There was certainly all manners of controversy in the Ligue 1 game against Dijon and Lille at the weekend when things really turned nasty as both teams ended up with 10 players each and it could have been much worse.
Indeed the amount of fouls, bookings and the two red cards felt like it overshadowed a game in which Dijon surprised their hosts and won 1-0.
Hamza Mendyl from Dijon set the tone of the game for roughing up his opponent with a terrible foul and the referee saw no option but to give the player a straight red card. This happened as early as the 11th minute and Mendyl at that point seemed like he would lose the game for Dijon as he went off.
With 20 minutes to go though Lille could not find the extra man advantage and then had one of their players sent off as Boubakary Soumare was booked twice and shown the red card for tripping.
The only goal of the game came just after the second half got under way when Julio Tavares latched on to a ball and struck well. Tavares is underrated in Europe and he has scored some very important goals for the club although that was only his 4th of the season.
Christophe Galtier the Lille manager said: “I’m mad. Once again, we lose against a team . Dijon wanted more, Dijon put the desire, the determination that we missed. We played the long ball at eleven against ten, without taking advantage of it, and we conceded a goal on a long touch, two minutes after the start of the second period. It is a problem of concentration, of investment. We also lack determination in the offensive field. We have goals in us but if we continue to lose so often away against teams that play defence, it will be difficult to reach them. The team has qualities, but it lacks character.”
Stephane Jobard was obviously the happier of the two coaches in a very heated match. “We made a good start, but the expulsion of Hamza Mendyl after twenty minutes changed things. We suffered, but the team was very selfless, and they managed to score and keep their advantage. We could have scored a second goal, the match could have turned to the advantage of Lille at the end of the match. We wanted to start 2020 with a win.”
The result leaves Dijon in 16th place with 21 points and Lille are in 5th with 31 points but the latest defeat means they have slipped 10 points behind 2nd place Marseille.
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