Lyon weather Lens fightback in Ligue 1

Lyon have hung on in the second half to claim a 2-1 home win against second-placed Lens to move up to fifth in the Ligue 1 standings.

After opening up a two-goal lead in a clinical first half thanks to goals by Karl Toko Ekambi and Houssem Aouar, Lyon then struggled and Lens pulled one back through Arnaud Kalimuendo.

They now have 19 points from 12 games and trail second-placed Lens by two points.

Leaders Paris Saint-Germain have 31 points after beating champions Lille 2-1 on Friday.

“We’re usually much better, but I miss a key chance early in the second half,” Lens midfielder Gael Kakuta said.

Lyon went ahead on 25 minutes when Toko Ekambi converted a penalty after Bruno Guimaraes was brought down by Facundo Medina.

Lens reacted swiftly but Jonathan Clauss’s equaliser was ruled out for offside after a VAR review.

The visitors suffered on Lyon’s counter attacks and they found themselves trailing 2-0 before the break as Aouar headed home in the 41st after Jean-Louis Leca parried Toko Ekambi’s strike into his path.

But Lens continued to play their usual eye-pleasing football and piled the pressure with Kakuta forcing Anthony Lopes to two saves in quick succession early in the second half.

They were rewarded in the 61st minute when Kalimuendo beat Lopes with a fine lob after a one-two with Kakuta.

The hosts were on the back foot but the arrival of substitute Rayan Cherki in place of Toko Ekambi handed them a late boost as they continued to threaten on the break.

Eventually, Lens were left frustrated after managing 10 shots on target in a high-octane encounter.

Meanwhile, Wahbi Khazri scored a contender for goal of the season to salvage a point for last-placed Saint-Etienne in a 1-1 draw at Metz.

Algeria international Farid Boulaya gave Metz the lead in the ninth minute with a free kick into the top corner before Khazri equalised in the 16th with an outrageous effort from his own half.

The Tunisia forward ran the ball out from his own area, spotted an advanced Alexandre Oukidja before picking his spot from almost 70 yards to beat the Metz goalkeeper.

with AP

The Fort News