denied a spot in the Champions League last 16 in their debut
season after a battling 0-0 draw at Group B rivals Lille on
Wednesday was rendered redundant by CSKA Moscow winning 2-1 at
Going into the game, Lille knew only a win would do to
secure qualification and Trabzonspor were seeking a victory
while also being aware that a point would be enough if CSKA
Moscow did not win at group winners Inter in the other match.
Hosts Lille came rapidly out of the traps with midfielder
Eden Hazard having three good chances but the French champions
wilted after the break against a dogged defence.
Trabzonspor, now bound for the Europa League, wrongly
thought they were going through to the Champions League first
knockout round even after a decisive late goal gave CSKA victory
at Inter but the news eventually filtered through.
Lille boss Rudi Garcia made two defensive substitutions
despite needing a victory, taking attacking midfielder Joe Cole
off on 69 minutes and replacing a fullback with another as
frustrated fans inside the Metropole shook their heads.
Ludovic Obraniak, who came on for Cole as his side slipped
to bottom of the group, told reporters: "We did everthing we
could tonight. But it was not enough. We still have our national
title to defend but we are all disappointed.
"The Champions League is a prestigious competition. We
wanted to go through. It was just impossible tonight."
The French champions had started brightly with Belgian
Hazard having a superb shot saved after a strong run, before
firing just past the post after more intricate play and then
Striker Moussa Sow, top scorer in Ligue 1 last term, also
had a couple of sniffs while Dimitri Payet and Florent Balmont
also went close but Lille failed to make their dominance pay in
the first half.
Trabzonspor were not in the Champions League originally but
gained entry after Fenerbahce were kicked out following a
domestic match-fixing scandal, with a probe also now
investigating Trabzon among others.
The Turks won their opener at stunned 2010 champions Inter,
who recovered to go through and top the group, but Senol Gunes's
side have continued to impress and were only undone by their
inability to up the tempo in Lille once CSKA scored a winner.
They were mainly forced to defend in north eastern France
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