PARIS (AP) — Lille missed the chance to move into second place in the French league as it slipped to a 2-1 home loss against Reims on Sunday.
Right winger Odair Fortes scored with a fortuitous deflected shot in the 73rd minute and midfielder Grzegorz Krychowiak made it 2-0 three minutes later when he headed in at the back post. Third-place Lille replied in the 89th when center half Anthony Weber headed into his own net.
"They're third in the league for a reason, so we had to be strong," Reims coach Hubert Fournier said. "In the second half we played a bit faster and we got the luck we needed to win the game. The players deserve all the credit because they gave so much out there."
Lille impressed when it drew 2-2 away to Paris Saint-Germain last month in the final match before the winter break, but this time it failed to shine against a well-organized Reims team which climbed up to seventh spot.
"We didn't make a good start and couldn't get into a rhythm," Lille midfielder Rio Mavuba said. "They made the most of it so congratulations to Reims."
Lille's defeat and Monaco's 1-1 draw at Montpellier on Friday night played into the hands of French leader PSG, which now leads Monaco by five points and Lille by seven.
Saint-Etienne is in fourth place and Marseille is fifth after winning 2-1 at Evian on Sunday, with Andre-Pierre Gignac scoring his sixth goal in the past five games.
"We're very happy because this win is good for us in terms of points and it's a good start to 2014 for us," Marseille coach Jose Anigo said. "It's a good result. Did we play well or not? It's up to the fans or the media to judge. We came here for three points and we got them."