LOSC Lille Métropole 3-0 Genoa CFC
Goals from Ludovic Obraniak, Robert Vittek and Eden Hazard saw the French hosts surge to the top of Group B with a handsome win.
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LOSC Lille Métropole surged to the top of UEFA Europa League Group B after goals from Ludovic Obraniak, Robert Vittek and Eden Hazard secured a superb 3-0 victory over Genoa CFC.
If the Serie A outfit enjoyed the better of the opening stages, Lille dominated the remainder of the contest and the result never seemed in doubt from the moment Obraniak broke the deadlock on 38 minutes. Vittek stroked in a second after the hour before substitute Hazard added the gloss to fine display by rounding off a superb run with a crisp finish. Lille will travel to Italy for the return on 5 November as the section leaders on seven points, while Genoa lie third, four points behind.
Les Dogues boast an impressive record in their current home having lost just one of their 15 European ties there, yet they took time to find their stride. Indeed, the Rossoblù carved the game's first two openings, Sergio Floccari hooking Domenico Criscito's cross wide on 17 minutes before heading tamely at Ludovic Butelle moments later. Lille soon stirred, however, the lively Obraniak testing Marco Amelia to spark the first period of pressure from the hosts.
Vittek had already looped a header straight at the Genoa goalkeeper when Florent Balmont's square ball presented him with a golden chance, but the Slokakian international failed to beat the onrushing Amelia. Genoa's defence ceded before the interval, Obraniak converting Vittek's cross with a deft, looping header. With confidence flowing, the French outfit took the game away from Gian Piero Gasperini's side with a dynamic second-half display.
Amelia denied Vittek immediately after the restart before Cabaye rifled over. The all-important second goal arrived on 63 minutes as Vittek latched on to Jerry Vandam's centre and slotted home. A comeback never looked likely, and Hazard's superb strike on 84 minutes ensured the points stayed in northern France.