costil.
Lille continued to be held at bay by the visitors' keeper, and after Divock Origi pulled the ball back into the path of Roux, only a superb stop prevented the Lille striker from grabbing his seventh of the season.
Costil's efforts almost paid off as Rennes nearly took a valuable lead with just 10 minutes to play, when Jonathan Pitroipa delivered to the back post only for Doucoure to see his first-time effort kept out magnificently by Enyeama.
French Ligue 1
|3||Paris St Germain||22||44|
|16||Evian Thonon Gaillar||22||23|