Jonathan David emerges as the hero for LOSC Lille as they are crowned the new champions France with a 2-1 win over SCO Angers.

LOSC Lille leapfrog Paris Saint-Germain to become the new champions of Ligue 1, thanks to a 2-1 victory over SCO Angers away from home on Sunday.

Determined to secure all three points, LOSC Lille looked very organised and focused right from the beginning. They had a nice shape about their play, with wide players operating in a versatile role that saw them drift into the middle. One of such instances saw Renato Sanches spray a through ball for Jonathan David, leading to an early opener.

The goal gave Lille the incentive to further enhance their defensive game, as they repelled the Angers attacks really well. They were rewarded for their efforts as well, with David winning a late first-half penalty that was calmly converted by Burak Yilmaz – giving Lille a comfortable 2-0 lead heading into half-time.

Lille adopted a more passing approach, perhaps more so because of the fact that PSG were leading so they did not want to take any risks, knowing any points dropped in this game could have seen them missing out on the title.

The move paid off well for Christophe Galtier’s men, as they defended diligently throughout the next forty-five minutes, although Angelo Fulgini did manage to pulled one back for Angers. It was too little too late as the referee blew the final whistle just a seconds after the restart, as Les Dogues became the new champions of France.

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Here, at The Hard Tackle, we will run the rule over the LOSC Lille players in their narrow win over SCO Angers in this final match of the 2020/21 Ligue 1 campaign this weekend.

Mike Maignan: 8/10

Mike Maignan was once again excellent in between the sticks for LOSC Lille. He was always alert up against the threat of Angers attackers, especially Angelo Fulgini, who was denied thrice by the Lille goalkeeper. At the end, though, the attacker emerged as the victor, with his late header trickling into the back of the net.

A good performance nonetheless by Maignan, who will finish the campaign with the most number of clean sheets in Ligue 1 and is now a favourite to start for France in the upcoming Euros.

Zeki Celik: 7.5/10

Zeki Celik had a few nervous moments in the game. The full-back, though, was mostly very disciplined, often keeping a close eye on the opposition wingers, denying them the opportunity to bombard the flanks. A stable performance at the back.

Tiago Djalo: 7.5/10

Filling in for the suspended captain Jose Fonte, Tiago Djalo produced a solid display at the heart of the Lille backline. He reacted well under pressure, looking very composed in possession, and complementing his partners well. The youngster was not very useful with his forward passing, but his overall game was quite impressive.

Sven Botman: 8/10

Sven Botman was a rock at the back for Lille this evening. His imposing frame made it very difficult for Angers’ attackers to cause any problems for the opposition backline. Botman was also crucial with his aggression in winning back possession as well as his positioning, as the Dutchman was often seen aiding Reinildo out wide. It will be surprising if he remains at Lille next season.

Reinildo: 7.5/10

Among the two full-backs, Reinildo Mandava was given the license to move forward with more freedom. He tried to offer support to Yusuf Yazici but wasn’t quite influential. In the end, the full-back dropped deep as the game progressed, trying to protect the two-goal cushion rather than building on it.

Renato Sanches: 7.5/10

Renato Sanches was given the nod ahead of Jonathan Ikone, which was a gutsy move from Christophe Galtier. The move paid off brilliantly for the Lille head coach, though, as the former Bayern Munich star was hugely influential in the middle of the park. He often drifted centrally, trying to open up the opposition with his forward passes, one of which led to the early opener from David.

Sanches grew quieter as the game progressed, but none could really blame him as Lille took on a more passive approach in the second half rather than taking any gamble.

Benjamin Andre: 7.5/10

Benjamin Andre’s ever-reliable presence in the middle of the park was a vital aspect in Lille’s victory this evening. Although the midfielder wasn’t particularly immense, he offered the composure in possession, while covering a lot of ground in the second line of press. His partnership with his fellow teammates was particularly eye-catching.

Boubakary Soumare: 7.5/10

Boubakary Soumare operated in an even more defensive role than Andre. The youngster didn’t disappoint either, exhibiting excellent game-reading abilities that tuned in well with Lille’s approach in this game. He also did not look particularly caught out and remained disciplined throughout the course of the game, despite the occasional problems caused by Fulgini.

Yusuf Yazici: 7/10

Yusuf Yazici was given the nod ahead of Bamba because of his ability to drift infield. The move worked as it kept the Angers’ defenders occupied, opening up more spaces for David to run into. Individually, though, Yazici was not very influential on the proceedings, so he was subbed off midway through the second half.

Burak Yilmaz: 7.5/10

Burak Yilmaz’s attempted runs in behind the Angers’ defence perfectly highlighted Lille’s game plan. The striker, though, was most often offside, and looked extremely tired later on in the game. He did still put on a hard-working shift in the number nine position, and deserves credit for calmly converting the penalty that turned out to be the winner.

Jonathan David: 8.5/10

Jonathan David, the Player to Watch in our match preview, enjoyed a marvellous game, as his agility made him an ideal component in Galtier’s attacking gameplan that revolved around runs in behind the backline. The Canadian international made a host of such runs, one of which led to the early opener while the other, just before half-time, led to the penalty.

Substitutes

Jonathan Bamba: 6/10

Jonathan Bamba replaced Yazici midway through the second half to add more freshness in the Lille attack. He ultimately had to defend for the most part, though he never complained.

Xeka: N/A

A late replacement for Yilmaz. Didn’t play enough to warrant a rating.

Luiz Araujo: N/A

A late replacement for Sanches. Didn’t play enough to warrant a rating.

Jonathan Ikone: N/A

A late replacement for David. Didn’t play enough to warrant a rating.

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