Victory cushions Lille at summit
© AFP

Ligue 1 leaders Lille moved provisionally seven points clear at the summit with a comfortable 3-1 win over Caen at Stade Metropole. Yohan Cabaye missed a first-half penalty for the hosts, but strikes from Aurelien Chedjou, Eden Hazard and Moussa Sow secured the points to mark a week that saw manager Rudi Garcia handed a new contract in fine style.

"The nice surprise was that Rennes and Paris didn't win [today]. We did our job, we're now going to calmly await Lyon and Marseille's results," said Rudi Garcia, whose side achieved their fourth straight success.

Youssef El Arabi got a late consolation for Caen who remain just a few places above the relegation zone. The leaders unsurprisingly started in confident mood with Gervinho firing just wide and and Sow forcing Thomas Bosmel into an agile save. Gervinho then headed inches wide and Sow was narrowly off target as they piled on the pressure.

The nice surprise was that Rennes and Paris didn't win [today]. We did our job, we're now going to calmly await Lyon and Marseille's results.
Rudi Garcia, Lille coach

Cabaye should have given them the lead after 25 minutes when Romain Inez brought Gervinho down in the box, but he fired his penalty straight at Bosmel. However, they did lead five minutes later as Cabaye's corner picked out Chedjou who headed home.

Sow then hit the woodwork with a fine lob attempt, before Rajiv Van La Parra forced Mickael Landreau into a save at the other end as Caen had a rare attacking foray.

Lille extended their lead just after the hour as Mathieu Debuchy's shot deflected into Hazard's pass for the Belgian to finish beautifully. Sow made the game safe with 16 minutes to play as Gervinho crossed for the striker to nod home his 20th goal of the season. El Arabi turned in an Inez cross on the volley late on for Caen, but it was a mere consolation.