Lille climb to third place in Ligue 1

Goals by Dmitri Payet and Moussa Sow guided Lille to third place in Ligue 1 after they ended a run of three successive draws with a 2-0 victory over Brest.

The result leaves Rudi Garcia’s side five points behind leaders Montpellier and two behind Paris St Germain, who play tomorrow, and the manager will be relieved to see his side again claim three points.

The hosts dominated the first half, Eden Hazard’s free-kick as early as the fifth minute forcing Steeve Elana to punch clear with both fists.

They went ahead after 11 minutes when Tulio De Melo combined with Payet, who was freed to fire in a left-footed shot and send the ball into the top corner of the goal.

Lille almost doubled the lead just before the half-hour mark when Hazard smashed a shot against the bar before Sow freed Payet, whose curled left-footed strike missed by inches.

Brest finally created an opening shortly before the break when Nolan Roux’s shot was deflected for a corner and the same player then executed an overhead kick which went inches over.

Joe Cole had a header on target for Lille before Hazard’s free-kick from the left was cleared by Paul Baysse.

The hosts finally confirmed their victory two minutes from time following a slick move. Hazard freed Florent Balmont, who flicked the ball back to the former who crossed for Sow to volley home.

Brest almost pulled one back in injury time when Eden Ben Basat attempted to lob Mickael Landreau, but the goalkeeper managed to retreat and grab the ball.