Lille eased to a simple win at Montpellier, dominating the the first half before Valère Germain’s harsh red card just before the break effectively ended any intrigue remaining in what was a pacey, exciting encounter up to that point.
Montpellier took the lead through a bizarre error from Lille goalkeeper Leo Jardim, in one of few sorties from MHSC, but Lille were level via a snap finish from Jonathan David before half time. Germain was then dismissed after his studs caught Adam Ounas’ calf and heel area from behind.
VAR was not visibly used to review the incident despite it’s apparent innocuousness. The influential Angel Gomes’ precise skipping finish from the edge of the area before the hour was, by that point, inevitable and deservedly secured the points before David tucked home a third on the final whistle.
MONTPELLIER – 1 (Wahi 20)
Matis Carvalho, 6
Falaye Sacko, 5
Mamadou Sakho, 4
Maxime Estève, 5
Nicolas Cozza, 5
Jordan Ferri, 5
Léo Leroy, 4
Joris Chotard, 4
Arnaud Nordin, 6 – Withdrawn early with his team down to ten men but was repeatedly a threat on the counter with is pace and skill in the first half and was unlucky not to create a goal for his side.
Valère Germain, 3
Elye Wahi, 6 – In tandem with Nordin, his pace and tenacity on the counter was often a threat for LOSC in the first half an hour and he directly created the opener which he confidently side-footed home after forcing an error from Jardim. Overall, however, opportunities were limited as the game wore on.
Others: Tchato 5, Maouassa 5, Fayad 5, Souquet 5, Makouana 5.
LILLE – 3 (David 41, 95, Angel Gomes 57)
Léo Jardim, 3 – Embarrassed for the opener as a long bouncing ball encouraged him out of his goal where he was flustered by the onrushing Wahi, opting for a bizarre star jump that did seemed to have no purpose at all, allowing Wahi to side foot into an empty net. Little to do otherwise but did make one good save from a tight angle at 0-0.
Bafodé Diakité, 5
Tiago Djaló, 6
José Fonte, 5
Benjamin André, 7
Angel Gomes, 7 – Gomes, still just 22, could become a Ligue 1 22/23 breakout star as he again impressed in a withdrawn central midfield role here. His passing and movement was snappy and smart while a progressive attitude pushed Lille forward and created openings. It was his precise finish that put Lille 2-1 up.
Adam Ounas, 5 – Played an hour after coming on for Zhegrova who was subbed due to injury. Having forced his way out of Bordeaux in 2017, after a spectacular start, and seeing his developed slowed to a halt on the fringes in Naples, realising his major potential now seems unlikely. He has a lot to prove at LOSC and, despite flashes of quality here, he affected the game only minimally.
Rémy Cabella, 7 – Withdrawn with an issue on the hour but provided two neat assists beforehand and his return after injury was crucial to Lille dominating the midfield, especially in the first half before Germain’s sending off. This was another sign that Lille are getting the best of Cabella, which could be crucial for their season if he can stay fit.
Jonathan Bamba, 4
Jonathan David, 7 – Looked focused and sharp in leading the attack, adding some typically punchy close interplay as Lille dominated the first half. A smart snap finish on the turn, lunging to beat Cozza to Cabella’s neat through ball, equalised just before the break and rounded off the win late on.
Others – Zhegrova 6, Gomes 5
Ligue 1 22/23, Round 6 – 4/9/22