Gervinho-inspired Lille pull clear

Lille pulled four points clear of Paris Saint Germain at the top of the French first division on Wednesday courtesy of a 3-0 win over Nancy, with Ivorian international Gervinho bagging a brace.

Impressive in a 2-0 victory over Nice on the resumption after the winter recess last weekend Lille, who have the best attack in the league, maintained their fine run to move on to 38 points with this their third win of the year. For Nancy this loss in a game held over from earlier in the season was their fourth defeat on the road, leaving them in midtable.

Nancy did well to go into the break on level terms, especially after Lille's Yohan Cabaye had a 40th minute penalty saved by Nancy keeper Damien Gregorini. The spot kick was awarded after an ill-judged challenge by Nancy midfielder Pascal Berenguer on Florent Balmont.

Just as he had done on Saturday against Nice Gervinho opened the scoring with the first leg of his brace seven minutes after the restart. The omnipresent African star, set up for the opener by Cabaye, was at the heart of Lille's second two minutes later when feeding Eden Hazard who did well to slip his marker.

And for good measure Gervinho rounded off an encouraging night's work both for him and his highflying club with his second just after the hour to seal Lille's tenth win of the campaign. The match was preceded by a minute's applause in memory of Lille fan Vincent Delory, who with his friend Antoine De Leocour was killed on 8 January after the pair were kidnapped in Niger.