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African All Stars

Pepe, Bamba outshine Alioui as Lille edge Nimes in five-goal thriller

23:50 GMT+3 16/12/2018
Nicolas Pepe, Jonathan Bamba - Lille
The African stars were on target at the Stade des Costieres as Lille held on to the maximum points with 10 men

Rachid Alioui's effort was not enough as Nicolas Pepe and Jonathan Bamba led Lille to a 3-2 victory over Nimes on Sunday.

The visitors started well with Rafael Leao's opener in the fourth minute but were reduced to 10 men after Jose Fonte's expulsion in the 16th minute.

Despite the setback, Bamba doubled his side's lead just four minutes before half-time.

The Ivorian increased his tally to eight goals for the Great Danes as he continues his impressive form this season.

After the restart, Bamba set Pepe up for Lille's third goal in the 66th minute.

The effort put him levelled as joint top scorer in the Ligue 1 alongside Kylian Mbappe and Emiliano Sala with 12 goals in 18 games.

Two minutes later, Morocco's Alioui, introduced as a 47th-minute substitute, pulled a goal back for Nimes before Clement Depres reduced the deficit for the hosts with a late effort.

The win moved Lille to the second spot in the French top-flight with 34 points from 18 games.

Next up for them is a home game against Toulouse on Saturday while Nimes take on Rennes on the same day after Wednesday's Coupe de la Ligue encounter against Le Havre.