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Crisis deepens as Lille lose again in empty stadium

  • Published at 06:40 am April 2nd, 2018
Crisis deepens as Lille lose again in empty stadium
Crisis-hit Lille plunged closer to relegation from Ligue 1 on Sunday with a 1-0 home loss to Amiens at an empty Stade Pierre-Mauroy. Ordered to play behind closed doors after a violent pitch invasion last month, Lille's season took another turn for the worse as they lost to their fellow strugglers to miss the chance to move out of the bottom two. Lille brought in Argentine coach Marcelo Bielsa in August in an attempt to return to Europe after a drop in fortunes since a French double in 2011, but the partnership went sour as Bielsa sued the club after being sacked due to a dreadful start to the campaign. Bielsa brought in a number of new players, but won only three of his first 14 games and current coach Christophe Galtier saw a transfer ban imposed on the club in December for poor finances. This was their eighth game without a win and they are second-bottom with seven games to go, one point adrift of Troyes, who occupy the relegation play-off place in 18th. Lille have lodged charges against ten of their own fans for "aggravated violence, criminal damage and death threats", while Ligue 1 authorities will rule on Thursday what further sanctions the northern club will face for the crowd trouble. Coach Galtier said he would make "strong decisions", but insisted he wouldn't resign. "Match after match the situtation doesn't improve," he said. "We'll make sure we fix it and if we can't change it in 24 hours then I may have to take strong decisions. "Mistakes are one thing, behaviour and investment is another. We give up too quickly." Later on Sunday, Lyon moved back to within two points of Marseille in the race for the third and final Champions League spot as Memphis Depay continued his hot streak of goalscoring form with a double in a 2-0 win over Toulouse. The Dutchman, who grabbed a crucial last-gasp winner at Marseille before the international break, swept home from the edge of the area to give Lyon a 23rd-minute lead after Houssem Aouar's quick feet opened up the away defence. Midfielder Tanguy Ndombele won a penalty shortly before half-time, and Depay stepped up to score his 12th league goal of the season. After being in and out of the Lyon side earlier in the campaign, the former Manchester United flop has rediscovered his best with four goals in as many games for club and country. Montpellier beat Caen 3-1 and Nice saw off Troyes 2-0 as both clubs drew level on points with fifth-placed Rennes in the fight for the Europa League places. Second-placed Monaco travel to Rennes on Wednesday after losing 3-0 to Paris Saint-Germain in the League Cup final on Saturday. Lucas Ocampos and Dimitri Payet struck in the final minutes as Marseille claimed a precious 3-1 win at Dijon in Ligue 1 on Saturday. RESULTS: Guingamp 2 (Grenier 55, Diallo 59) Bordeaux 1 (Malcom 80) Troyes 0 Nice 2 (Plea 16, 83) Strasbourg 2 (Bahoken 17, Seka 80) Metz 2 (Riviere 24-pen, Mollet 46) Caen 1 (Santini 87) Montpellier 3 (Sio 21, 53, Skhiri 23) Lille 0 Amiens 1 (Mendoza 53) Nantes 0 Saint-Etienne 3 (Debuchy 17, Cabella 54, 63) Lyon 2 (Depay 23, 43) Toulouse 0 Ligue 1 table after Sunday's matches (played, won, drawn, lost, goals for, goals against, points): Paris SG           31 27  2  2 95 21 83 Monaco             30 20  6  4 74 32 66 --------------------------------------- Marseille          31 18  8  5 64 38 62 --------------------------------------- Lyon               31 17  9  5 64 36 60 --------------------------------------- Montpellier        31 10 15  6 31 26 45 Rennes             30 13  6 11 39 36 45 Nice               31 13  6 12 42 43 45 Nantes             31 12  8 11 30 33 44 Saint-Etienne      31 11  9 11 36 44 42 Guingamp           31 10  8 13 32 46 38 Dijon              31 10  8 13 44 60 38 Bordeaux           31 10  7 14 34 41 37 Angers             31  8 11 12 36 42 35 Caen               31 10  5 16 23 39 35 Amiens             31  9  7 15 26 34 34 Strasbourg         31  8  9 14 37 56 33 Toulouse           31  7  9 15 29 43 30 --------------------------------------- Troyes             31  8  5 18 25 42 29 --------------------------------------- Lille              31  7  7 17 29 49 28 Metz               31  5  7 19 29 58 22
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