Last-gasp Lille stay top
A stoppage-time goal from Tulio De Melo spared Lille's blushes as the Ligue 1 leaders snatched a narrow 1-0 victory over ten-man Arles Avignon.
The basement side put in a gutsy performance and looked to have done enough to share the points despite the second-half dismissal of Jamel Ait Ben Idir. But De Melo scored four minutes into stoppage time to ensure Lille maintain their one-point advantage at the top while leaving Arles eight points adrift at the bottom.
Despite the obvious gulf between the two teams, Arles ran at their opponents from the start with Franck Beria forcing a superb save from goalkeeper Mickael Landreau just two minutes into the contest. Bakary Soro also came close for the home side four minutes later with a volley which only just cleared the crossbar.
Lille had to wait 26 minutes for their first glimpse of goal, a left-footed strike from Eden Hazard which was turned away by Arles goalkeeper Cyrille Merville. And Moussa Sow came even closer six minutes before the break with a strike which swerved inches wide.
Lille had another opening at the start of the second half with Merville making a fine save to keep out Pierre-Alain Frau's fierce drive. And things looked to be going the visitors' way after 53 minutes when Ait Ben Idir was shown a second yellow card for a poor challenge on Florent Balmont.
Sow then sent an overhead kick wide of the mark as Lille looked to make their man advantage count, but Arles continued to fight and Gael Germany tried his luck with a first-time shot which had to be palmed away by Landreau.
With the whistle approaching, it seemed Arles would pick up a deserved point against the leaders. But Lille stole the points in stoppage time when Emerson supplied a ball into the area which De Melo headed home.