By Chris Burke
AS Monaco FC gave their hopes of qualifying automatically for next season's UEFA Champions League a significant boost by defeating high-flying LOSC Lille Métropole 2-0 at home in Ligue 1's Sunday game.
A tense first half with very few chances reflected how much was at stake in this rearranged fixture, with second-placed Lille aiming to extend or at least conserve their four-point advantage over third-placed Monaco. An early injury to defender Grégory Tafforeau complicated the visitors' task, but they were rarely troubled and restricted Monaco to a speculative shot from Souleymane Camara which went wide.
A long-range effort from Lucas Bernardi soon after the interval signalled the home side's ambition, and they made the breakthrough when Sébastien Squillaci jumped highest to head in Ernesto Chevantón's free-kick on 65 minutes. Lille's Efstathios Tavlaridis was sent off in added time before Emmanuel Adebayor headed Monaco's second goal and sealed a precious win.
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