St Etienne picked up a point on the road at Lille in a 1-1 draw but it was a game either side could have won. Knowing a win could have taken them to within two points of Ligue 1 leaders Marseille, St Etienne initially fell behind to Michael Frey's 16th-minute opener. They levelled through Max Gradel on the hour and then, after watching Divock Origi miss from the penalty spot, Gradel did the same. In the end a draw was perhaps a fair reflection of a thrilling game which saw both sides enjoy several chances. Ronny Lopes had the first for Lille, hitting wide, and he would terrorise the visitors for large parts of the first half until he went off injured in the 43rd minute. After sustained pressure Lille went ahead through Frey, who broke his duck for the club at the eighth time of asking since moving from Young Boys. He benefited from some poor goalkeeping from Stephane Ruffier but will not mind, driving across into an almost-open goal as Ruffier charged out to narrow the angle after a Lopes volley went into the ground. His positioning was all wrong and all Frey had to do was hit the target, which he did. Lille relaxed a little after that and would have gone into the break level had Franck Tabanou done better when Gradel found him with a cross. The duo linked up after the break, though, and this time Gradel was on the end of a centre and he did not miss, nodding into the top corner for a third of the season. Lille got back on the front foot after that and had a chance to go ahead again as Ruffier again lost his head and brought down Frey. He would redeem himself, however, by saving Origi's attempt. There was more to come as St Etienne then got a penalty of their own with Pape Souare late on Romain Hamouna, giving Gradel the chance to win it. The former Leeds man went to the left but found Vincent Enyeama level to his effort. The winger had another chance after that with a late free-kick which went close, but in the end the two settled for a point.
Football LIGUE 1