Lille, PSG maintain Ligue 1 title battle

·2-min read

Lille have proved again they are serious contenders to end the Ligue 1 reign of Paris Saint-Germain by beating Nice 2-0 to stay one point ahead in the title race.

Defending champion PSG scraped past Lens 2-1 at home to keep the pressure on Lille, who responded.

Veteran Turkey striker Burak Yilmaz opened the scoring in the 13th minute with a low strike from just outside the penalty area.

After Nice defender Jordan Lotomba was sent off just after the break, Yilmaz's countryman, Mehmet Celik, struck in a crisp shot from the edge of the box in the 56th.

There are three games left, with Lille next away to Lens and PSG visiting a vastly improved Rennes side chasing a Europa League spot.

Neymar opened the scoring for PSG after a defensive error in the 33rd minute and captain Marquinhos scored with another powerful header - just as he had against Manchester City midweek - to make it 2-0 after an hour.

But Lens exposed poor PSG defending when they scored straight from the restart as striker Ignatius Ganogo slotted home to cap off a fine team move.

"It was a very difficult game, Lens plays very good football. I really like their style of play and we suffered," PSG coach Mauricio Pochettino said.

"We had to work hard for this win."

Lens stay in fifth place and the Europa League spot but are level on points with Marseille.

Rennes can grab fifth spot if they win at struggling Bordeaux on Sunday.

PSG were without star striker Kylian Mbappe, who is nursing a calf injury, while central midfielders Leandro Paredes and Marco Verratti were rested for the return leg at City on Tuesday.

PSG trail 2-1 after the first leg.

"I'm optimistic for Kylian," Pochettino said. "I think he'll be ready to play."

Sunday's big game has third-place Monaco hosting fourth-place Lyon.