Eden Hazard scored one goal and
set up another as Lille revived their hopes of retaining the
Ligue 1 title with a 2-1 home win over Toulouse that narrowed
the gap with leaders Montpellier to four points on Sunday.
In-form Belgium midfielder Hazard netted a penalty in the
12th minute and set up Dimitri Payet for the second on the
half-hour as Lille stayed third with 56 points from 30 games.
Montpellier, whose game at Olympique Marseille was postponed
to April 11 as the hosts prepare for a Champions League match,
have 60 points and lead Paris Saint-Germain on goal difference
after Carlo Ancelotti's side lost 2-1 at Nancy on Saturday.
"It's too soon to talk about the title," Lille captain Rio
Mavuba told French TV channel Foot + with eight games left.
Coach Rudi Garcia added: "We will see. If those in front of
us continue to underperform, maybe we will come back".
Toulouse dropped to fifth on 50 points, behind Olympique
Lyon on goal difference after the seven-times French champions
salvaged a 1-1 draw at Stade Rennes in Sunday's late game.
Turkey striker Mevlut Erding struck after five minutes for
the hosts with a low, angled shot and two minutes later team
mate Jonathan Pitroipa outmuscled Dejan Lovren in the box but
his attempt smashed against the post.
Lyon were denied a possible penalty early in the second half
when substitute Jimmy Briand appeared to have been brought down
by goalkeeper Benoit Costil.
However, Lisandro Lopez equalised 14 minutes from time when
he connected with a Clement Grenier free-kick to beat Costil
from close range.
Lyon, who have played in the last 12 editions of the
Champions League, face an uphill battle to secure a place in
Europe's premium club competition with Lille likely to finish
third and clinch the play-off spot.
Lille, who have now won their last three league games, were
in a class of their own in the first half and Toulouse were
lucky to reach the interval with only a two-goal deficit.
Hazard converted from the spot after he was brought down in
the box to give Lille the lead.
Payet then chested the ball down from a Hazard cross and
volleyed home to make it 2-0 and it took a couple of fine saves
by Ali Ahamada to keep Toulouse in contention.
They reduced the arrears on the hour when Serge Aurier
netted from close range as Lille sat back and waited for
On one of them, Toulouse's Pantxi Sirieix got a straight red
card for a rough tackle on Nolan Roux in the 83rd minute.
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