Lens Bounce Back From Arsenal Humiliation, Defeat Crisis-Hit Lyon


Lens shook off their midweek Champions League humiliation by Arsenal to condemn crisis-hit Lyon to a 3-2 defeat on Saturday in the club’s first match since the exit of coach Fabio Grosso.

Irish defender Jake O’Brien volleyed Lyon in front from a corner at Stade Bollaert in northern France, but last season’s Ligue 1 runners-up levelled midway through the first half courtesy of Wesley Said.

Przemyslaw Frankowski put Lens ahead with a penalty early in the second half before O’Brien poked home a flick-on at another corner to equalise.

Frankowski grabbed the winner on 74 minutes as Lens closed out a fourth win in five league games and extended their unbeaten run in the top flight to nine despite losing Florian Sotoca to a late red card.

Lens made a dreadful start to the season and picked up one point from their first five fixtures.

Franck Haise’s side have righted the ship domestically but were dumped out of the Champions League on Wednesday following a crushing 6-0 loss away to Arsenal.

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Poor Run

Lyon’s Ghanaian forward #37 Ernest Nuamah (L) fights for the ball with Lens’ Argentine defender #14 Facundo Medina during the French L1 football match between RC Lens and Olympique Lyonnais (Lyon) at Stade Bollaert-Delelis in Lens, northern France, on December 2, 2023. (Photo by FRANCOIS LO PRESTI / AFP)


Lyon slumped to an eighth defeat in 13 matches and remain rooted to the bottom of the table, five points from safety and on the hunt for a new coach after Grosso was stood down from his position on Thursday.

The 46-year-old Italian, a World Cup winner in 2006, lasted just over two months in the hot seat after he replaced Laurent Blanc on September 16.

It was an unhappy time in the dugout for Grosso, who oversaw just one win in seven matches and was left requiring stitches to his face in October after the Lyon team bus was attacked on its way to a game at Marseille.

Nice, who have not trailed in a single game this season, will go above leaders Paris Saint-Germain later on Saturday with a win at Nantes.


Emmanuel Egobiambu

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