Ligue 1 Uber Eats, Round 8, 08/10/2023
RC Lens and Lille OSC saw out a 1-1 draw in Sunday’s Derby du Nord at the Stade Bollaert. The point temporarily lifts Lille to seventh ahead of Rennes’ match against PSG later on Sunday night.
Lens were looking to finish their week on another high note, following victories over Strasbourg and then Arsenal in the Champions League. They started with intent, pressing Lille high and preventing Paulo Fonseca’s side from getting a foothold in the game. Wesley Saïd and Florian Sotoca both went close for Franck Haise’s side, but Lucas Chevalier rested in the Europa Conference League in midweek, made the crucial saves.
Lille, thanks to the press resistance of Angel Gomes and Benjamin André, began to grow into the game and they got the opener just before half-time thanks to Benjamin André, who headed into an empty net after Brice Samba had tried, and failed to cut out Edon Zhegrova’s cross.
Just like the first half, the second half was devoid of many clear-cut chances. One of the best fell to Salis Abdul Samed in the 47th minute, but he couldn’t deflect a deflected cross on target from around seven yards out. Lens did get their equaliser not long later. Deiver Machado, with his first touch since coming off the bench, latched onto Przemyslaw Frankowski’s pin-point cross, beating Chevalier with a diving header.
Neither side overly committed to secure the three points, but a huge chance fell to Adrien Thomasson in the final minute of stoppage time, but the Frenchman, who netted against Arsenal in midweek, could only place his shot wide. It ended honours even, and after a difficult start to the season, they are unbeaten in their last three Ligue 1 matches.
Lens player ratings
Brice Samba – 4 – at fault for Lille’s goal and generally less convincing and assertive than usual.
Facundo Medina – 5
Kevin Danso – 5
Abdukodir Khusanov – 6 – the young Uzbeki centre-back, making just his second start for Lens following his summer move from the Belarussian top-flight, kept David very quiet, especially in the opening stages.
Przemyslaw Frankowski – 5
Andy Diouf – 6
Salis Abdul Samed – 5
Ruben Aguilar – 4
Angelo Fulgini – 6
Florian Sotoca – 6 – Couldn’t get on the scoresheet, but so important to the way in which this Lens side functions. Sotoca’s pressing, alongside Angelo Fulgini, was the major reason why Lens had so much possession in the early stages, even if Les Sang et Or’s control didn’t manifest itself on the scoreline.
Wesley Saïd -4
Lille player ratings
Lucas Chevalier – 6
Ismaily – 5
Alexsandro – 7
Lény Yoro – 6
Bafodé Diakité – 5
Angel Gomes – 7 – a composed performance from Gomes in his now familiar position in the Lille double pivot. His side were under the cosh early on, but his press resistance and ability to progress the ball helped Les Dogues play through the thirds and gain a foothold in the game.
Benjamin André – 7
Ivan Cavaleiro – 5
Rémy Cabella – 6
Edon Zhegrova – 7 – at the heart of Lille’s creative efforts. His cross created the opener, whilst he went on to register a further three key passes, and run Lens’ defenders ragged.
Jonathan David – 3 – once again uninvolved. He was rested in the Europa Conference League this week in order for him to be in peak physical form in the Derby du Nord. However, he is clearly lacking in confidence currently and is struggling to work himself into games.