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The spoils – and the disappointment – were shared in northern France as LOSC Lille Métropole and Trabzonspor AŞ failed to conjure the goal that would have booked them a UEFA Champions League round of 16 berth as Group B runners-up.
Both teams knew victory would take them through, and for much of the game it looked as if a stalemate would also suffice for the visitors. PFC CSKA Moskva's late winner against FC Internazionale Milano changed everything, however, providing a bitter sting in the tail after Trabzonspor had resisted everything the French champions could throw at them. They will have to console themselves with a berth in the UEFA Europa League round of 32; Lille's European season is over.
Rudi Garcia's men gave their all, the front four fizzing rapid passes into dangerous areas from the start. Dimitri Payet looked especially alert early on, inviting Moussa Sow to shoot from the right side of the area. Tolga Zengin comfortably gathered that attempt and opposite number Mickaël Landreau then did likewise to deny Alanzinho. The French No1 was left craning his neck as Burak Yılmaz grazed the crossbar from distance.
That was a warning for the home side, and they stepped up their menace via Eden Hazard, the fleet-footed Belgian international obliging Tolga to plunge superbly to his left after a thrilling run and shot before firing wide following a one-two with Moussa Sow. Tolga impressed again to keep out Florent Balmont at full stretch and Joe Cole missed the target as the Lille pressure mounted – but the half was goalless.
Les Dogues continued where they left off after the break, with Tolga parrying a swerving Hazard effort and Marko Baša heading off-target from a corner. Trabzonspor were not giving up their provisional grip on second spot lightly and Mathieu Debuchy and Cole both had shots blocked in extremis.
The 3,000-strong visiting contingent offered rousing support as their qualification dream took on increasingly tangible form, and their heroes responded by pushing Lille further back. Halil Altıntop was particularly busy, while Didier Zokora was a harrying presence in midfield, but it was the collective effort that impressed above all as Hazard and Co lost their zip.
Chances even began to crop up at the other end, with Landreau needing to keep out substitute Adrian Mierzejewski. That proved decisive for Trabzonspor after CSKA found the net for the second time in Italy.
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