The announced boulevard is perhaps in reality a path strewn with pitfalls for Lille. In the first of its two big shocks at the end of the season against a title contender, LOSC did admirably at the Parc des Princes by pocketing a precious success against PSG (0-1). Now, apart from the “final” against Lyon at the end of the month, the rest of the opponents really seem within reach of a club more than ever in the race for the title. No direct competitor, no team playing directly for its survival: the end of the Lille season has everything of the ideal calendar. And this is the whole problem.
Because here, the LOSC has three defeats in Ligue 1 this season, all known against opponents announced as very modest. The three clubs that managed to bring down the northern leader this season, namely Brest, Angers and Nîmes, were respectively 15th, 9th and 19th in the championship at the time of their confrontation against Lille. Suffice to say that the danger for Lille this season comes mainly from their inability to take the game on their own against the regrouped blocks.
Christophe Galtier during Lille’s victory on Paris Saint-Germain’s lawn, in Ligue 1, April 3, 2021
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After the last defeat to date against Crocos fighting for their survival in the elite, coach Christophe Galtier has also underlined this weakness in the game. “Faced with low blocks, we have to bring more width and presence in the area, we have certain advantages but perhaps not all to beat different team profiles“, regretted the former coach of ASSE. Appeared very serious and applied in their defensive task against the Parisians last Saturday, the partners of a Benjamin André always so exemplary in the recovery suffer when it comes to forcing the enemy lock by creativity and placed attacks.
To remedy this, Lille can reassure themselves by telling themselves that they have got rid of other competitions that took a lot of energy from them, and that they can now focus 100% on their goal, which is no longer hidden. : the title of champion of France. An ambition that we must also know how to assume. “It can also be linked to a lack of experience and control in this situation where one is very exposed. Are we able to withstand this pressure?“Asked Christophe Galtier before Friday’s match against Metz (9pm). This is the whole question.
The Lille calendar until the end of the season:
- 33rd day: LOSC-Montpellier
- Matchday 37: LOSC-Saint-Etienne
- 38th day: Angers-LOSC
Lille qualified for the knockout stages of the Coupe de France after their success at Gazelec Ajaccio.
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The Lille leader will of course have a preponderant match against an Olympique Lyonnais who has languished in the league in recent weeks, but who remains a solid candidate for the Champions League. Before this match on April 25, the Galtier players will also have to get rid of Montpellier, which had caused them many concerns in the first leg (2-3 victory for Lille). The trap matches will be legion for the Mastiffs, since the North derby between Lensois and Lille will take place on the 36th day, in a match that could play big in the objective of Top 5 of the Blood and Gold. Finally, the last trip to Angers against the SCO, who came to win over Pierre-Mauroy in January (1-2), already promises to be very complicated.
Against all these adversaries, the LOSC will not be able to afford a misstep. “In the top four, we are perhaps the team with the least experience or mastery“, concedes Galtier, recalling all the youth of his team and the inconveniences that can go with it. Until then, it is synonymous with enthusiasm and involvement for the Mastiffs, who can dream of a new title after that of 2011. 10 years later, we will have to take this boulevard with the utmost seriousness: “To be up there to the end, you’ll have to perform well against everyone.“
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