Lille rescue point at Nice in Ligue 1 opener

Lille defender Bafode Diakite grabbed a late leveller at Nice (Valery HACHE)

Nice and Lille battled out a 1-1 draw on Friday as the wraps came off the new-look Ligue 1 season on Friday.

Gaetan Laborde earned a minor footnote in the history of the French topflight by scoring the first goal of the 2023/24 campaign.

The Nice forward’s 19th minute close range effort put the Ineos-owned south coast club in control and en route to give their new coach Francesco Farioli the perfect start to his tenure.

Farioli is the club’s third coach this year after Didier Digard who took over from Lucien Favre in January.

But his perfect start was spoiled when Bafode Diakite struck in the fourth minute of injury time to grab the visitors a share of the points.

Nice are looking to improve after a disappointing ninth place last term, while Lille came in fifth.

On Saturday Paris Saint-Germain begin their quest for a 10th title in 12 years with Kylian Mbappe’s future casting a dark cloud over their pre-season build-up.

New manager Luis Enrique’s champions host Lorient without their superstar forward. Also missing from the Parc des Princes are Neymar, with Lionel Messi having left for Inter Miami during the summer.

Ligue 1 sports a new look this campaign as it has been reduced to 18 clubs.

The move, after over two decades with 20 teams in the top flight, has been made with the aim of helping French clubs become more competitive in Europe by having fewer league games.



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