Former Chelsea striker Salomon Kalou helped LOSC Lille Metropole shrug off their midweek Champions League humiliation at the hands of Bayern Munich, scoring the only goal in a 1-0 home win over Stade Brestois 29 on Saturday. The Ivory Coast forward volleyed home a Dimitri Payet cross on the stroke of halftime to extend Lille’s unbeaten Ligue 1 run to five games.
Last year’s league winners are now sixth in the table with 20 points from 12 matches, two behind leaders Paris Saint-Germain, who were to visit champions Montpellier Herault yesterday.
AS Saint-Etienne beat Troyes 2-0 to move up to third, level on 21 points with Valenciennes, who recovered from 2-1 down to triumph 3-2 at SC Bastia.
Seventh-placed Toulouse were surprisingly beaten 4-2 at home by mid-table AC Ajaccio, missing their second opportunity in a week to go level with PSG and second-placed Olympique de Marseille on 22 points.
Lille, who were hammered 6-1 by Bayern Munich on Wednesday, dominated against Brest and took a deserved lead through Kalou in the 45th minute.
Lille almost grabbed a 12th-minute lead, when Brest defender Bernard Mendy, under pressure from Kalou, went close to turning the ball into his own net.
Kalou was involved again seven minutes later, setting up Nolan Roux who failed to tap the ball in from point-blank.
Lille struggled to maintain their grip in the second half, but shot-shy Brest never posed much of a danger to keeper Mickael Landreau.
Saint-Etienne wasted a host of chances against Troyes before Renaud Cohade put them ahead on 46 minutes when he controlled the ball perfectly in the box to score.
Les Verts pushed hard for a second and it arrived with two minutes to go when Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang collected his eighth league goal of the season.