Ligue 1 wrap: Lille back on top

Lille recaptured the top spot on the Ligue 1 table with a last-gasp 2-1 win over visiting Valenciennes as Paris Saint-Germain lost ground.In a thrilling finish, Belgian starlet Eden Hazard struck in the dying seconds to deny Valenciennes a point and send Lille three points clear of Stade Rennes at the head of the table.

Lille started poorly and looked bereft of creativity without suspended midfielder Florent Balmont, but nevertheless took the lead in the 39th minute through Moussa Sow.

The Senegal international, who leads the Ligue 1 scoring table with 18 goals this term, latched on to a well-placed feed from Hazard and fired a powerful shot from the right that took a deflection on its way past Valenciennes goalkeeper Nicolas Penneteau.

The visitors started to find their feet in the second half and drew themselves level in the 59th minute on a clever bit of play from Renaud Cohade, who feigned a dash and slotted the ball between two Lille defenders for a cool finish from Gregory Pujol.

Valenciennes looked to have secured a well-earned point as the game reached injury time, but Lille captain Rio Mavuba had other ideas and found Hazard unmarked in the penalty area with a terrific cross, and the Belgian striker made no mistake with his finish.

It was Valenciennes’ first league loss in two months, and leaves the visitors 14th on the table and a mere three points from the relegation zone.

Elsewhere, PSG had to settle for a point after drawing 2-2 in the capital with Montpellier.

France international Guillaume Hoarau put the hosts ahead in the 11th minute, and two minutes later Montpellier defender Mapou Yangambiwa deflected a cross into his own net to put PSG 2-0 up.

But an Oliver Giroud brace in the second half ensured Montpellier could leave the Parc des Princes with their pride intact, the former Tours striker scoring two minutes after the restart and again in the 59th minute.

The result leaves PSG fifth on the table, three points behind third-placed Lyon and eight adrift of Lille.

Monaco climbed out of the relegation zone for the first time in 2011 with a 1-0 victory at Bordeaux.

Adriano’s 22nd-minute winner was enough to earn the struggling side just their second away win of the season, the Brazilian defender rising highest head a corner past Bordeaux custodian Cedric Carrasso.

 


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