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Lille down Caen to book Champions League place
Published : 07 May 2012 20:16:55
Reigning champions Lille secured a place in next season's Champions League and closed to within two points of Ligue 1 leaders Paris Saint-Germain by comfortably winning 3-0 at home to Caen on Monday.
Tulio de Melo opened the scoring from the penalty spot in the 26th minute after Eden Hazard was felled by Caen goalkeeper Alexis Thebaux and the Brazilian striker doubled his tally 10 minutes later by rising to head home from a corner.
Dimitri Payet made it 3-0 from Hazard's pass -- the Belgian's 15th assist of the season -- on the hour, before De Melo was denied a hat-trick when his half-volley cannoned back off the crossbar.
As well as securing at least a top-three finish, victory took Lille to within two points of leaders PSG and second-placed Montpellier, who will bid to reclaim top spot from PSG when they visit fifth-placed Rennes in Monday's late game.
PSG moved ahead of Rene Girard's side on goals scored by storming back from 2-0 down to win 4-3 at Valenciennes on Sunday evening, but a win for Montpellier at Rennes will restore their three-point lead with two matches to play.
Auxerre sank to the foot of the table after crashing 4-2 at home to Bordeaux, who opened the scoring through Yoan Gouffran after 13 seconds and were 3-0 up inside nine minutes thanks to a further goal from Gouffran and a Ludovic Sane header.
The defeat left Auxerre two points from safety, while Sochaux jumped from the bottom of the table to 17th place after an 85th-minute Sebastien Roudet strike secured a potentially priceless 1-0 win at home to Nancy.
Dijon sit second-bottom, a point above Auxerre and level with third-bottom Brest, after they registered a goalless draw at Lorient.
Nice's trip to Toulouse also ended goalless, while Saint-Etienne's Europa League push was checked by a 0-0 stalemate at home to Marseille.