French club Lille won the 2020-21 Ligue 1 championship on the strength of its exceptional away form (14 wins in 19 games).
Les Dogues' failure to duplicate their success on the road has been a big reason they have struggled at the start of the new season. Lille's 2-1 win at Strasbourg on Saturday was its first in five away games and moved it into eighth place after spending most of the season in the bottom half of the standings.
The stars were a pair of New York-born players. U.S. international Tim Weah set up both goals scored by Canadian star Jonathan David.
Weah, 21, has played most of the season on the wing, but he teamed with David up front in Lille's 4-4-2 formation in place of Turk Burak Yilmaz, who was rested ahead of Lille's UEFA Champions League match against Red Bull Salzburg on Wednesday.
In the 23rd minute, Weah beat Strasbourg defender Alexander Djiku to a ball headed out of bounds and laid it on a platter for David to open the scoring. In the 57th minute, David added a second goal after Djiku fouled Weah in the penalty area.
Lille coach Jocelyn Gourvennec praised Weah for his work up front.
“He has incredible energy," said the first-year coach. "He put in a lot of effort and was rewarded on the first goal by holding off Djiku and providing an assist. That's good, it offers a new solution [up front]. We are also gaining strength at a time when depth will be needed."
Weah took a knock to the head in the first half and was bleeding profusely. He played the rest of the game at the at the Stade de le Meinau with a bandage wrapped around his head, and he played the second half in a white jersey without a number after the two jerseys he had were soaked with blood.
The game was Weah's second straight start after returning to action a week ago following a thigh injury that kept him out of action during the USA's September World Cup qualifiers. He had been Lille's top-rated player in his two starts before being injured.
If Weah plays at Salzburg on Wednesday, it will be his long-awaited debut in the Champions League. He didn't play for Paris St. Germain in its first full season in Ligue 1. He was injured all fall in 2019 when Lille played in the group stage, and he missed its opener against Wolfsburg (0-0 tie) while he was still rehabilitating.