Written By: Abidoye Babatunde
An early goal in each half allowed RC Lens to cruise to an easy away win over Clermont Foot at Stade Gabriel Montpied, extending their undefeated streak in Ligue 1 to eight matches (W5, D3) while ending Les Lanciers’ two-game undefeated run.
Lens’ sense of urgency was noticeable, and the visitors looked the more threatening side from the off. That paid dividends when they opened the scoring via Elye Wahi just 11 minutes in, with the promising striker rising highest to meet a cross from Rubén Aguilar. However, Clermont responded positively, pushing forward yet failing to pose a significant threat to Brice Samba’s goal.
The hosts’ best chance of the half came in the 26th minute via Grejohn Kyei, but Samba was magnificent to deny him. Lens had some promising moments of their own, and Wahi could have doubled his tally, but Mory Diaw was on hand to deny him with an impressive save late in the first half. There was plenty of late first-half drama when three red cards were brandished in stoppage time following a heated moment, as Clermont boss Pascal Gastien as well as Wahi and Alidu Seidu were each given their marching orders, meaning both sides would have to play with 10 men after the break.
Clermont adopted a more aggressive approach in the second period, but playing a more positive style with a numerical disadvantage left them vulnerable at the back. Just five minutes into the second half that was highlighted when Adrien Thomasson took advantage of a glaring mistake from Clermont’s defensive line to double the visitors’ lead while seemingly putting the nail in Clermont’s coffin. Despite attempting to mount a comeback, the hosts were unable to improve upon their two-goal deficit.
Despite a host of presentable opportunities to at least reduce the arrears, the hosts remained wasteful in front of goal. Kyei represented their biggest threat, and Clermont spent most of the second half pushing up into Lens’ half, but the lack of ideas and accuracy in the final third ultimately cost them. The visitors ultimately added a third goal late on when substitute Wesley Said found the back of the net with a wonderful solo effort. The win keeps Lens in sixth place, just inside the European spots, while Clermont remain in the relegation zone as the halfway stage of the Ligue 1 campaign fast approaches.
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