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Football | France

De Melo brace secures Lille's UCL spot



Two goals from Tulio De Melo helped Lille thrash Caen 3-0 on Monday, the Ligue 1 champions securing their Champions League qualifying spot for next season with a fifth consecutive win.

Lille are third on 71 points, two adrift of leaders Paris St Germain and Montpellier, who can reclaim top spot later on Monday when they face fifth-ranked Stade Rennes.

The northern side are certain to end the season no lower than third as fourth-placed Olympique Lyon lie 11 points behind. The top-two teams qualify for the Champions League group stage and the third move into the playoff round.

De Melo scored the opener from the penalty spot in the 26th minute after keeper Alexis Thebaux challenged Eden Hazard on the edge of the box.

The Brazilian striker doubled the lead 10 minutes later when he headed home from a Dimitri Payet corner kick.

Hazard, reportedly the target of several leading European clubs, shone again as he set up Payet for the third goal in the 60th minute.

Sochaux climbed out of the relegation zone when they beat Nancy 1-0 at home thanks to a late goal by Sebastien Roudet. Sochaux are 17th on 36 points, one ahead of Brest.

Auxerre fell to the bottom as they lost 4-2 at home to Bordeaux after failing to recover from the visitors' three goals in the first nine minutes.

Auxerre are on 34 points, two from safety while Bordeaux moved up to seventh place on 55 points, two behind Rennes.

St Etienne are level with Rennes after they were held to a 0-0 home draw by Olympique Marseille.

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