Monday, January 17 2022

Lille criticised the state of the pitch at their own Stade Pierre-Mauroy after the struggling Ligue 1 champions were held to a 1-1 draw by Nantes on Saturday, while second-placed Nice lost at home to bottom club Metz.

Jocelyn Gourvennec’s Lille, who are top of their Champions League group, sit 12th in Ligue 1 and are winless in six league matches.

Burak Yilmaz gave them an early lead against Nantes before Ludovic Blas’s 24th-minute leveller.

Visiting full-back Fabio was sent off with 12 minutes remaining, but the in-form Jonathan David missed the resulting penalty.

Lille’s players and Gourvennec turned their ire towards the turf after the game.

“It’s hard to play out from the back when you’re being pressed on a pitch like that,” said Lille coach Gourvennec.

“I don’t like to talk about it, but it’s a fact. What’s the solution? I don’t know. We often talk about it with the president.

“It’s a real problem — we don’t have a good quality pitch. Apart from making observations, I don’t know what I can do. Do we need an investment? I don’t know.”

Nice missed the chance to close to within eight points of league leaders Paris Saint-Germain as they slumped to a 1-0 defeat by Metz.

It was only Metz’s second league win of the campaign and draws them level on points with second-bottom Saint-Etienne, who host PSG on Sunday.

Nice take on PSG on Wednesday but by then could be 14 points off the pace.

jc/mw

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