Lille have to settle for a point

29

Lille avoided a third successive Ligue 1 defeat with a 1-1 draw with Nantes but will feel aggrieved that they could not beat Michel Der Zakarian's side. Defeats to Lorient and Monaco had undone Lille's fine start to the year – they won three of their first four games in 2015 – but they stopped the rot with a point at the Stade de la Beaujoire. Jonathan Delaplace's early strike looked like being enough to seal victory for Lille, but Oswaldo Vizcarrondo rescued a point for Nantes with an equaliser 10 minutes from time. The draw sees Lille move up a place to 12th with 28 points from their 23 games, four points behind ninth-placed Nantes. Lille enjoyed the better of the early exchanges and Kevin Koubemba could have given them a fifth-minute lead, but the Congo striker fired inches wide when Nolan Roux's long ball found him in space in the penalty area. It mattered little, however, for Delaplace made Lille's early dominance count in the 13th minute by unleashing a low shot past Nantes goalkeeper Remy Riou to give Les Dogues the lead. Nantes took a while to find their feet and should have been level in the 28th minute when Vincent Bessat unleashed a ferocious goal-bound strike but Lille keeper Vincent Enyeama produced a fine save. Enyeama came to Lille's rescue once again five minutes later to deny Ismael Bangoura from close range as the visitors went into the half-time interval a goal to the good. Nantes started the second half brightly and Enyeama again had to be alert to repel a booming effort from Johan Audel six minutes after the restart. Lille winger Adama Traore could not cap off a mazy 40-yard run with a suitable finish as he shot straight at Riou, and the visitors were made to pay when Nantes drew level in the 80th minute thanks to some sloppy defending. Lille failed to clear a Jordan Veretout corner and, grateful for being afforded another bite of the cherry, the 21-year-old midfielder whipped in a probing cross from the right for Vizcarrondo to head home from close range. Neither side could fashion too many clear-cut chances in the remaining minutes and in the end the points were shared.