Sports Mole brings you all the action from the Stade Pierre-Mauroy as Lille beat Marseille 1-0.
By Matt Cotton, Reporter Filed: Tuesday, December 3, 2013 at 17:30 UK
Last Updated: Wednesday, December 4, 2013 at 11:05 UK
Lille entertained Marseille in a top-of-the-table clash at Stade Pierre-Mauroy in Ligue 1 on Tuesday night.
Second-placed Les Dogues went into the match looking for their ninth win in 11 games, while Marseille sat fourth after three consecutive wins in France.
However, in a dramatic and tense affair, Lille snatch all three points and kept their run alive with a late winner.
Read how the match unfolded in our live commentary below.
5.34pmGood evening and welcome to Sports Mole's coverage of Ligue 1 action where we have Lille hosting Marseille at the Stade-Pierre-Mauroy.
5.35pmThis match represents the first part of a French double bill tonight, as directly following this match we will give you the action from the local derby between Nice and AS Monaco. So stick around for that.
5.36pmBut that's later, and right now our attention is at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy where it's second against fourth in what should be a cracking game. A fixture that was described by Lille manager Rene Girard as "one of the games of the year". You wouldn't bet against it either.
5.39pmLille go into this match in second, four points behind league leaders Paris Saint-Germain, and with one of the most impressive defensive records in Europe, never mind just France. They are looking to try and get their ninth win from their last 11 games tonight. Since losing their last match, all the way back in September to Nice, Lille have yet to concede a goal in their last 10 games; truly phenomenal. They've won eight games while on that unbeaten run.
5.42pmMeanwhile, Marseille go into this match in fourth place and six points behind tonight's opponent. If you excuse their woeful adventures in the Champions League (which they seem to have written off anyway), Marseille are starting to turn the corner after undergoing a poor run of results in October. Having lost every one game that month, Les Phoceens have since been unbeaten in Ligue 1, winning their three games in a row.
5.42pmWe'll bring you more on this clash in terms of form and what not shortly, but let's get the team news.
5.46pmGirard makes two changes to the side that edged past Valenciennes on the road on Saturday.
5.47pmFranck Beria is out suspended following his red card at the week, while Soualiho Meite drops to the bench. Ronny Rodelin is handed a start after scoring the winner in Valenciennes, and Djibril Sidibe also comes in.
5.55pmSo there are the two teams, but more now on Florian Thauvin.
5.58pmThe France U20 World Cup winner was pelted with abuse on arriving in Lille for the match on Monday. The reason why? Thauvin initially joined Lille from Bastia in the January transfer window, but was immediately loaned back to his old club. He played out the remainder of the season there before coming back to Lille this summer. However, Marseille, among others, wanted Thauvin and the player decided he wanted Les Phoceens. Thauvin came under criticism for trying to force through a move despite not having played a game for Lille; a saga which last the whole summer. He finally got his "dream" move just a few days before the window shut, but it's an affair that left a sour taste in the relationship between these two clubs. He will be under the spotlight tonight.
5.59pmWhile Lille did a £10m profit on the talented midfielder, they have been left angered by his behaviour. There's is no doubting his ability though, that has earned praise from the likes of Arsene Wenger.
6pmThe teams are out and ready for the match. This should be a belter of a football match.
2 minLille, playing from left to right, are in their first strip of red shirts with navy shorts and socks.
3 minMarseille, attacking the left, are in their away strip of patterned turquoise from top to toe.
4 minLille have a free kick in a decent position. Slightly right of centre from about 25 yards.
5 minSAVE! Rodelin steps up and smashes a curling effort right towards the top corner, which brings the best out of a stretching Steve Mandanda.
5 minCLOSE! The resulting corner is swirled in towards the far post, but Nolan Roux heads just over for the hosts.
6 minMarseille instantly go down the other end and win a free kick. The tempo to this game is incredibly quick.
8 minThauvin is having is named chanted by the Marseille fans, but is roundly booed when in possession by the home fans. There is no hiding for him tonight.
10 minVincent Enyeama has now surpassed Salvatore Sirigu of Paris Saint-Germain when it comes to period of time without conceding a goal. He has now kept his net goal-free for over 950 minutes. That's the second-highest in Ligue 1 history.
12 minStill a high-tempoed match, but no real chances in the last few moments. Marseille are on the attack a bit more, but Lille are breaking rapidly and in numbers.
13 minBalmont hits a strike along the deck from 25 yards at the first time of asking, but it rolls straight into the arms of Mandanda.
15 minMarseille are having no time on the ball. The likes of Payet and Thauvin instantly have three defenders on their tails at all times.
17 minSAVE! Gignac has the ball on the right of the penalty area and looks up to cross the ball. He curls it in, but Enyeama decides to make a save. He pushes it out to the edge of the box where Valbuena tries to lay it inside to Thauvin, but Lille are quickly across to block.
19 minI won't repeat what they are saying, it's in French anyway, but the 47,000 Lille fans don't have a lot of nice things to say about Thauvin...or his mother.
19 minPayet catches Sidibe off the ball on the halfway line and the Lille fans kick off as their player goes down. Nothing major, but it all adds to the toxic atmosphere inside the Stade Pierre-Mauroy.
21 minBalmont runs onto a lovely pass after a brilliant bit of skill from Roux, but Nkoulou is across to concede a corner.
22 minThe corner comes in to the near post, and Mandanda thumps it away with his first.
24 minSAVE! Marseille go dangerously close to ending Lille's run without conceding a goal. An initial attack dies for the away side, but the ball comes out to Valbuena who slots Gignac into the box. He's onside and one-on-one with Enyeama, but the Lille man is rapid off his line and blocks the striker. Huge moment.
28 minThe crowd roars as Valbuena twice tries to nick the ball from the feet of Kalou on the touchline, and twice falls on the floor as the Lille man shields the ball. He angrily commits a foul the third time, which sparks a mini frenzy of handbags. It's like Christmas shopping out there at times.
29 minThe referee gives them both a talking to, but leaves it at that.
31 minPayet swings in a decent ball from the left touchline into the box, which Basa heads against his own teammate Souare, before Sidibe frantically hacks it away.
32 minWhat's this? Mandanda comes flying out of his goal to intercept an early through ball and smashes it up in the air following a game of chicken with Kalou. He's 30 yards from his own line, but stays upfield to head away the second ball when challenge by Gueye, and somehow gets away with it. Amazing stuff.
33 minThe crowd cheers wildly as Thauvin overhits a free kick from a crossing position on the right and presents Enyeama with an easy catch at the far post.
35 minWe have 10 minutes until the break, and there is still no goals here. It's also goalless between Nantes and Valenciennes.
40 minNo chances in the past few minutes, but the noise is deafening inside the stadium. It's been a very decent first half.
43 minCHANCE! Kalou runs on to a ball on the left side of the box and takes it to the byline, but he's off balance when he hits the shot and skies it over.
46 minKICK OFF! Lille, playing from left to right, get the second half up and running.
48 minOooh Thauvin is very nearly played from a nice diagonal through ball by Valbuena, but Souare makes a crucial interception on the edge of the box. Gignac fouls Enyeama from the resulting corner.
51 minSouare bombs down the left and has teammates free in the penalty area. He is about to pull the ball back into the box, but Thauvin, of all people, races back to make the sliding challenge.
54 minSAVE! BLOCK! MADNESS! How Lille have survived this I will never know. Valbuena knocks to ball to the left where Payet whips in a cross. Gignac shrugs off his marker in a busy penalty area and hits a shot from close range, but Enyeama can make the stop! What followed can only be described as pinball, but Lille hang on.
55 minSCORE UPDATE: Jose Saez has just put Valenciennes 1-0 up at Nantes.
57 minThe noise certainly hasn't died down at all here. Marseille seem determined to try and end Lille's streak too, resulting in some frantic defending at times.
59 minValbuena goes down after going shoulder to shoulder with Balmont. However, due to his small stature, it's more shoulder to head, leaving the Marseille man in a heap.
60 minSCORE UPDATE: Alejandro Bedoya has just equalised for the hosts in the other match, making it Nantes 1-1 Valenciennes.
62 minLILLE CHANGE Ronny Rodelin is replaced, with Marvin Martin coming on in attack.
63 minDOUBLE SAVE! What a tremendous double save this is from Enyeama! Utterly brilliant. First saving point-blank from Thauvin, before somehow getting up and getting across to push away Payet's drive.
64 minSAVE! The resulting corner is swung in onto the head of Gignac, but again, Enyeama makes a great save. He's having a wonderful match.
68 minLille has certain they've got a penalty as Roux nips past the Marseille defence, into the box, and then goes down under the challenge from Mandanda. On first sighting, it looks a clear penalty and Lille are stunned that they haven't been given it. Crucial moment.
71 minWe've had a bit of a break in play as Valbuena gets treatment after a coming together with Kjaer.
72 minValbuena looks in some discomfort holding his shoulder; could he have dislocated it? Let's hope not. It looks as if Marseille are going to make a change.
73 minMARSEILLE CHANGE Gianelli Imbula is sent on by Baup, as Valbuena hobbles around the side of the pitch and off.
74 minValbuena, who has had the physio propping him up for the past number of minutes as they walk off, goes straight down the tunnel. This looks bad and could be a huge blow for Marseille's season if it is serious.
77 minIt doesn't get any better for Marseille, as now Payet cannot continue and is having to come off.
78 minMARSEILLE CHANGE Saber Khalifa comes on in Payet's place.
78 minPayet, like Valbuena, heads straight down the tunnel.
82 minLILLE CHANGE Salomon Kalou is replaced by 18-year-old striker Divock Origi.
84 minThauvin so nearly gets a sniff at the ball inside the box, but Kjaer is across at the last moment to hoof the ball out for a corner.
86 minCHANCE! Cheyrou takes a free kick from wide out on the left touchline. He curls it to the penalty spot where Kalifa can flick it on, but he nods it just wide of the far post and grimaces in frustration.
89 minCheyrou floats another free kick into the box, but this one is allowed to bounce into the arms of Enyeama. It looks as if this match is heading for 0-0.
90 minSCORE UPDATE: Late drama at Nantes. Having missed a penalty, they now lead Valenciennes 2-1.
90 minMISS! Big change for Gignac as the cross from the right comes into the near post, but he shins it wide for a goal kick.
90 minMARSEILLE CHANGE Jordan Ayew replaces the hugely popular Florian Thauvin.
90+1 minThat must be the winner! It's typical of Lille; defend solidly and then pull off a sucker punch. Marseille are stunned as Gueye crosses from the right, it bounces, before being header into the bottom corner by an outstretched Nolan Roux. Unbelievable.
90+3 minLILLE CHANGE And with his final touch looking likely to have won the game for his side, Roux is replaced by De Mello.