Lille edges Nantes 1-0 in French league
NANTES, France (AP) - Nolan Roux scored as Lille beat Nantes 1-0 Friday to pull within a point of leader Paris Saint-Germain in the French league.
Roux slid home a low cross from Ronny Rodelin in the 41st minute, although replays showed the Lille striker was just offside.
Lille kept a sixth straight clean sheet to provisionally climb to second place, one point clear of Monaco.
''We're very rigorous. We don't concede goals because everybody contributes,'' Lille fullback Franck Beria said. ''Nolan and Salomon (Kalou) track back well.''
The result ended Nantes' four-match winning streak. The promoted side provisionally remained in fourth place, five points off the pace.
On Saturday, it's: Marseille vs. Reims; Bastia vs. Nice; Guingamp vs. Ajaccio; Lorient vs. Sochaux; Toulouse vs. Rennes; and Valenciennes vs. Evian.
On Sunday, PSG visits Saint-Etienne, Monaco hosts Lyon and Montpellier faces Bordeaux.
Lille pressed high up the pitch, managing to prevent Nantes from finding its rhythm and keep striker Filip Djordjevic quiet.
In a first half with very few chances, Lille forward Salomon Kalou created space with a dummy in the 25th but his low shot lacked power to beat goalkeeper Remy Riou. Kalou then set up Roux, whose 18-yard effort sailed wide in the 36th.
Four minutes before halftime, Roux beat Nantes centerback Oswaldo Vizcarrondo to the ball to convert a cross from Rodelin for his third goal this season.
Roux came close to doubling the lead shortly after the break. The Lille striker outpaced Vizcarrondo to collect a through ball from Rodelin and round Riou, but could only shoot wide from a tight angle.
Lille showed why it has the tightest defense in the league by limiting Nantes to a tame header from winger Serge Gakpe straight at goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama in the 59th.
As Nantes pushed for an equalizer, Lille found more space up front. But an unmarked Kalou could only find Riou's gloves from 12 yards in the 73rd.
Enyeama made up for a handling mistake in the 81st by denying Nantes substitute Fernando Aristeguieta.
The hosts' hopes of leveling took a blow in the 83rd when Nantes defender Papy Djilobodji picked up a second yellow card for a foul on Kalou.
''We're very disappointed tonight,'' Gakpe said. ''We had a poor start, we couldn't string passes together. (.) We lost the ball a lot of times and wasted a lot of energy to win it back.''
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