Lille was unable to overcome a stout Toulouse side, preparing for its vital Champions League encounter against CSKA Moscow with a 0-0 Ligue 1 draw in the Haute-Garonne department.
Moussa Sow had the best opportunity of the match, but he contrived to miss a penalty kick five minutes after the break, with goalkeeper Ali Ahamada the home hero by making the block.
As is typical of Toulouse encounters, the opening stages were cagey, with the home side eager not to give anything cheap away. They failed, however, to make much of an impact offensively.
Lille is not a side easily contained, but it was well restrained in the first period. Dimitri Payet had a shot from range that went high, while Ahamada stopped a Florent Balmont effort.
Daniel Braaten had been left frustrated early in the game when he was denied a first half penalty, and the Norwegian’s evening would get worse as he was penalized for a foul on Franck Beria in the box. Ahamada responded, though, blocking Sow’s spot kick.
Joe Cole had a quiet evening for Lille, but nearly made a profound impact with his last meaningful touch, driving a shot just wide.
The Englishman’s replacement was Eden Hazard, and he twice nearly pinched the points for les Dogues. A stunning hit from the Belgian would be brilliantly saved only minutes after he had arrived on the field, while he cracked a fine shot just past 15 minutes from time.
Hazard’s influence was not done there, though. On 88 minutes he released a terrific pass to Ronny Rodelin, who was clear of the Toulouse defence but showed his tender years as he lacked the composure to convert a potentially match-winning chance.
Last season, Lille was taking such openings, and as this one bypassed the side, it faces the prospect of finishing the weekend potentially eight points behind leaders PSG.