Rudi Garcia's offensive approach paid dividends as he watched his side battle back from conceding first to rout their guestsLille came from behind to beat Olympique Lyonnais 3-1 in Ligue 1 at the Stadium Lille Metropole on Sunday evening.
An early strike from Jimmy Briand gave les Gones the advantage, but a goal on the stroke of half-time from Moussa Sow restored parity. Lille were the stronger of the two outfits after the interval, and they reaped the rewards of an astute tactical change with Marko Basa heading into the net on 64 minutes. Joe Cole rounded off the win, capping off a fine move to seal victory seven minutes from time.
Following a week of European disappointment for the two clubs, the impetus was on both sides to edge closer to the summit of the table following PSG's comfortable win over Dijon earlier in the day.
Rudi Garcia's men hit the ground running in the early exchanges, but almost went behind following a defensive mix-up involving Rio Mavuba and Frank Beria.
Despite les Dogues' advances, it was Lyon who struck the first blow after 20 minutes. Yoann Gourcuff, recently back from a lengthy injury, carved out as superb opening as he found Briand on the wing. The former Rennes man beat his marker with ease before firing a shot under Mickael Landreau's legs to make it 1-0.
On the stroke of half-time, Lille's perseverance was to be rewarded. From a corner, Basa's header unsettled Lloris, who dropped the ball into the path of Sow. The Senegalese striker backheeled inventively to restore parity as the sides trudged back into the dressing rooms on level terms following a lively first period.
After the break, Kim Kallstrom, scorer of a late equaliser when the sides last met in the league, threatened Landreau with a 25 yard effort, with the alert goalkeeper punching the strike away.
Lille were far more enterprising in the second period and were unlucky not to have taken the lead during a period of dominating play. Florent Balmont set through substitute Joe Cole on the right wing, with the Englishman's pin-point cross a stretch too far for Basa.
Garcia's tactical change to withdraw Idrissa Gueye for the on-loan Liverpool man might've raised a few eyebrows, but the substitution proved to be an astute one as Lille took hold of the game. From a set-piece, Dimitri Payet floated a ball behind the defence, with Basa out-jumping Bakary Kone and heading into the corner on 64 minutes.
It should've been 3-1 soon after. Another capitulation in midfield by the visitors allowed Sow to make headway, feeding Hazard on the left. The 20-year-old displayed some trickery before firing a teasing low shot at Lloris. Payet was withdrawn soon after for Benoit Pedretti with the hosts reverting back to their usual 4-3-3.
Lille rounded off the win, with a superbly worked goal. Cole set through Moussa Sow with a neat through ball, with the striker reciprocating the favour and finding the Englishman for a tap-in on 83 minutes.
Following the win, Lille move into this spot in the standings, leapfrogging OL in the process. They play Sedan in the Coupe de La Ligue on Wednesday. Remi Garde's side face Saint-Etienne in the cup before entertaining the same side again on Saturday.