The Englishman added to an assist on his debut last week with another involvement as Eden Hazard slotted home to save a point for the in-form Ligue 1 championsBordeaux once again failed to hold onto a lead but at least managed to secure a 1-1 draw against Ligue 1 champions Lille in Tuesday night’s sole encounter in the French top flight.
After conceding a two-goal advantage at the weekend, Francis Gillot’s side impressed in the first half against LOSC and grabbed the lead through a Cheick Diabate penalty, but immediately after the break the visitors enjoyed the better of the play and levelled thanks to another moment of excellence from Eden Hazard. Diabate should have won the game for Bordeaux, though, but he hit the post from a second penalty.
It only took the hosts eight minutes to move into the ascendancy. Florent Balmont was somewhat harshly adjudged to have upended Diabate in the box, and from 12 yards the Mali striker converted from the spot, though the casual nature of the kick nearly allowed Mickael Landreau to save.
Lille had made some promising incursions in the opening moments of the game, but these would vanish after this set-back, and instead it was the home side who played the better football. A series of half-chances were created, though their best efforts were typically from set-plays and were typically off-target.
In the closing stages of the first period there were signs that Lille were starting to find their feet, and from a corner kick it took a remarkable double-save from Kevin Olimpa to deny first David Rozenhal and then Florent Balmont.
This proved a precursor to an improved second period performance from Rudi Garcia’s men. Hazard flashed a free kick over the top and a Joe Cole corner had to be scrambled away before the Englishman combined with the Belgian, whose close control in the box took him away from two players before placing a shot into the corner of the net.
Chances thereafter were evenly shared. A skimming drive from Benoit Tremoulinas was expertly saved by Landreau, while Diabate had a good effort kicked clear by the custodian. At the other end of the park, substitute Ireneusz Jelen lobbed over when clean through before Balmont had a strong penalty claim turned down.
Moments after referee Tony Chapron rejected Lille’s appeals, he was awarding the hosts a second penalty after Landreau’s ill-judged challenge on Fahid Ben Khalfallah. Diabate’s penalty was not nearly so nonchalant, but on this occasion it would clatter the post.
That was to be the last act of a watchable encounter that could have gone either way, yet left neither side completely satisfied with their point.