Lens stun PSG to move to within four points of Ligue 1 summit


Lens picked up a surprise 3-1 win over champions PSG in their Ligue 1 clash to hand Les Parisiens their first defeat of the season. The loss to Lens was PSG’s first in league football since March 2022, nine months ago.

It was the battle of the top two teams in the French Ligue 1 as Lens took on PSG seven points adrift of them in the standings. The champions were without Lionel Messi, who is on an extended holiday following the FIFA World Cup, and Neymar, who was sent off in their win over Strasbourg last time out.

Lens had lost only once in the league this season coming into the game, and they quickly showed that they were not prepared to roll over for the champions. It took them only five minutes to find the opener in the game through Przemyslaw Frankowski. The Polish winger got on the end of a square pass from Massadio Haidara before rolling the ball into the back of the net.

PSG were prepared for the fight, and delivered an instant response through teenage striker Hugo Ekitike. The Frenchman took advantage of hesitant goalkeeping to fire home from just under the nose of the goalkeeper in the eighth minute. The goal was awarded after a brief VAR check for a possible foul on the goalkeeper.

Lens responded impressively to the equaliser and showed great energy and stamina to stifle the PSG stars with their press, denying them the opportunity to create openings. After successfully doing this, the home side went ahead and took the lead in some style.

Belgian striker Loic Openda was found on the break and he shrugged off veteran defender Sergio Ramos, sending him sprawling. He then proceeded to fake a shot and chop past Marquinhos’ outstretched leg before slotting his finish under Gianluigi Donnarumma in the 28th minute.

Lens started the second-half with a similarly-high tempo and took only two minutes to extend their advantage. Their impressive captain Seko Fofana won the ball in midfield before feeding Openda, who showed great awareness to backheel the ball into the path of Alexis Claude-Maurice to slot home.

PSG struggled but failed to find a way back into the game, with Kylian Mbappe having a rare quiet day in the office. Christopher Galtier’s men succumbed to their first defeat of the 2022-23 season in all competitions, leaving Napoli as Europe’s only unbeaten team in league football.

Lens have now picked up 40 points and are second on the log, four points behind PSG. The champions look to have a fight on their hands as they look to retain their league crown.




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