Even if this 1-1 draw seems like a banal result, in reality it is historic. First for LOSC, since it is the club’s first qualification for the quarter-finals of a European competition, a notable achievement even if it is “only” the C4. But above all, this score was the last piece of the puzzle started by PSG a week earlier. By joining the next round, Lille is the third French team after Paris, and Marseille a few minutes before kick-off at Pierre Mauroy, to reach the quarters of a European Cup. This hasn’t happened since the 2003/2004 season, and Monaco’s epics in the Champions League final against Porto, who defeated Lyon in the quarterfinals. OM in the final of the UEFA Cup (former Europa League) against Valencia, who also beat Bordeaux in the quarterfinals. This is therefore a first in 20 years, rare enough to note.

After losing sharply 3-0 in the first leg at home, the Austrians could have gone to Pierre Mauroy with morale in their socks. But no. The Blakies showed themselves from the start by picking up the Mastiffs in their camp, and created a few entry opportunities, putting Lille in difficulty. For 90 minutes, they looked their opponent in the eye and even after conceding the opener, they reacted immediately thanks to Wuthrich’s furious header from a corner, deflected by Biereth to whom the goal was awarded. The climb seemed impossible, so their mission for the day was successful, that of not losing out in the north of France.


Placed at the forefront of the Lille attack, Yusuf Yazici was a tone below the others this Thursday evening. Very quickly, he missed some of his checks and passes, like when Cabella called on him to play a one-two and he backtracked ten meters behind him, making the ball unplayable for his teammate. Without inspiration, he even attempted an acrobatic gesture at the entrance to the area in the 34th minute, missing the ball and breaking his face in the process. But above all, he prevented the Mastiffs from opening the score for the first time. Cabella had found the fault, but Yazici stood in the path of the ball and deflected it into the goal, in an offside position. Not a great evening for the Turk.

With a three-goal lead at kick-off, and in mind the match against Brest second in Ligue 1 on Sunday at 1 p.m., Lille had not made this return match against Sturm Graz one of its priorities. And it was felt. 5 starters started the match on the bench, and not the least. Benjamin André, Lucas Chevalier, Jonathan David, Angel Gomes, Lenny Yoro, all were on the bench, preserved for the big championship event this weekend. In the game, Lille was content to maintain their advantage, which made for a boring, even insipid, match. Although the reasons for this turnover and caution are understandable, the game has taken a hit.