Champions League: Lens draws against PSV Eindhoven and preserves its invincibility in the competition

Lens has been led in the Champions League three times

Champions League: Lens draws against PSV Eindhoven and preserves its invincibility in the competition

Lens has been led in the Champions League three times. Three times Lens returned. Tuesday October 24, at the Bollaert-Delelis stadium, against PSV Eindhoven, the game was once again off to a bad start, but the Sang et Or, as usual, came back on track (1-1). The Artésiens received the Dutch with the label of leader of group B, after their surprise victory against Arsenal (2-1), but Franck Haise's team had difficulty putting on the intensity that we have already known from them on the European scene.

Following a first period during which the two clubs went blow for blow without scoring a goal, the Lensois players had to receive an electric shock to regain vigor and a connection with their audience. A strike from Johan Bakayoko came from nowhere, floating and poorly judged by Brice Samba, who finished in the side net (55th).

After which it only took 10 minutes for the Sang et Or. Yet another climb from Przemysław Frankowski, untenable in his right lane, an excellent cross and a subtle gesture from Elye Wahi. The 20-year-old striker, already a scorer against the Gunners, took the ball with the tip of his foot, with an unacademic but devilishly effective outside foot, on which Walter Benitez was unable to do anything (65th).

The instinct of Franck Haise

The striker, however, seemed destined to be replaced a few moments earlier. During a triple change in the 63rd minute, the striker's number 9 was shown as out by the fourth official. The Sang et Or coach, Franck Haise, intervenes and instead requests the exit of Florian Sotoca. “I have to take Elye out, and then… you know sometimes the coach has last-second intuitions,” explained the technician, amused.

A welcome goal, as Lens had all the difficulty in the world to appear threatening as they approached the opposing area. The three entrants at the hour mark are no strangers to Lensois' renewed form at the time of the equalizer.

“We knew that PSV was a good team,” explained defender Jonathan Gradit, after the match, at the microphone of Canal. And what's more, they are leading the score, so we knew we had to turn things around. It’s our personality, we have to continue to play our game. Obviously that frees up space behind, but we play our best. »

A wild end to the match

Playing is in the DNA of Franck Haise’s men. So, once awake, the Blood and Gold raised their voices. And its audience, which is starting to take a liking to beautiful European stories, fueled by reminiscences from around twenty years ago, too.

The pressure was intense on the PSV goal, but the clear chances were few. Finally, after a header from André Ramalho following a Dutch free kick, which could have ended in the back of the net, Brice Samba and his team understood that it was useless to expose themselves too much. And above all, a draw against the first in the Dutch championship was not such a bad result.

Lens now has five points after three Champions League matches. First place in Group B is certainly abandoned in favor of Arsenal, winner of Sevilla FC (2-1), but the situation remains pleasantly surprising. The current 15th in Ligue 1 competes with the Gunners for the top of the group and leaves Sevilla and Eindhoven (2 points each) within a reasonable distance. It’s difficult to sum up the context better than with the words of Jonathan Gradit: “We can start dreaming. We have three games left to go. »