Lille still believe despite defeat in Athens

November 2, 2006

LILLE, France, Nov 2 (Reuters) - Lille, who slumped to a 1-0 defeat at AEK Athens on Wednesday, still believe they can make it to the knockout stage of the Champions League.

The Ligue 1 side, who handed AEK their first ever Champions League victory after having Greek defender Efstathios Tavlaridis sent off in the first half, are second in Group H with five points.

AC Milan, who thrashed Anderlecht 4-1, top the standings with 10 points with AEK Athens in third place on four. The Belgian side have two points from four games.

Should they beat Anderlecht in Lens's Stade Felix-Bollaert in a fortnight, Lille will go through providing that Milan do not lose in Greece.

'We will have to do it at home, it will be a three-way battle as we expected,' Lille coach Claude Puel told reporters.

'Do not think we are downcast. If we play well against Anderlecht, we will make it,' added centre back Nicolas Plestan.

However, the northeners will have to do without Tavlaridis and midfielder Yohan Cabaye, who will both be suspended.#