After the debacle in the Champions League in which Marseille, Paris Saint-Germain and Rennes lost their third round of games, there were mixed fortunes for Nice and Lille in the Europa League on Thursday night.
Yusuf Yazici was star of the show as Lille restored French football's pride at the Serie A leaders AC Milan.
Yazici’s opener came from the penalty spot midway through the first half at the San Siro. His second and third came in a three minute burst early in the second half.
Milan drop to second and Sparta Prague grabbed their first points of the campaign to go third thanks to a 4-1 win at Celtic.
Lukas Julis also scored a hat trick in the rout at Celtic Park. Two came in the first half before Leigh Griffiths gave the hosts a lifeline after 65 minutes.
Julis restored the two goal advantage 13 minutes from time and Ladislav Krejci added the gloss in stoppage time.
Patrick Vierira’s Nice side went down 3-2 at Slavia Prague to leave them third in Group C.
Jan Kuchta got the first for Slavia in the 16th minute but after Amine Gouiri levelled, Slavia took control with goals from Abdallah Sima just before half-time and Kuchta’s second 20 minutes from time.
Dan Ndoye reduced the deficit in stoppage time. “We’ve got to take a long hard look at ourselves,” said Nice midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin. “You can miss passes and shots at goal but when there are challenges and duels ... we’ve got to be committed. The coach has told us that. We’ve told each other as players.”
Nice entertain Slavia at the Allianz Riviera in the next round of games on 26 November
“We'll see if we can change things for that that from now,” Schneiderlin added. “Words are good. But you have to know how to put them into action. We have to concentrate and we must progress.”
Elsewhere Roma stayed top of Group A with a 5-0 annihilation of CFR Cluj and Arsenal made it three wins out of three in Group B with a 4-1 romp past Molde.