Lens beat Olympique Marseille 2-1 at home this Saturday to rise to second place in Ligue 1 to the detriment of its rival, during matchday 34 of the French championship.
the ivory Seko Fofana (minute 42) and the Belgian Lois Openda (60′) decided the game towards the northern team, although Dimitri Payet cut in the final minutes (88 ‘). This match was a very important duel in the fight to try to catch the leader Paris Saint-Germain and, above all, to guarantee qualification for the Champions League next season.
The Marseillais thought they had gone ahead on the scoreboard with an early goal from the Chilean Alexis Sánchez (8 ‘), but after the assistance intervention VARthe goal was disallowed.
The Marseille coach, Igor Tudor, estimated that the goal should have gone up on the scoreboard: “Alexis told me it was a goal and I believe him. I have seen the video and I see no fault. Unfortunately, we lost.”
Fofana warned the first time with a powerful shot that crashed into the right post of the goal defended by the Spanish Pau López (22 ‘). Minutes later, he picked up a ball on the edge of the box and struck the goal to put the hosts ahead at the Bollaert-Delelis stadium.
The yellow and red tide roared again when, already in the second part, Openda He finished off a cross thrown by the Pole Przemyslaw Frankowski with a header at the far post to make it 2-0 and leave the game practically sentenced. In the final minutes, Payet recovered a ball from the penalty spot in the rival area and did not forgive but it was too late (88′) for the team to react.
Lens, to the Europa League at least
He Lenses is placed 2nd with 72 points, three less than Paris SG, who visits Troyes on Sunday. Marseille stays with 70 pointspractically off the hook from the fight for the title and will now have to trust in a mistake by the northern team to recover second position.
In France, only the top two finishers in the championship qualify directly for the Champions League group stage, while the third team is relegated to a preliminary phase.
In the rest of the matches of the day, Lille (5th) and Rennes (6th), separated by three points and immersed in the fight to qualify for the Europa League and Conference League, lost on their visits to Reims (1- 0) and Nice (2-1), respectively.
These results mathematically guarantee that Lens, at least, will be present in the next edition of the Europa League, returning to the continental scene 16 years later. His last participation in European competition was in 2007, when he was eliminated in the previous phase of the UEFA Cup.
On Sunday the other games of the day will be played, in which Paris Saint-Germain will try to get closer to the title and put out the fire due to Messi’s suspension with a victory in Troyes while Monaco forced to win at the home of the already relegated Troyes to stay in the fight for the podium.