Lille maintains push for 2nd place with 3-1 win at Caen

PARIS (AP) Lille maintained its push for second place and an automatic Champions League spot next season with a 3-1 win at Caen on Friday.

Lille's slick attack was too much for Caen and it was 2-0 after 20 minutes, thanks to goals from club top scorer Nicolas Pepe and 19-year-old Portuguese Rafael Leao.

Pepe's 13th league goal matches his tally from last season.

Even the sending off of Turkish defender Zeki Celik 10 minutes from the end did not hold Lille back.

Three minutes into injury time, Brazilian forward Luiz Araujo swept home confidently from close range after swapping passes with the irrepressible Pepe in a fine, flowing move. Striker Casimir Ninga pulled one back for Caen moments later.

Lille is 10 points behind league leader Paris Saint-Germain, having played three games more and four points ahead of third-place Lyon, having played one more.

In Friday's other match, forward Bertrand Traore equalized for Lyon in 1-1 home draw with seventh-place Reims. Lyon has won only four of its past nine home games in Ligue 1.

PSG, which went out of the League Cup in a shock defeat to struggling Guingamp on Wednesday , is at lowly Amiens on Saturday.

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Updated January 11, 2019