Undefeated leader of Ligue 1, Lille struck a blow by going to crush Sparta Prague (4-1) thanks in particular to a hat-trick from Yusuf Yazici on Thursday for his entry into the running in the Europa League.
Le Losc, quickly outnumbered after the exclusion of Ladislav Krejci (23rd), made the difference thanks to his Turkish attacking midfielder, rarely starting and who seized his chance with three goals (45th, 60th and 75th).
Jonathan Ikoné also scored (66th), while Borek Dockal had equalized for the Prague (46th).
The Mastiffs, who ended a terrible series of 17 unsuccessful European Cup matches, seized the lead of Group H in front of AC Milan, which won on the lawn of Celtic Glasgow (3 -1).
The Northerners ideally launched their European campaign and built up their confidence before going to defend their leading place on Sunday in the league in Nice, swept by Leverkusen (6-2) on Thursday.
From the start of the match, Lille had the opportunity to open the scoring but Jonathan David, still in great difficulty, missed the frame (1st) and Ikoné was blocked (3rd).
Barely defensively, Sparta quickly found themselves at ten after a fault by Krejci on David who sped on goal (23rd) and Losc increased its hold on the game.
However, it took the last minutes of the first period to see Lille show itself to be dangerous again: after recovering the ball, Xeka shot flush with the post (36 ').
- Yazici unblocks the situation -
The Mastiffs were finally rewarded just before the break: after intercepting the ball, Botman passed it on to Yazici, who got back on his left foot at the entrance to the box and unleashed a sumptuous cross strike that finished in the opposite skylight (0-1, 45th).
In the process, Lille was scared after a foul by Domagoj Bradaric at the edge of the area.
The referee, who had signaled a penalty initially, then whistled a free kick, finally badly shot by the Czechs (45th + 2).
But as soon as the restart, a loss of ball from Boubakary Soumaré cost Losc dearly since Sparta equalized: Adam Hlosek, the nugget of Sparta, overflowed and served his captain Dockal behind, who took Maignan on the wrong foot (1 -1, 46th).
This first goal conceded in the game this season had the effect of straining Lille and waking up the people of Prague, who began to find discrepancies.
However, little by little, the Mastiffs regained the ascendancy and after an opportunity missed by David (59th), Yazici offered himself a brace by scoring a header on a cross from Bradaric (2-1, 60th).
The Turk then completed his superb evening by intercepting a pass from a Czech defender before scoring with a curled shot (1-4, 75th).
In the meantime, Ikoné, launched beautifully by Soumaré, had killed the suspense of a cross strike (1-3, 66th).
Uncompromising in the league, Lille continued its momentum on the European scene and saved the honor of French football after the draw in Rennes and the defeats of Paris, Marseille and Nice.
© 2020 AFP