Lille moves closer to Champions League after draw with Lyon
PARIS (AP) — Lille moved even closer to qualifying for next season’s Champions League after drawing 2-2 at rival Lyon in the French league on Sunday.
Second place guarantees automatic entry into Europe’s elite club competition and Lille is six points ahead of third-place Lyon with three games left. The team finishing third goes into the qualifying rounds.
Lyon led after 11 minutes when Martin Terrier was set up by fellow forward Memphis Depay, but it needed a 74th-minute equalizer from defender Leo Dubois to get a point.
After Terrier’s goal, Lille looked the better side. Former France forward Loic Remy equalized in the 50th and midfielder Boubakary Soumare made it 2-1 midway through the second half.
The draw leaves Lyon only one point ahead of fourth-place Saint-Etienne, which earlier won 3-2 at struggling Monaco.
Monaco is in 17th place and only three points above 18th-place Caen in the relegation-promotion playoff position.
Winger Remy Cabella did the damage for Saint-Etienne, scoring with a sharp volley to put the visitors 2-1 up in the 71st minute and then setting up forward Arnaud Nordin for a powerful header 10 minutes later.
Gelson Martins created a goal for Brazilian striker Vinicius, but his injury-time goal came too late for Monaco.
Martins put Monaco ahead in the 18th, only for defender Fode Ballo-Toure to gift Saint-Etienne an equalizer by volleying in an own-goal in the 59th.
Amiens climbed one place above Monaco after a 1-1 draw at Montpellier, which stayed fifth ahead of Marseille on goal difference.
Nantes is finishing the season in championship-winning form, albeit with nothing left to play for. A 3-0 home win against Dijon made it five straight victories and moved coach Vahid Halilhodzic’s side up to 11th place.
French Cup winner Rennes dropped to 13th after a 2-2 draw at Toulouse.
League champion Paris Saint-Germain drew 1-1 at home to Nice on Saturday and has won only one of its last seven games in all competitions.