Rennes’ Clement Grenier, 2nd left, reacts at the end of a French League One Soccer match between Rennes and Lille at the Roazhon Park stadium in Rennes, France, Sunday Jan. 24, 2021. (AP Photo/David Vincent)

Rennes’ Clement Grenier, 2nd left, reacts at the end of a French League One Soccer match between Rennes and Lille at the Roazhon Park stadium in Rennes, France, Sunday Jan. 24, 2021. (AP Photo/David Vincent)

David scores as Lille wins 1-0 to stay level with leader PSG

21-year-old has four league goals

PARIS — Jonathan David’s early goal was enough to help second-place Lille secure a 1-0 win at Rennes on Sunday and stay level on points with league leader Paris Saint-Germain.

The Canada forward pounced in the 15th minute after goalkeeper Romain Salin failed to properly clear a corner, and the ball fell to him to sweep into the left side of the net.

After a slow start to his Lille career, the 21-year-old David has four league goals.

David made a sharp run behind the Rennes defence midway through the first half and was awarded a penalty after being knocked over by defender Nayef Aguerd.

But referee Eric Wattellier reversed the decision after a video replay showed that David was fractionally offside when making his move, and rescinded the yellow card shown to Aguerd.

The home side threatened little after the break and it was a comfortable win for Lille, which trails defending champion PSG on goal difference after 21 rounds.

Rennes midfielder Clement Grenier made a strong claim about Wattellier’s attitude after the match.

“He speaks out of turn, says aggressive things during the game,” Grenier told broadcaster Canal Plus. “Throughout the match he’s telling me that he’ll referee against us.”

PSG and Lille remain two points ahead of third-place Lyon, which won 5-0 at local rival Saint-Etienne. Forward Tino Kadewere and centre half Marcelo scored twice, while Memphis Depay created three goals.

After Kadewere struck from close range in the 15th following Depay’s corner, Marcelo headed home in the 35th and 58th from free kicks taken by right back Leo Dubois.

Saint-Etienne coach Claude Puel had to field an inexperienced side because several players were unable to play after contracting the coronavirus.

Lyon took full advantage as Kadewere grabbed his second of the night, scoring in the 67th after again being set up by Depay. That took Kadewere’s tally to four against Saint-Etienne this season — he scored both in a 2-1 home victory back in November.

Saint-Etienne’s night got even worse when substitute striker Denis Bouanga scored at the wrong end, with his own goal from Depay’s free kick making it 5-0 in the 81st.

Puel’s side is languishing in 16th place.

OTHER MATCHES

Hwang Ui-jo made it three goals in two games for Bordeaux with an early brace in a 2-1 home win against Angers. The South Korea forward also netted last weekend for Les Girondins.

Former France coach Raymond Domenech’s stint in charge of Nantes is proving difficult.

After three straight draws, his team lost 2-0 at mid-table Metz, with Belgian striker Aaron Leya Iseka and French midfielder Farid Boulaya getting the goals.

Also, Reims beat Brest 1-0, while Dijon and Strasbourg played to a 1-1 draw.

PSG routed Montpellier 4-0 at home on Friday with Kylian Mbappe scoring twice.

By The Associated Press

soccer

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