Defending French champ Lille held by 10-man Nantes to draw

Lille's Timothy Weah is on the ground in front of Lille's Jonathan David. (Michel Spingler/AP)

LILLE, France (AP) — Lille striker Jonathan David missed a penalty in the French league as the hopes of the defending champion to get back in the race for European spots took a blow after drawing with mid-table Nantes 1-1 on Saturday.

Lille extended its winless streak in the league to six games to remain in the bottom half of the table, one point behind Nantes.

The hosts got off to a good start by opening the scoring in the ninth minute. Jonathan Bamba charged down the left wing to cut the ball for Burak Yilmaz, who fired into the bottom corner.

But Lille then lost control of the game.

Lille goalkeeper Ivo Grbic had to parry Moses Simon's close-range effort in the 16th. Forward Ludovic Blas outmuscled Tiago Djalo and cut inside to level with a low strike in the 24th. Blas also set up Brazilian full back Fabio, who struck the base of the post in the 30th.

Lille injected more creativity by replacing Amadou Onana with Renato Sanches in the 62nd. Reinildo Mandava tested Nantes goalkeeper Alban Lafont with a powerful strike in the 65th.

Nantes went down to 10 men in the 77th after Fabio killed a scoring chance by pulling back Zeki Celik. However, Lafont saved David's subsequent penalty.

Lille has fallen out of the title race because of inconsistent performances, failing to replicate its Champions League form. Lille beat Salzburg 1-0 on Tuesday to take the lead in its group.

Later Saturday, Nice could consolidate second place with a win over bottom side Metz.

On Friday, Lens drew with Angers 2-2 to stay fourth.

When submitting content, please abide by our  submission guidelines, and avoid posting profanity, personal attacks or harassment. Should you violate our submissions guidelines, we reserve the right to remove your comments and block your account. Sportsnet reserves the right to close a story’s comment section at any time.
We use cookies to improve your experience. Learn More or change your cookie preferences. By continuing to use this site, you agree to the use of cookies.