Lille secured at least a play-off place in the Europa Conference League (C4) by winning 2-0 on the field of the Slovenian Olimpija Ljubljana on Thursday evening during the fifth and penultimate day of the phase of chicken.
Lille, winners thanks to goals from Cabella (15) and Yazici (75), are still first in group A with one point ahead of Slovan Bratislava, and will play their direct qualification for the round of 16 during the last home day against Faroe Islands club KI Klaksvik on December 14. If they finished second, they would face the third in a Europa League group (C3) in a two-way play-off, the winner of which would qualify for the round of 16 of the C4.
In the rain and on a lawn in poor condition, Paulo Fonseca's players scored a first goal in the first period by Rémy Cabella, in two stages, on an action on the right side of Kosovar Edon Zhegrova (15th). The Northerners, authors of a very solid match in difficult conditions, almost doubled the score in the 23rd minute by Zhegrova whose cross shot from the left at the entrance to the penalty area was superbly diverted for a corner by the Slovenian goalkeeper Denis Pintol (23rd).
In the second half, Lille striker Yusuf Yazici had a goal disallowed for offside after viewing the VAR. The Turk, very lively on Thursday evening, once again almost found the opening with a beautiful shot from the left outside the area, deflected by Pintol (69th), before definitively freeing his team with a cross shot from left (75th). On the last day Slovan Bratislava will host Olimpija Ljubljana, which is eliminated.
With this European victory, Lille confirms its brilliant form: the Northerners remain on a series of seven matches without defeat in Ligue 1, eleven including the C4. Paulo Fonseca's players rely on an iron defense which allowed them to move up to fourth place in the championship, one point from the podium.