Lille inflict Evian further league damage behind Adama Traore's winner
Lille substitute Adama Traore scored a superb second-half winner as Lille moved away from the relegation zone with a 1-0 win over Evian in the French league on Wednesday.
Adama Traore's first ever Ligue 1 goal was enough to secure Rene Girard's team only their second league win since September - a result that leaves them just outside top half. However, it was the visitors who attempted to expose Lille's recent frailties early on and almost took the lead on 10 minutes when Cedric Barbosa got through on goal but, when faced with just Vincent Enyeama, the Evian midfielder blazed over under pressure from the returning Marco Basa.
The hosts continued to stutter and it was Pascal Dupraz's side who once again went closest to opening the scoring when Adrien Thomasson superbly turned Gianni Bruno's delivery into the path of the unmarked Daniel Wass, but the Denmark international saw his goal-bound effort turned away by Enyeama.
It was not until five minutes before the interval that Lille finally fashioned an opening of note, but Souahilo Meite's header from Sebastian Corchia's corner was knocked the wrong side of the post by Evian defender Cedric Cambon. Girard made a double change at the break and Lille almost took the lead five minutes after the restart, but Djibril Sidibe's acrobatic effort was hacked away by Olivier Sorlin on his own line.
That just served as a warning to Evian though and, after 15 minutes of domination in the second half, Lille took the lead when 18-year-old Traore beat Cambon on the edge of the area before sending a clinical effort beyond Benjamin Leroy for his first career goal.
Evian's early impetus had now evaded them and it was the 2010/11 champions who almost doubled their lead with little over 10 minutes left to play, but Michael Frey's effort from inside the area was superbly kept out by Leroy after Ronny Rodelin and Sidibe combined on the counter.
Despite a short spell of late pressure from their struggling visitors, Lille held out to claim a much-needed confidence boost.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.