Lille pleased with Champions League place
Lille coach Rudi Garcia is determined to go for Ligue 1 glory after his club ensured their place in next season's UEFA Champions League qualifiers with a 2-1 win at Saint-Etienne last night.
The victory means Lille can now finish no lower than third, and they remain in pole position for the Ligue 1 title, leading Marseille by seven points ahead of OM's home clash with Brest tonight.
Both Marseille and third-placed Lyon will have played two more games by the time Lille are next in league action, with Garcia's men taking on Paris Saint-Germain in the French Cup final on Saturday, and the title picture could be much clearer by then.
Lille came from a goal behind at the Stade Geoffroy Guichard last night thanks to goals from Tulio De Melo and Rio Mavuba.
The Lille coach said: "The preliminary rounds of the Champions League were our target. We have kept our lead over Marseille and Lyon, we'll watch them play tomorrow and Sunday.
"Now that we got what we wanted - namely finishing in third place as a minimum - we would like to ensure direct access to the Champions League [by finishing first or second].
"We also have an ambition to be the champions of France. But let us not go too quickly. Mathematically, nothing has been decided yet."
Michel Seydoux, the president and chairman of Lille, added: "For now, we have secured third place, which is the big news. But what I remember most is the beautiful game.
"We still have some way to go between the cup final and the last three league matches. We have a close-knit group, united, advancing together."
Lille midfielder Idrissa Gueye felt the club had already far exceeded their pre-season expectations. "We are already proud to at least participate in the preliminary round of the Champions League," he said.
"At the start of the season, our goal was the top five. Now we are assured of the top three. We will see later if we can get even better."