Ligue 1: Jonathan Bamba scores twice against former club to guide Lille past Saint-Etienne; Strasbourg held by Angers
In-form Lille youngster Jonathan Bamba scored twice against former club Saint-Etienne to fire Christophe Galtier's men to a 3-1 win which cut Paris Saint-Germain's lead in Ligue 1 on Saturday.
Paris: In-form Lille youngster Jonathan Bamba scored twice against former club Saint-Etienne to fire Christophe Galtier's men to a 3-1 win which cut Paris Saint-Germain's lead in Ligue 1 on Saturday.
The hosts, who only narrowly avoided relegation last term, are now four points clear of Saint-Etienne after applying a modicum of pressure on champions PSG, who defend their 100-percent record against Lyon on Sunday.
Lille backed up their 3-0 victory over Marseille last weekend in style, but coach Galtier didn't want to be drawn on his young team's chances of pushing for a top-three finish and Champions League qualification.
"I'm satisfied with the performance of the team in these last two matches," he said.
"This start is unexpected, but the appetite comes with eating. I have young players and when you're young you have a big appetite.
"They need to keep this appetite, without becoming obese, staying fit. These are points taken... and when there will be less good moments, the points we have taken now will do us good."
Bamba got Lille off to a flying start in the 17th minute, collecting Loic Remy's lay-off before creating space for a shot which flew into the bottom corner.
Remy Cabella levelled for Saint-Etienne from the penalty spot just nine minutes later, but Bamba struck again in the opening minute of the second half.
Nicolas Pepe sent the 22-year-old racing clear, and he cut inside before curling home another unerring finish from the edge of the box.
Bamba, who left Saint-Etienne for Lille on a free transfer in the close-season, has now scored seven goals in only nine appearances for his new club.
A fourth win in five matches was wrapped up late on, as Bamba broke away from the visitors' midfield and slipped through a pass for Pepe to fire between the legs of Les Verts goalkeeper Stephane Ruffier.
Pepe, 23, has netted six goals already this term himself.
Elsewhere on Saturday, South African striker Lebo Mothiba scored twice for Strasbourg in a 2-2 draw at Angers, while Guingamp stayed rooted to the foot of the table after being held 1-1 by Montpellier in a match which saw both teams reduced to 10 men.
Thomas Tuchel's PSG will be bidding to restore their eight-point advantage at the Parc des Princes on Sunday, while Monaco look to drag themselves out of the bottom three against Rennes.
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Rennes' only win this year came on 17 January and the team is now winless in its last six league games
Ligue 1: Stefan Jovetic, Kevin Volland score late as Monaco defeat Brest to make it 12 games unbeaten
The win took Monaco to level on points with third-place Lyon.
In another upset Saturday, fourth-tier Le Puy beat Ligue 1 strugglers Lorient 1-0.