Kalou strikes late on
Salomon Kalou scored a late winner to seal a 1-0 win at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy that broke the hearts of visiting Guingamp.
Last Updated: 30/03/14 6:48pm
Substitute Salomon Kalou scored a stoppage-time winner to seal a 1-0 win at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy that broke the hearts of visiting Guingamp.
With the game seemingly petering out towards a goalless draw, the former Chelsea man came off the bench to hammer home his 11th goal of the season and inflict a second straight Ligue 1 defeat on Jocelyn Gourvennec's men.
For large parts of the match, the hosts seemed the more likely to break the deadlock, but for an inspired display from Vincent Enyeama, and in the end Lille secured the win which moved them within six points of second-placed Monaco.
Despite dominating early on Lille struggled to break down a disciplined Guingamp side but, with 20 minutes played, the hosts had a strong penalty claim turned down when Moustapha Diallo barged Marvin Martin in the back.
The men in red continued to press and Simon Kjaer went close with a powerful header from Martin's corner before the Lille's number 10, making his first start since mid-January, saw an effort of his own finish up in the stands.
Lille seemed to lack any real urgency in the final third but Rene Girard's men almost broke the deadlock as half-time approached when Djibril Sidibe cut inside before drilling an awkward shot at goal which Mamadou Samassa saved.
Guingamp seemed invigorated after a 15-minute rest and, if not for Enyeama in the Lille goal, the visitors could have scored twice soon after the restart.
Moustapha Yatabare first failed to beat the Nigerian keeper, who turned his effort away, before Claudio Beauvue's superb delivery found Fatih Atik at the far post but once again, Guingamp were denied by Lille's number one.
Spurred on by those chances, Guingamp continued to look dangerous and finally managed to beat Enyeama when Christophe Mandanne rounded the Nigerian on the hour mark.
The striker looked poised to open the scoring, but Kjaer got back superbly to deny him.
With Lille seemingly bereft of ideas, the visitors looked to capitalise and Yatabare went close again when he burst into the right side of the penalty area but the Mali international was unlucky to see his effort shave Enyeama's crossbar.
Then, deep into stoppage time, disaster struck for Guingamp when Marco Basa headed Ryan Mendes' corner into the path of Kalou and he hammered home from close range to claim a valuable three points.