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Lille fans attack their own players as the team fights relegation

Anger has been brewing at the club for some time but it spilled out of the stands and on to the pitch on Saturday evening

By Adam White and Eric Devin for Get French Football News

Ligue 1 often made the headlines for the wrong reasons last season, with violent incidents in Bastia, Metz, Marseille and Nantes. The league’s governing body, the LFP, came down hard on the offending clubs and their fans, and there had been no major incidents in the current campaign – until Saturday evening, when hundreds of Lille fans invaded the pitch at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy following their team’s 1-1 draw with Montpellier.

Lille have struggled badly since Gérard Lopez bought the club last year, with results on the pitch mirroring the club’s rash approach to management. Marcelo Bielsa was hired in May and fired in December after his signings failed to make an impact. Bielsa’s replacement, Christophe Galtier, has brought the team some measure of stability. A vital win over Strasbourg and gritty draws against Lyon and Nantes gave the fans renewed hope of survival, but conceding late goals against Nice and relegation rival Angers has left them 19th in Ligue 1 with nine games to play.

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