Football: Lens catches Sevilla FC in the Champions League

Last in Ligue 1, Lens responded for its first Champions League match this season by holding off Sevilla FC (1-1) in Andalusia, Wednesday September 20, after a match where the northern club found his past virtues

Football: Lens catches Sevilla FC in the Champions League

Last in Ligue 1, Lens responded for its first Champions League match this season by holding off Sevilla FC (1-1) in Andalusia, Wednesday September 20, after a match where the northern club found his past virtues. The Sang et Or performed well by taking the point of the away draw at the end of the first day in Group B, where Arsenal, as expected, took the lead by crushing PSV Eindhoven (4-0) .

After four defeats in five French championship matches and the place at the bottom, we could fear that Lensois would be dazzled by the lights of the most prestigious European club competition. This fear was reinforced by a very sluggish start to the match, where the Artois players were overtaken by the Sevillians, particularly after an unwelcome loss of the ball by Nampalys Mendy, who played his first minutes as a starter. in its new colors.

In the process, a former resident of Ligue 1, Lucas Ocampos, opened the scoring by deflecting a corner with his head to deceive his ex-teammate in Marseille Brice Samba, who misjudged the trajectory of the ball (9th). This opening score early in the match paralyzed Franck Haise's players, who then gave the impression of being afraid to play, contrary to the coach's speech before the match. “I haven’t waited for a Champions League match to tell them, for three and a half years: what matters is to be authentic,” he said. It's not playing with fear, beliefs that limit us. It’s about daring to be us. »

Confidence regained

The Lensois players then applied this message, coming out more with the ball and insistently approaching the Rojiblancos cages. Elye Wahi, the most expensive player in the club's history (35 million euros in total), sounded the revolt with a superb slalom to the opponent's area before being hooked, offering a very good shot frank to his family (23rd). In the tough since the start of the season, Angelo Fulgini converted it with a magnificent curling shot on the open side, taking advantage of a small hand error from Marko Dmitrovic (24th).

This coup in a poor start to the season symbolized the return to the level of several important players from last season. Thus, Florian Sotoca won a number of duels and Jonathan Gradit fought to consolidate, as best he could, the right flank of the defense, manhandled by the Sevillians.

Collectively, this goal gave Lensois, with a once again solid block, the confidence dear to Franck Haise. His players created other opportunities, notably by Fulgini and Sotoca (51st), then by Morgan Guilavogui, whose entry at the forefront of the attack was almost decisive when he headed a very good ball recovery from his partners (78th).

Opposite, Sevilla FC could have scored the second fatal goal thanks to another entrant, Dodi Lukebakio, author of a volley (68th) narrowly blocked then a strike which forced Samba to relax (69th) . The club captain recovered after his blunder by performing very well in front of Ocampos (31st). This draw is therefore fair, at the end of a pleasant match where Lens found itself, twenty-one years after its last Champions League match.