Lille needed a win to secure qualification for the Champions League, but a late goal for Bastia spoiled the party for the away side.
This weekend’s Ligue 1 action started on the island of Corsica as third-place Lille took on SC Bastia with the chance to seal their place in the Champions League qualifiers next season. However, they would not have it their own way as after holding the lead for the majority of the game, a spirited final 10 minutes from the home side saw them not only level the game but also have a late goal disallowed for offside. The game finished 1-1 and Lille will have to wait another week before they can guarantee a third place finish.
Lille started the better of the two sides and it was striker Nolan Roux that had the early chances to give the away side the lead. After missing a one-on-one and a close-range header – both saved by Mickael Landreau – it looked like it could be a frustrating night for René Girard’s side.
Then Lille made the breakthrough in the 31st minute. After Bastia tried to find a way through the Lille back-line, the defence held strong, blocking three close range strikes, Lille then hit on the counter.
Bursting up the field, Roux played the ball down the channel to Salomon Kalou, the former Chelsea striker fronted up his marker before cutting onto his right-foot and curling the ball beyond Landreau and into the far corner.
3 - Salomon Kalou has scored Lille's last 3 goals against Bastia in Ligue 1. Hangman.— OptaJean (@OptaJean) May 2, 2014
Lille missed a couple of chances to make it 2-0, and Bastia would ultimately make them pay.
With only their first shot on target of the whole game, Bastia would draw level. Florian Raspentino’s cross found Wahbi Khazri unmarked in the box, the midfielder had escaped the marking of Dane, Simon Kjaer, and the Tunisian playmaker nodded the ball past Vincent Enyeama.
The home side had awoken from their slumber and were looking for all three points. Substitute Djibril Cisse jinked into the box, his shot from the right-corner was heading towards goal, it looks like Raspentino got a touch to turn it past Enyeama, and Bastia thought they had stolen a shock victory.
However, the linesman had put up his flag and despite the Bastia players' celebrations; the game was still tied at 1-1. After the replays it was difficult to see why the goal had been disallowed. Raspentino was not in an offside position and there was no obvious infraction. Furious, the Bastia players continue to remonstrate with the referee after the final whistle had blown.
With the points shared, Lille are now eight points clear of fourth-place Saint-Etienne, and the side from the Rhone valley will have to beat Montpellier on Saturday to give them a chance of overtaking Lille with two weeks to go.