Lille player ratings as they were held to a goalless draw by AS Saint-Etienne on the penultimate matchday of the Ligue 1 season, throwing the title race wide open.
Lille came into the game against Saint-Etienne with a three-point advantage at the top of the table over current title-holders PSG, needing four points from their remaining two matches to be crowned the champions of France. However, Les Dogues were well below their best on Sunday night at Stade Pierre Mauroy as the visitors deprived them of meaningful chances over the course of the game.
A turned down penalty shout involving Jonathan David a little after the hour mark and Yusuf Yazici striking the woodwork in stoppage time was as close as Christophe Galtier’s men came over the course of the ninety minutes on Sunday night. And with PSG picking up a Reims at the same time, Lille are now just two points ahead of the reigning champions and will need to win their final game against Angers next Sunday.
Here are our player ratings following an uninspiring display from the Lille stars.
Mike Maignan: 6/10
Had just the one save to make all game-long from Denis Bouanga very early in the game which he did well to stop. Not called into action thereafter, with the defence doing its job in front of him.
Zeki Celik: 5.5/10
Lost Bouanga for the early chance, but recovered well and kept things tight on his flank. Got forward well on a few occasions and had a shot go wide after the break. Finished with four tackles and an interception but did not create any meaningful opportunities on the night.
Jose Fonte: 6.5/10
Solid at the back, the veteran defender was crucial to Lille taking control after a nervy start. Used the ball well from the back as he completed 91% of his passes and created a couple of chances as well, while also making six clearances. Needed to do better with a scoring chance in the second half when he headed over, which eats into his rating.
Sven Botman: 7/10
Amid links with Manchester United and Tottenham, the Dutchman once again made a huge impression with a solid and assured display at the heart of the Lille defence. Hardly stretched by the Saint-Etienne attackers over the course of the game, Botman made several crucial interventions, most notably thwarting Nordin in the second half. Had a shot saved at the other end as well, while he misplaced just five of his 86 attempted passes on the night.
Reinildo Mandava: 6/10
Got forward well but the end product was not always there. Did leave spaces in behind as a result, which led to the moment from where Nordin almost scored. Did redeem himself, making a few key tackles, though.
Luiz Araujo: 4/10
Getting the nod over the likes of Jonathan Ikone and Renato Sanches, the 24-year-old failed to make the most of his chance. Hardly offered a goal threat and spurned a chance when played in by Burak Yilmaz in the first half. Completed just 68% of his passes and created no chance before being withdrawn after the hour mark.
Benjamin Andre: 6/10
Back in the starting XI after serving out his suspension, the seasoned midfielder picked up a booking early in the game but kept his discipline and did what was needed of him to keep Saint-Etienne at bay. Won his fair share of aerial duels at the back and produced three clearances as well before being withdrawn.
Boubakary Soumare: 6.5/10
Had to do the dirty work in the middle of the park especially after Andre’s booking, which he did effectively, making a couple of interceptions and tackles each, while he was fairly solid on the ball as well, although could have been a bit more incisive with his forward passes. Had a shot saved.
Jonathan Bamba: 5/10
Not good enough from the 25-year-old as he failed to work the ageing Mathieu Debuchy effectively on his flank. Instead the former Arsenal man had the Lille star tracking back at times during the game. Made one key pass which amounted to nothing.
Burak Yilmaz: 5.5/10
The go-to man for Lille during the run-in and the Player to Watch in our match preview, the veteran Turkish striker had a quiet outing wherein he was deprived of any sort of meaningful service. Tried to drop deep and make things happen and even managed to create a couple of chances one of which Araujo failed to take in the first half. Petered out as the game wore on.
Jonathan David: 4/10
A largely ineffective outing from the summer signing, who, barring the close penalty call in the second period, did little of note. Not sharp enough in his movements, which meant his teammates weren’t able to find him in dangerous positions. No shots attempted, no chances created.
Jonathan Ikone: 5/10
Replaced Araujo in the 63rd minute. Was not a major improvement on the man he replaced, although he did complete most of his passes.
Came on in place of Andre with less than half-hour left. Not involved a great deal.
Renato Sanches: 6/10
On for Bamba a little after the hour mark. Created a couple of chances with dangerous crosses from out wide and had a shot that went just wide.
Yusuf Yazici: N/A
Replaced David in the 77th minute. Almost won it with a free-kick in stoppage time but saw his effort deflected onto the post by the ASSE goalkeeper.
Domagoj Bradaric: N/A
Late substitute for Reinildo.