Champions League: Lens abandons its invincibility against a PSV Eindhoven this time superior

The Lensois will surely only get frustration from this

Champions League: Lens abandons its invincibility against a PSV Eindhoven this time superior

The Lensois will surely only get frustration from this. On the pitch of PSV Eindhoven, Wednesday November 8, the Artésiens abandoned their unbeaten streak in the Champions League, and decisive points in the quest for qualification to the next round (1-0).

The first leg at the Bollaert-Delelis stadium, which ended in a draw (1-1), had already highlighted signs of defensive weakness in the ranks of the Sang et Or. Led from the start, as in the three previous matches in competition, the Lensois will not have succeeded this time in reversing the trend, too much to their disadvantage.

In a fiery Philips stadium, despite the pouring rain, the captain of the Dutch team, Luuk de Jong, quickly opened the hostilities, with an unstoppable helmet strike (12th), offered on a cross from the Belgian international Johan Bakayoko , untenable from the first seconds of the meeting.

What followed was a flood of missed opportunities and a distribution of warnings. Ten in total, including eight for the Lensois, and especially two addressed consecutively to Morgan Guilavogui, sent off in added time (90th 2). The end of the first period, a harbinger of nervousness on the pitch, was already ending, in a tense atmosphere.

No longer in spirit after returning from the locker room, the Sang et Or ended up regaining some color after the first quarter of an hour. No clear opportunity, but dangerous situations. Przemyslaw Frankowski crossed for Deiver Machado at the far post, who slipped before being able to resume (60th). While the attackers tried their hand at shots, often blocked, sometimes off target.

“We gave everything, in our image”

But faced with a defense that no longer had the right to make mistakes, Franck Haise's central three having received a yellow card, PSV did not allow the law to be dictated for long. Johan Bakayoko sounded the revolt. On his right side, the young 20-year-old Belgian made the Artesian rearguard dizzy.

In the 70th minute, the PSV right winger sent several Lens players around, before being caught by the defensive patrol, very close to Samba. Four minutes later, he stood out with a good hook, then a left shot which sought the opposite corner. At the end of the match, if Hirving Lozano had not (deliberately?) forgotten him, he would have presented himself in a very advantageous position against the French goalkeeper.

Finally, in terms of courage, it was Franck Haise's men who finished the strongest. “We gave everything, in our image,” summarized the coach with a smile. With a lot of good things, and what we lack at the highest level, this accuracy, but here we are Lens! »

Pretty well summed up, since on a soaked lawn, the pitch transformed into an ice rink, the Northerners played courageously. And it could have paid off. Following a good combination in the Dutch area, Morgan Guilavogui found the post from close range, slightly reminiscent of André-Pierre Gignac's demons in the Euro 2016 final. Then, from a corner in added time , Kévin Danso rose to place a header saved by a Dutch knee. This accuracy that Haise spoke of…

“We came up against a good team but we have regrets because I think we could have brought back the point of the draw,” regretted Florian Sotoca, speaking to Canal. There is this post at the end and the corner with Kev (Kévin Danso). It doesn't matter, we knew it, that's how it is. »

Bring back points from Arsenal

In pain, and with for the first time in their European season, the bitter taste of defeat in the mouth, the Sang et Or leave second place in Group B, in favor of their evening opponent. In third position (with 5 points), Franck Haise and his men are not compromising their European future, the doors to the Europa League – but also the Champions League – are still open.

The start will have to come on November 29, against the Arsenal Gunners (1st, with 9 points), whom the Artésiens previously beat (2-1). A decisive, and probably heated, match before deciding their fate on December 12, when they host Sevilla FC, for their last meeting of the group stage.

Until then, the Lensois must now turn towards the national championship, where a capital clash awaits them, Sunday November 12, against Olympique de Marseille. Currently in 10th place in Ligue 1, after a poor start, Racing must raise the bar and perhaps come back to earth, to continue dreaming of great European evenings.