- Associated Press - Sunday, December 20, 2020

PARIS (AP) - Lille did enough to stay on top of the French league after drawing 0-0 at home with defending champion Paris Saint-Germain on Sunday.

PSG was without the injured Neymar, who is nursing an ankle injury, while Kylian Mbappe started on the bench and only came on for the closing stages.

“We were missing a lot of players who are usually decisive for us,” PSG coach Thomas Tuchel said. “But we did very well and controlled their counterattacks.”

A win would have moved Lille two points ahead of second-place Lyon and four points in front of PSG. After the scoreless draw, Lille only leads Lyon on goal difference with PSG one point behind them in third place.

“We’re disappointed not to have won the game, but still glad to be first,” Lille center back Jose Fonte said.



Lille’s Mike Maignan was the busier goalkeeper in the first half, saving from striker Moise Kean and making a sharp stop with his foot in stoppage time to prevent Fonte from scoring an own-goal when under pressure from PSG defender Presnel Kimpembe.

Jonathan Ikone saw his shot charged down on a rare chance for Lille.

Angel Di Maria was PSG’s most dangerous player and he did well to beat right back Zeki Celik but his cross across the goalmouth on the hour was not turned in.

Lille coach Christophe Galtier sensed the momentum was with PSG and quickly made two changes, bringing into the attack Canada forward Jonathan David and Timothy Weah - the son of Liberia President and former PSG striker George Weah.

The home side improved after that and PSG ‘keeper Keylor Navas was forced into action as he tipped over Burak Yilmaz’s shot from the edge of the penalty area for a corner.

Mbappe came on for Di Maria in the 77th minute, but Lille should have scored moments later.

Following a botched PSG corner, Lille found itself on a 4-on-1 counterattack. Kimpembe made a stunning sliding tackle to stop Yilmaz as he was running through on goal with teammates either side of him.

RENNES RECOVERING

After failing on its Champions League debut, Rennes is finding its domestic form again with Sunday’s 3-0 win at Lorient moving the club up to fifth place.

Rennes also missed out on securing a spot in the Europa League amid a run of bad form. But coach Julien Stephan’s side has bounced back with three straight wins and is level on points with fourth-place Marseille, which has a better goal difference.

After center half Damien Da Silva opened the scoring midway through the first half with a low shot, midfielder Benjamin Bourigeaud made it 2-0 midway through the second with a fine angled shot into the bottom left corner. Forward Martin Terrier rounded off the win in the 75th minute when he cut in from the left and curled the ball into the opposite corner.

OTHER GAMES

Sixth-place Montpellier lost some ground on the front-runners after drawing 2-2 at midtable Brest, with striker Andy Delort grabbing a late equalizer for Montpellier.

Monaco snapped a streak of three straight defeats with a 1-0 win at Dijon thanks to an early goal from German forward Kevin Volland, who was set up by striker partner Wissam Ben Yedder. Monaco climbed up to seventh place.

Also, it was: Saint-Etienne 2, Nimes 2; Strasbourg 0, Bordeaux 2; and Nantes 1, Angers 1.

Lyon won 4-1 at Nice on Saturday to make it 13 games unbeaten.

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More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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