Lille still solid in third
Last Updated: 09/03/14 6:25pm
Marko Basa: Set Lille on their way to victory
Lille maintained their foothold on third place in Ligue 1 with a comfortable 2-0 win at home to Montpellier.
Marko Basa's first-half opener set the hosts on their way before Nolan Roux added his seventh of the season in the second half to give Les Dogues their second victory on the bounce.
A first defeat on the road for Montpellier since November meant Rolland Courbis' side missed out on the chance to move above Nice into 11th.
The hosts were hit with a setback when influential defender Simon Kjaer picked up an injury in the warm-up and MHSC almost capitalised on that defensive uncertainty when M'Baye Niang found some early space on the edge of the area but could only shoot wide.
Lille soon began to tick though and Florent Balmont brought a sprawling save from Geoffrey Jourdren before Salomon Kalou failed to test the visiting goalkeeper with a header from the resulting corner.
With less than 20 minutes played the hosts made the all important breakthrough when Balmont swung in a perfect kree-kick for Basa to head beyond Jourdren from 12 yards.
Montpellier did their best to offer a first-half response but Anthony Mounier saw his diving header kept out before he turned provider for Daniel Congre who saw his first-time effort from close range magnificently clawed away by Vincent Enyeama.
The hosts appeared to benefit more from the break and only a solid save from Jourdren prevented Djibril Sidibe from doubling their lead with a powerful effort from the edge of the area before Lille doubled their advantage with little over 10 minutes played in the second-half.
Pape Souare found David Rozenhal from a corner and, despite Kjaer's pre-match replacement findng the crossbar with his header, Roux was on hand to acrobatically volley home the rebound.
Unlike the first half, Montpellier struggled to find a response to the goal and only a half-hearted penalty appeal from Remy Cabella offered any hope of a reply as Lille comfortably saw the game out.
French Ligue 1
|2||Paris St Germain||14||30|
|18||Evian Thonon Gaillar||13||13|