Lille climb to third in Ligue 1 with derby victory

<a class="link " href="" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Edon Zhegrova;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Edon Zhegrova</a> celebrates after scoring against Lens (DENIS CHARLET)
Edon Zhegrova celebrates after scoring against Lens (DENIS CHARLET)

Edon Zhegrova struck twice on Friday as Lille opened the Ligue 1 weekend by beating neighbours Lens 2-1 to jump to third in the table.

The home victory at a full Stade Pierre-Mauroy took Lille ahead of Monaco, who travel to Metz on Saturday, on goal difference, and one point behind Brest who visit Lorient on Sunday.

Lille also have a quarter-final of the Europa League Conference to contend with against Aston Villa (on April 11 and 18).

Zhegrova beat the Lens offside trap in the ninth minute, sidestepped Facundo Medina and beat Brice Samba at the near post.

Zhegrova added a second on the hour, side-footing the rebound after Samba parried a shot from Gabriel Gudmundsson.

Elye Wahi, who came on for Lens after the second goal, gave the visitors hope after 78 minutes as he skipped through the Lille defence to cut the gap to one goal.

On Sunday, Kylian Mbappe is set to sample the fiercest rivalry in French football for the final time before his expected departure at the end of the season as Paris Saint-Germain make the trip to Marseille.

There is no love lost between the two biggest clubs in France, even if Marseille have struggled to compete with PSG for honours since the Qatari takeover of the capital side over a decade ago.

The Parisians come into this game with a huge 12-point lead at the top of the table from nearest challengers Brest with just eight matches remaining, meaning Mbappe is surely certain to win a sixth title in seven seasons with the club.