Racing Club de Lens is the new runner-up to Paris Saint-Germain, at the top of the French football championship. The Lensois club won the shock of the 34th day (out of 38) of Ligue 1, against Olympique de Marseille (2-1), Saturday May 6, at the Bollaert stadium.
Twenty years later, Racing Club de Lens has never been so close to rediscovering the thrills specific to the evenings of the Champions League (LDC). Four days from the end of the season, the Sang et Or (2ᵉ, 72 points) are now two points ahead of OM (3ᵉ, 70 points) and eleven points ahead of AS Monaco (4ᵉ, 61 points), which still has one game less, to be played on Sunday in Angers. A second place finish would be synonymous with direct access to the group stage of the next edition of the LDC, a third place would allow them to play in the third qualifying round of the most prestigious of European cups.
In an incandescent Bollaert stadium, sold out for the 21st time in a row, the two teams delivered a match full of intensity, accompanied by a good dose of animosity at the edge of the field. The Marseillais were frustrated by a goal scored by Alexis Sanchez from the start, which was finally canceled by the referee after viewing the video; Clément Turpin having sanctioned a disputed fault by the Chilean striker in contact with Kevin Danso (8ᵉ minute).
If the Marseille block managed to block the Lensoise restarts, the Olympians hardly created any other chances than the canceled goal of Sanchez during the first period. After sending the ball over the post, Lensois captain Seko Fofana found the net just before the break (1-0, 42ᵉ). The firm hand of the goalkeeper, Brice Samba, allowed the Lensois to keep this score at the break.
Handicapped by the injured exit of defender Samuel Gigot in the first period, and Alexis Sanchez, at half-time, the Marseillais then gave in a second time on the hour mark. Przemyslaw Frankowski tore away in contact with Nuno Tavares and the center at the far post of the Polish midfielder was taken over by a winning header from Loïs Openda (2-0, 60ᵉ).
Dimitri Payet reduced the gap at the end of the match (2-1, 88ᵉ), but RC Lens managed to maintain their advantage. At the final whistle, while Franck Haise's players let their joy burst, the OM coach still couldn't digest the referee's decision at the start of the game: "It's the little details that changed the game. . For me, Sanchez's goal is valid ", regretted Igor Tudor at the microphone of Canal.
Bad operation for Rennes and Lille
In addition to taking second place in the standings at OM, RC Lens is just three behind Paris Saint-Germain. Before his trip to Troyes on Sunday, the Parisians' week was rocked by the suspension of Lionel Messi and the discontent of his supporters.
This 34th day of Ligue 1 had the particularity of starting on Saturday afternoon and not Friday evening, because the date of May 5 is now sacred in memory of the victims of the Furiani disaster, which occurred on May 5, 1992. collective of victims had resulted in October 2021 in a law prohibiting matches on this date in French competitions.
In the race for European places, Stade Rennes conceded a defeat (2-1) on the lawn of OGC Nice. The Aiglons made the difference in the second half thanks in particular to Gaëtan Laborde, who scored one of the two Nice goals against his former partners. The magnificent achievement – a clear, remote-controlled strike under the skylight – by Benjamin Bourigeaud was not enough for the Bretons.
With this victory, the Azureans (8th, 51 points) are getting closer to Rennes (6th, 56 points). Lille (5th, 59 points) did not take the opportunity to widen the gap: Paulo Fonseca's men lost on the lawn of Stade de Reims (1-0), which regained the taste of victory after three defeats consecutive.