Paris Saint-Germain lost their first game of the season as rampant Lens closed the gap on the Ligue 1 leaders to just four points.
The game started with an electric tempo and after just five minutes Lens had their first goal. Massadio Haidara hooked the ball back across goal and Przemyslaw Frankowski was on hand to put the home side 1-0 up.
Lens’ lead didn’t last long though as just three minutes later Hugo Ekitike had PSG level. The young forward reacted quickest to take the ball out of the clutches of Lens goalkeeper Brice Samba’s hands and into the back of the net.
Lens however continued to press with an aggression and tenacity that PSG will not have faced many times before in Ligue 1. They were constantly in the faces of the PSG players, suffocating them when on the ball and disrupting the Ligue 1 leaders from getting into any sort of rhythm.
Franck Haise’s men once more took the lead, this time through Lois Openda who smartly got away from Marquinhos before sliding the ball underneath goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma.
The home side started the second half with the same level of intensity as in the first half and after just three minutes they had a precious third goal.
Seko Fofana pressed to win the ball back brilliantly before finding Lois Openda who smartly back-heeled it into the path of Alexis Claude-Maurice who provided an assured finish.
Paris Saint-Germain continued to pour forward in attack, desperately trying to find a way back into the match.
Lens maintained a serious threat on the counter attack as the visitors came forward but they couldn’t manage to find the right final ball to get a fourth goal.
Lens withstood a late barrage from PSG to record a famous victory. Lens were simply magnificent from start to finish and are a side who look like serious contenders at least for Champions League football.
TALKING POINT – THE POWER OF PRESSING
Franck Haise’s Lens side pressed their way to victory tonight. From the very first whistle they were aggressive, hunting in packs for the ball whenever Paris Saint-Germain had it. Massadio Haidara and Przemyslaw Frankowski were deployed as wing-backs but at times looked like fully fledged wingers due to how high they were up the pitch, pressing Hakimi and Mukiele and stopping PSG from getting into a rhythm. In the midfield it was the same, Salis Abdul Samed and Seko Fofana buzzed around the pitch, putting in tackles and breaking up play. PSG simply couldn’t handle Lens’ energy and never quite managed to find any sort of rhythm or flow as a result. When Lens started to tire in the second half from their exhaustive effort, they made the right changes all without disrupting their game plan. It was a superb performance filled with endeavour, grit and intensity, a fantastic display.
PLAYER OF THE MATCH – KEVIN DANSO (RC LENS)
In truth, any number of Lens players could have won this award today such was their performance but Kevin Danso was a rock at the back for his side. He made six clearances, blocked two shots, made four interceptions and two tackles. He was proactive with his defending and read the game brilliantly at times to get himself in a position to pinch the ball from the PSG attackers. His passing was crisp and accurate, always looking to find a midfielder or attacker in a good position (92.7% pass accuracy). A superb performance from the 24-year-old.
RC Lens: Samba 7, Danso 9, Sotoca 7, Fofana 8, Openda 8, Medina 7, Claude-Maurice 8, Haidara 7, Gradit 7, Abdul Samed 7, Frankowski 8
SUBS: Onana 6, Said 6, Poreba N/A
Paris Saint-Germain: Donnarumma 5; Hakimi 6, Ramos 6, Marquinhos 6, Mukiele 7; Fabián Ruiz 6, Danilo Pereira 6, Verratti 7; Carlos Soler 6; Ekitike 7, Mbappé 6
SUBS: Zaire-Emery 5, Gharbi 5, Vitinha 6, Sarabia 6
5′ GOAL – RC LENS – The home side have taken the lead! Haidara plays the ball back across goal and Frankowski is on hand to put his side 1-0 up.
8′ GOAL – PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN – Hugo Ekitike has scored for PSG, it looks like it is going to VAR as he appeared to kick it out of the goalkeepers hands.
28′ GOAL – RC LENS – It has been coming! Openda on the break, he rolls Sergio Ramos before chopping in past Marquinhos and sliding it under Donnarumma. A brilliant goal and no less than they have deserved.
48′ GOAL – RC LENS – Lens make it 3-1! Fofana wins the ball brilliantly, Openda then backheels it into Alexis Claude-Maurice who slides it home.
74′ WHAT A SAVE! – It may be a cliche but that save is as good as a goal from Samba. He denies Sarabia from point blank range to keep the score at 3-1.