Edgar Ié struck in stoppage time as LOSC claimed a much-needed 2-1 win at home to RC Strasbourg Alsace on Sunday, as the clubs met for the second time in less than 72 hours.
LOSC 2 – 1 RC Strasbourg Alsace
Strasbourg ran out 2-1 winners when the teams clashed in the Coupe de France at the Stade de la Meinau on Thursday, and they were looking for a third victory over Lille this season as they headed to the far north.
Lille coach Christophe Galtier made six changes to his starting line-up from the Cup reverse, while the Strasbourg side showed seven changes, including the return of Martin Terrier, the on-loan France under-21 forward who LOSC this week sold to Olympique Lyonnais.
Plenty of fresh legs, then, but this game lacked much in terms of goalmouth action until a frantic finale.
Lille coach Christophe Galtier had given 18-year-old Imad Faraj a first Ligue 1 Conforama start but it was his decision to replace the youngster with Anwar El Ghazi in the 65th minute that helped bring the game to life.
El Ghazi got the opening goal, rising unmarked to head in a Nicolas Pépé cross (76′) under the closed roof at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy, but Lille’s lead lasted barely two minutes.
An Anthony Gonçalves cross from the Strasbourg right was headed out, but Dimitri Foulquier returned the ball into the box and Idriss Saadi fired home as the Lille defence looked in vain for an offside flag (78′).
Saadi’s second goal of the season looked set to snatch a point for the visitors, but Lille won it right at the end as Portuguese defender Ié arrived at the near post to sweep in El Ghazi’s right-wing corner (90+1′).
Lille’s second win in four league outings under Galtier lifts them out of the bottom three, and they are now just two points behind mid-table Strasbourg.
THE PLAYER: Anwar El Ghazi
El Ghazi’s introduction injected life into a flat game, and he comes away with a goal and an assist to help Lille to a huge win.
THE STAT: 2
Lille have lost just two of their last 31 home meetings with a promoted side, winning 21 and drawing eight.