Monaco stalls Lille's title bid
Lille's title aspirations suffered an unlikely setback as they were defeated 1-0 at relegation-threatened Monaco. Monaco began the day in the drop zone, but Park Chu Young's goal after ten minutes was enough to beat the leaders, whose challenge was further unhinged by the 37th-minute dismissal of Gervinho.
Lille's loss means their closest challengers Marseille can bridge the four-point gap at the top when they host mid-table Toulouse tomorrow. For Monaco their third victory in four games saw them not only jump out of the bottom three, but also rise four places to 14th in a congested group at the foot of the table.
Lille threatened first when Yohan Cabaye's free-kick forced Stephane Ruffier into action, but the away side were behind soon after following some bad defending. Adil Rami was the culprit as his clearance was swooped on by Park who then had the composure to dribble past goalkeeper Mickael Landreau and stroke his shot into an empty net.
The shock of falling behind was compounded for Lille after 37 minutes when Gervinho was given his marching order. The Ivory Coast international was fouled by Adriano, but earned the ire of the referee after he retaliated to the infringement by pushing the defender in the back.
However, Lille offered hope they could get back in the game when Moussa Sow forced a save from Ruffier after finding space in the area. It proved a false dawn, however, as Monaco controlled the second period with their man advantage.
Park almost made the visitors pay for some reckless defending again, Florent Balmont this time making the error, but Landreau made a fine reflex save. The closest Lille came was when Cabaye tried his luck from long-range, but Ruffier was up to the task as Monaco moved a point clear of danger.