PLAYER RATINGS | Lyon 2-1 Lens: Rayan Cherki stars in win for hosts

Lyon rounded off the perfect week in style for the headline fixture of the matchday in Ligue 1, seeing off title chasers Lens for their third win in seven days.

Rayan Cherki – who has been in electric form since PSG’s unsuccessful push to sign him – turned in a match-winning performance, setting up Alexandre Lacazette for the opener before an emphatic finish on the hour mark gave the hosts the lead again.

Deiver Machado’s equaliser – a top-corner striker after the cross was helped on by Florian Sotoca – was the only time the Artois outfit could make the most of their first-half dominance, Lyon eventually seeing out the three points in spite of manager Laurent Blanc’s absence due to illness.

After looking like potential title challengers at the turn of the year – fresh from beating PSG – Franck Haise’s men are now out of the Champions League spots, Monaco taking their place. Les Gones, meanwhile, are just six points off Europe.

Lyon player ratings

Maxence Caqueret, 7 – Tireless work from the midfielder, his assist for Cherki’s goal – charging down the clearance from his own free-kick before driving into the box to lay it off to the forward – summing up his all-action performance.

Bradley Barcola, 6 – The forward continues to show promise, albeit not with the same clinical edge as his two attacking partners.

Alexandre Lacazette, 7 – The captain’s perfect understanding with Rayan Cherki may give Lyon a fighting chance at reaching Europe this season. Once again influential in the build-up play, on top of his 14th goal of the season. 

Rayan Cherki, 8 – Not so much a breakout performance – he already has 85 senior appearances for Lyon – but one that has established the 19-year-old as a player who will make good on the potential he clearly has. A goal and an assist, but also an all-round, silky attacking performance brimming with confidence. Has scored in three straight games now.

Lens player ratings 

Angelo Fulgini, 5 – The former Angers man and his fellow new signing Adrien Thomasson showed some promising signs as an attacking midfield tandem and combined well, before a drop-off in the second half. Came off at the hour mark.

Séko Fofana, 4 – The Ivorian international has seen a marked decline in the influence he holds over the game, and in 2023 is yet to show the spark that made him one of the league’s best midfielders since returning from Italy. Lost the ball 18 times.

Florian Sotoca, 5 – The forward got four shots away but was unable to show much incisiveness, although he did set up Machado’s equaliser. Replaced by Loïs Openda, who similarly struggled up front.

GFFN | Raphaël Jucobin 

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