Yilmaz on fire as Lille edge closer to Ligue 1 title with Lens win

Lille edged closer to its first Ligue 1 title in 10 years, defeating RC Lens 3-0.

Lille's Jonathan David celebrates with team-mates after scoring the third goal. - REUTERS

Lille edged closer to its first Ligue 1 title in 10 years as a Burak Yilmaz double inspired it to a 3-0 win in the derby of the North at 10-man RC Lens on Friday.

Yilmaz struck a penalty and a stunner in the first half with Jonathan David adding another after the break to put Lille on 79 points with two games left, four ahead of champion Paris St Germain which plays its game in hand at Stade Rennais on Sunday.

MATCH CENTRE

Promoted Lens slipped down to sixth on 56 points, behind Olympique de Marseille, which travels to St Etienne on Sunday, on goal difference.

Lille, last crowned champions in 2011, is looking to become the second club other than PSG to clinch the Ligue 1 title since 2013. Third-placed Monaco, on 71 points, and fourth-placed Olympique Lyonnais, 70, are now likely to battle it out for no more than a top-three finish for a Champions League spot.

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“We knew it would be a tough game because Lens are a very good team but things went our way, especially thanks to that early penalty,” coach Christophe Galtier told a news conference.

“I’m convinced that we will need to win our last two games to be champions.”

 

Lille was awarded an early penalty following a VAR review after Jonathan Clauss and Seko Fofana appeared to bring down Jonathan Bamba in the area, with Turkey striker Yilmaz converting to put the visitors ahead on four minutes. Michelin then picked up two yellow cards in quick succession and was sent off in the 35th minute, leaving his side with a mountain to climb against the best defence in the league.

It took Lille only five minutes to capitalise as Yilmaz fired a 25-metre missile into the top corner to double the advantage. David added a third on the hour as he sent a half-volley into the net after Jean-Louis Leca had parried Bamba’s shot into his path.

Lille, now unbeaten in its last 13 away games, next hosts St Etienne before ending its season at Angers.

After its trip to Rennes, PSG will host Stade de Reims and travel to Brest.

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