Lens win at Lorient and get closer to direct access to the Champions League
Seko Fofana (in the center, in the fight with Bamo Meite, on the left) scored Lens’ third goal on the lawn of Lorient, in Ligue 1, on May 21, 2023.…
Paris Saint-Germain will not be champions this Sunday evening in Auxerre. After the victory in Lorient of RC Lens (3-1), at the end of the afternoon, the northern club can still mathematically catch up with and overtake PSG during the last two days of the Ligue 1 season. In reality, the Sang et Or are mainly looking at the retro and can be satisfied, with this success against the Hakes, to have almost ured the second place, directly qualifying for the Champions League.
Lens now has a five-point lead over Olympique de Marseille, 3ᵉ, beaten in Lille on Saturday evening (1-2). To finish runner-up to PSG, the northern club will have to take at least two points in its last two games of the season. A far from insurmountable task for the Lensois, who will host AC Ajaccio next week (19e), already relegated to Ligue 2, before going to Auxerre (16e) on the 38ᵉ and last day.
Before this very good operation in the standings, doubt took hold of the Lensois at the very start of the match against Lorient when Brice Samba, one of the pillars of the good Artoise season and selected for the France team for the first time in March, got missed. On a touch back from his defender Facundo Medina, the goalkeeper missed his clearance and Romain Faivre seized the opportunity to score in the empty goal (6ᵉ).
“It happens, we give one in the seasonreacted Samba to the microphone of Canal + after the match. But we remained calm, we are sure of our strengths and that is what makes the difference. » In recent weeks, Lens seems indeed irresistible. As against Reims during the 35ᵉ day (2-1), the Sang et Or reversed the situation, first thanks to a strike from Florian Sotoca (20ᵉ). Before taking the lead following a second error, on the Lorient side this time, by Gédéon Kalulu, which Adrien Thomon took full advantage of (28ᵉ).
“It’s almost done”
At 2-1, Franck Haise saw his players resist against his former club, the one where he trained as a reserve team coach and as an istant. Opposite, his great friend Régis Le Bris lamented his missed opportunities and this stoppage on his Samba line to capture the header of Ibrahima Koné (84ᵉ), a great way to make up for his error in the first period.
Seko Fofana’s goal at the end of the match (87ᵉ) put an end to Lorient’s hopes. “We are five points ahead, but in football, nothing is decided”, warned Sotoca after the match on Canal+. Samba, he did less in the language of wood by evoking this 2ᵉ place which reaches out to the Lensois: “With a five-point lead, we know it’s almost done. »
78 – With 78 points in 36 Ligue 1 2022/23 matches, Lens are the 2nd best runners-up at this stage of a season in… https://t.co/5JdInRKJrT
With 78 points, Lens is having the best season in its history in Ligue 1 statistically and is not very far from returning to the Champions League group stage for the first time since the 2002-2003 season. Because last night, OM ed in the race for the C1 and lost on the lawn of Lille.
Defeated by Lens on May 6 (1-2), the Marseille club suffered a second setback in a row in the North and could pay dearly: in the event of 3ᵉ place, OM will undoubtedly have to go through two qualifying rounds to participate in the Champions League groups. A course which requires starting the season earlier and which upsets the recruitment of the club which must go through it. Everything indicates that it will be OM. Unless an improbable scenario during the last two days of the season.