Lille find harmony in on-song strikers

PARIS - Resurgent Lille think they have found the key to unlocking the tight Ligue 1 race in strikers Moussa Sow and Gervinho and Sunday's match against Monaco offers the duo the chance to score in three successive matches.

With eight goals in two matches, Lille have climbed to second in the table from eighth with 21 points and have Sow and Gervinho to thank for six of those strikes.

"When we get in harmony, we enjoy ourselves, we get on track, and there you have it," Ivory Coast international Gervinho said after last weekend's 5-2 demolition of Caen.

Lille are one point behind leaders Brest in a tightly-packed table where first and 19th are separated by just eight points.

Sow, who scored a first-half hat-trick in Saturday's victory, became the league's joint top scorer with Caen forward Youssef El Arabi on nine goals.

"I am getting better every year. It feels good, I play for the team and I keep learning," said the 24-year-old Senegal international.

Lille coach Rudi Garcia, whose side have returned to their flamboyant style of play of last season, is delighted with Sow.

"Not a lot of players are like him. He can play anywhere in our attack," he said of the player who signed from Rennes in the close season.

Olympique Lyon are another team who are back in the game after a 1-0 victory over Nice last week lifted them to eighth place before Sunday's trip to Racing Lens.

"We are silencing the critics. People say we had a bad start to our season and now here we are, three points shy of the leaders," said Lyon winger Jeremy Pied.

Leaders Brest travel to fifth-placed Stade Rennes on Saturday, while third-placed Montpellier face injury-hit Nice.

Also on Saturday, fourth-placed Paris Saint-Germain host struggling Caen and champions Olympique Marseille, who lie sixth on 19 points, visit Toulouse.