Lille beats Guingamp 1-0 in France

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 30, 2014 at 4:27 pm •  Published: March 30, 2014
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PARIS (AP) — Lille edged Guingamp 1-0 to pull within six points of second-place Monaco in the French league despite a mediocre performance on Sunday.

Also, Saint-Etienne kept pace with Lille in the race for a Champions League spot by defeating Lyon 2-1 and Rennes thrashed mid-table Bastia 3-0 to move closer to securing safety.

In the second minute of stoppage time, Lille centerback Marko Basa redirected a corner toward Salomon Kalou, who flicked home the winner for his 11th league goal this season.

"We struggle each time we face a team parking the bus," Kalou said. "We don't find the solutions."

Lille looked a far cry from the side that was neck and neck with leader Paris Saint-Germain in December. Guingamp had three clear-cut chances in the second half but failed to convert them.

Lille goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama denied striker Mustapha Yatabare in the 52nd and parried a volley from midfielder Fatih Atik in the 55th. Christophe Mandanne then rounded Enyeama in the 60th but centerback Simon Kjaer rushed back to clear off the line the low effort from the Guingamp forward.

At Stade Gerland, Max-Alain Gradel gave Saint-Etienne the victory in the heated Rhone derby. The Saint-Etienne substitute converted a rebound in the 74th after goalkeeper Anthony Lopes palmed a cross from Renaud Cohade into his path.

"I'm so happy for the supporters," Gradel said. "We made it for them because for years they've been humiliated. Today, we want to thank them with this victory."

Saint-Etienne opened the scoring in the 28th when Brazilian forward Brandao knocked a high ball down for Mevlut Erding, who beat Lopes from close range.

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