Lille stunned by Nice
Lille's fading hopes of an automatic Champions League berth suffered another blow on as they lost 1-0 at Nice
Last Updated: 02/02/14 3:16pm
Lille's fading hopes of challenging Monaco for an automatic Champions League berth suffered another blow on Sunday as they lost 1-0 at Nice to leave third place in jeopardy.
Mathieu Bodmer's goal on the stroke of half-time instead kept the points on the Mediterranean coast as Lille's second-half attempt at a fightback came up short.
Monaco's draw at Lorient on Saturday had offered Lille hope but instead they end the weekend eight points adrift in third place, with St Etienne just one point behind as the battle for a Champions League qualifying place intensifies.
Lille attacked first as Florent Balmont brought a decent save out of David Ospina but otherwise the first-half was one-way traffic as Nice piled forward.
Fabrice Abriel was denied by a block from Vincent Enyeama after fine play from Didier Digard, and the goalkeeper then turned an Alexy Bosetti shot away for a corner.
The goalkeeper was beaten in the 40th minute when Dario Cvitanich met Christian Buls' corner, but Rio Mavuba scrambled it off the line.
The goal came as half-time loomed and it was another Bruls corner, half-cleared by Lille only for Bodmer to rifle home.
Lille dominated the second half in search of an equaliser.
Ospina was at full stretch to keep out Solomon Kalou's powerful effort while Bodmer got a foot in to turn Divock Origi's shot away from danger.
Ospina then clawed away David Rozehnal's header and Lille's challenge diminished in the closing stages of a costly defeat.