Thierry Neuville has trimmed Sebastien Ogier’s lead at Rally Italia Sardegna to less than four seconds at the end of Saturday’s stages to set up a tense final day in the fight for victory.

The Hyundai driver closed Ogier’s advantage down by two seconds on the short SS13 Citta di Ittiri before sustaining a puncture with around 4km of SS14 Coiluna Loelle 2 to go which allowed the M-Sport Ford driver to open his lead back up to 6.8s.

Despite having no spare tyre available for the final two stages of Saturday’s running, Neuville pushed on to take back-to-back stage wins to finish the day just 3.9s off of Ogier.

It provides an intriguing victory battle over the final four stages on Sunday including the Power Stage with maximum points to play for.

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The fight for the final podium place is also heating up between the Toyota two drivers Jari-Matti Latvala and Esapekka Lappi with Latvala holding a slim 5.3s advantage over his fellow countryman.

The gap between Hyundai’s Hayden Paddon in fifth and Citroen’s Mads Ostberg is even smaller with just 2.1s separating the pair at the end of SS16.

Craig Breen will complete a lonely event on the overall classification for Citroen in a distant seventh place over a minute behind Paddon and Ostberg.

WRC2 class leader Jan Kopecky heads the field by over three minutes with Ott Tanak, who restarted after damaging his cooling system on his Toyota, is in ninth place with DMACK Ford’s Martin Prokop rounding out the top 10.

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