French Ligue 1 review

Stuttering Lille keep title hopes alive

February 22, 2012
By ESPNsoccernet staff

Lille recorded a second straight win as they try to launch an unlikely late defence of their Ligue 1 title, but were far from convincing in seeing off rock-bottom Sochaux 1-0.

Lille forward Nolan Roux celebrates his winning goal with Benoit Pedretti and Eden Hazard
GettyImagesLille forward Nolan Roux celebrates his winning goal with Benoit Pedretti and Eden Hazard

Having dropped off the pace of big-spending leaders Paris St Germain, Lille's chances of retaining the crown seem remote, but they at least used their game in hand to full effect, moving back to within six points of the summit.

Nolan Roux's late header proved enough for Lille, but they spent much of the match on the back foot before improving after the break.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored a hat-trick as two late goals guided St Etienne to a third successive home win and fourth place in Ligue 1.

Lorient took the lead through a Arnold Mvuemba penalty before two Aubameyang goals saw the home side turn it around as St Etienne won 4-2.

Mathias Autret levelled for the visitors and a draw appeared likely before Bakary Sako scored two minutes from time with Aubameyang wrapping up victory, and his hat-trick, with a last-minute strike.

Livio Nabab scored the winner as Caen came from behind to win 2-1 and bolster their survival prospects and leave Auxerre in the relegation mire.

Roy Contout put Auxerre ahead after an hour, but Caen drew level through Kandia Traore after 71 minutes and Nabab completed the fightback six minutes later.

The win was Caen's first at home in 2012 and lifts them six points above Auxerre who stand 18th in the 20-team league, with three to go down.