Lille dropped points in the race for second place and automatic qualification for the Champions League after drawing 0-0 at home to Montpellier on Sunday.

Montpellier showed why it has the second-best defense in the French league by containing Lille’s 16-goal top scorer Nicolas Pepe .

The draw trims second-placed Lille’s lead over third-placed Lyon to four points with both sides having 13 games remaining. Consistent Montpellier is in sixth spot.

Later Sunday, runaway league leader Paris Saint-Germain traveled to face Saint-Etienne.

OTHER MATCHES

Forwards Boulaye Dia and Remi Oudin scored as Reims beat Rennes 2-0 at home to climb up to seventh place.

Earlier, forward Josh Maja made his Bordeaux debut in a 2-1 home win against Toulouse.

The 20-year-old Englishman joined from third-tier English side Sunderland. But it was veteran forward Jimmy Briand who struck Bordeaux’s 83rd-minute winner.

Midfielder Toma Basic put Bordeaux ahead after two minutes and veteran midfielder Yannick Cahuzac leveled in the 70th.

Struggling Caen picked up a point in its fight against relegation after holding Strasbourg to a 0-0 draw at home.

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Lille's Nicolas Pepe, center, on the ground during his French League One soccer match between Lille and Montpellier at the Lille Metropole stadium, in Villeneuve d'Ascq, northern France, Sunday, Feb. (AP Photo/Michel Spingler)
Lille’s Nicolas Pepe, center, on the ground during his French League One soccer match between Lille and Montpellier at the Lille Metropole stadium, in Villeneuve d’Ascq, northern France, Sunday, Feb. (AP Photo/Michel Spingler)
Lille's coach Christophe Galtier issues instructions to his team during his League One soccer match between Lille and Montpellier at the Lille Metropole stadium, in Villeneuve d'Ascq, northern France, Sunday, Feb. (AP Photo/Michel Spingler)
Lille’s coach Christophe Galtier issues instructions to his team during his League One soccer match between Lille and Montpellier at the Lille Metropole stadium, in Villeneuve d’Ascq, northern France, Sunday, Feb. (AP Photo/Michel Spingler)

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