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Garcia coy on Lille title talk
Published : 02 Apr 2012 14:16:58
Rudi Garcia played down talk that Lille have re-entered the Ligue 1 title race after seeing his side close to within four points of leaders Montpellier and second-placed Paris Saint-Germain.
Garcia led Lille to a league and French Cup double last season and Sunday's 2-1 win at home to Toulouse has given the club's fans reason to hope that their title defence is not yet over.
Montpellier, though, have a game in hand on both Lille and PSG, and Garcia believes the top two remain favourites for the Ligue 1 crown.
"We will keep fighting, just as we decided to do before we played Lorient (a 1-0 away win in February)," he said.
"At that time, people were saying we had no chance of winning the title but we will take each game as it comes.
"If Paris or Montpellier slip up, we need to make sure we win our games to take advantage. But logic suggests either Paris or Montpellier will win the title."
The victory over Toulouse was Lille's third consecutive league win and allowed them to open up a six-point lead over both Toulouse and Lyon in the fight for the third and final Champions League qualification place.
Garcia has long insisted that securing third place is his primary objective and he was delighted to see his side prevail against one of their closest pursuers.
"Toulouse were a direct rival and were three points behind us," said Garcia.
"We knew how important this game was, especially for them. Even if we had failed to win, we would still have been third, but it was better to win the game."
Eden Hazard was Lille's match-winner against Toulouse, breaking the deadlock with a 12th-minute penalty -- his 14th league goal of the season -- and then teeing up Dimitri Payet for the second goal in the 31st minute.
Lille visit relegation-threatened Brest on Saturday, while their run-in also includes a home game with PSG on April 29 and a trip to Montpellier on the penultimate weekend of the season.