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Bamba scores twice, Lille tighten grip on second in Ligue 1
PARIS, Oct. 6 -- Jonathan Bamba's brace earned Lille a strengthened grip on the second place as they overcame Bamba's former club Saint-Etienne 3-1 at home in the ninth round action of Ligue 1 on Saturday.
Bamba, who joined Lille on a free transfer during the off-season, has tallied seven goals in nine appearances this campaign.
He put Lille ahead in the 17th minute after collecting Loic Remy's pass and firing past goalkeeper Stephane Ruffier.
Remy Cabella tied the score for the visitors through a penalty nine minutes later, but Bamba stepped up again after the restart to finish his second goal of the match, moving him up along with Brazilian superstar Neymar among the leading scorers.
Bamba made more contribution late in the match, as he released Nicolas Pepe to secure Lille's fourth win in the past five matches. Pepe has also harvested six league goals so far himself.
Lille currently sit three points ahead of Montpellier, who were held to 1-1 by bottom club Guingamp after both sides saw themselves down to 10 men.
Also on Saturday, promoted teams Nimes and Reims shared no goals between them, while Amiens edged Dijon 1-0. A pair of goals from Lebo Mothiba were converted into a 2-2 draw for Strasbourg against Angers.
Leaders Paris Saint-Germain will take on Lyon at the Parc des Princes on Sunday. A win would set a new record of a nine-game winning streak since the season started in France's top-flight league.