PLAYER RATINGS | Lyon 0-3 Lens: Les Sang et Or end OL’s winning run

On Sunday night, Lyon were hoping to make it 7 successive victories in all competitions as they welcomed an out-of-form Lens team who were winless in their last 4 matches. 

Lens had the upper hand in the early stages with some dangerous deliveries into the OL area but Lopes was able to deal with them well. Despite this, Lyon almost had the lead through Nuamah in the 14th minute. The Ghanaian hit a powerful effort from 25-yards which struck the post. 

Nuamah then had another big chance as Caqueret freed him on the break. However, bearing down on the Lens goal, he decided to shoot instead of pass to Caqueret or Benrahma and hit his shot straight at Samba. It was then Wahi’s turn to have a massive opportunity from Frankowski’s cross but Lopes was able to make a massive stop to deny the Lens man. 

However, Sotoca would then give Lens the lead. The French attacker did brilliantly to peel off the last defender and head home Costa’s cross come shot at the far post. Jake O’Brien was playing him onside and he took full advantage. Benrahma almost had an instant reply for OL cutting in from the left-flank but his effort was deflected wide. Lens led at the break.  

Lens were then awarded a penalty straight after the break with Caqueret adjudged to have handballed in the area. Wahi stepped up to take it and made no mistake with a low-driven penalty into the bottom corner. An increased lead was nothing more than Les Sang et Or deserved after taking real control of the match. Nuamah then had another opportunity with a header at the back post but found his effort blocked. 

Lens began to make Lyon look very vulnerable at the back and control possession. OL looked unable to lay a glove on Lens until the entrance of Cherki enabled them to put a foot on the ball and level the playing field somewhat in possession but without the desired output. 

Malick Fofana almost gave Lyon a route back into the match after taking a brilliant pass from Cherki on the half-turn but Samba was out to smother the shot. Jake O’Brien then had a massive chance on the following corner but the France international was equal to his header. The Irish defender then had another opportunity from a Cherki free kick but couldn’t hit the target.  

Ainsley Maitland-Niles was given his marching orders as he received a red card for pulling down Wesley Saïd off the ball. Lens counter attacked brilliantly and the former Arsenal man denied a clear goalscoring opportunity with no intent to win the tackle. Danso then punished ten-man Lyon by adding Lens’ third with an expertly taken header from a corner. This would be the last talking point of the game, with Lens securing all-three points. 

Lyon player ratings:

Anthony Lopes – 7

Ainsley Maitland-Niles – 4

Duje Ćaleta-Car – 5

Jake O’Brien – 4, Surprisngly, O’Brien appeared to be a bit all over the place at the back. The Irish defender lacked any composure on the ball and looked fazed defensively. His poor positioning was responsible for Sotoca being onside for Lens’ first goal and ended up being punished. 

Nicolás Tagliafico – 5

Nemanja Matić – 6

Maxence Caqueret – 6

Orel Mangala – 5

Ernest Nuamah – 6

Gift Orban – 5, The Nigerian lacked service and struggled to cause any problems with his movement or positioning. He was also sloppy on the ball with a couple of loose passes almost being costly for his team. 

Saïd Benrahma – 5

Lens player ratings:

Brice Samba – 6

Jonathan Gradit – 6

Kevin Danso – 7

Facundo Medina – 6

Ruben Aguilar – 6

Neil El Aynaoui – 7

Nampalys Mendy – 6

Przemysław Frankowski – 8, The Polish international was constant threat with his deliveries into the area and assumed the role of Lens’ chief creator. On another night, he could have had several assists but Lopes was impressive for Lyon.  

David Costa – 6

Elye Wahi – 6, Despite being on the receiving end of a wonderful cross, Wahi missed a glorious chance to give Lens the lead in the six-yard box. However, he made amends for his earlier missed chance by converting a penalty in the second half. In the second half, he became much more involved and seemed to gain confidence after his goal.

Floian Sotoca – 7

GFFN | Liam Wraith

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