The Champions League

PLAYER RATINGS | Lens 1 – 1 PSV: Wahi maintains Lens’ unbeaten start to life in Europe

Lens were looking to take full command of at the top of Group B in matchday three of the Champions League as they faced PSV at the Stade Bollaert-Delelis. Les Sang et Or also hoped to retain their unbeaten start to the competition following a 1-1 draw with Sevilla and a famous 2-1 victory against Arsenal in their first two matches. 

Facundo Medina had the first chance of the game as Frankowski’s cross couldn’t be directed goalwards by Wahi but into the direction of the Argentine defender. However, the mishit shot just evaded Medina who tried to stab the ball beyond Walter Benitez. The chances for Lens were plentiful in the opening ten minutes with Machado also having the chance to give them the lead from Sotoca’s cross but his onrushing shot was tame. 

Despite early dominance from Lens, PSV came the closest to taking the lead in the opening 30 minutes. Hirving Lozano did brilliantly to cut inside and bend a shot goalwards but he was denied by the post. After this chance, momentum in the game seemed to switch in favour of the visitors with Lens forced to go more direct to play over the relentless press from Peter Bosz’s team. 

Danso had Lens’ best chance of the second half with less than 5 minutes to go until the break as a free kick somewhat unknowingly fell to him in a great position in the PSV box but he sliced his effort over the bar. The game remained goalless at the break.  

After 54 minutes, Johan Bakayoko gave the visitors the lead. The Belgian winger found the back of the net with a sweet strike from distance that evaded Samba in the Lens goal with a wicked amount of spin. The Eredivisie club had begun to assert their dominance in the game at the start of the second half and deservedly found themselves in front.

Chasing the game, Lens began to gain a foothold in the game following PSV’s opener. A sweeping counter-attack saw Frankowski find Wahi in space, but the French U21 forward’s first-time shot was fired wide. Before long, the former Montpellier forward would have a second opportunity to convert and he took it. Frankowski’s early cross found Wahi and with brilliantly improvised technique, he volleyed beyond Benitez to level proceedings. The momentum swung towards Lens with a rocking Bollaert-Delelis behind them. 

Lens’ pressure had an almost debilitating effect on PSV, who struggled to put any passes together for around ten minutes before they regained some composure. As the game remained finely balanced, Joey Veerman almost nestled a free kick home but a vital deflection from the Lens wall saw the effort just wide of Samba’s goal. Ramalho also had a big chance to win the game for PSV from a set piece but his header was wide of the post. 

Despite chances in the final minutes of the game for both teams, the scores remained level. This result means that whilst Lens remain unbeaten they drop to second in Group B after Arsenal’s 2-1 victory against Sevilla. 

Lens player ratings: 

Brice Samba – 6

Facundo Medina – 6

Kevin Danso – 6, The Austrian defender was commanding at the back and often seen breaking from defence into midfield to kickstart attacks. He held the Lens defence together strongly during sustained periods of PSV dominance.

Jonathan Gradit – 6

Przemysław Frankowski – 7, The Polish international was Lens’ chief creator all night and expertly patrolled the right flank with ease whilst assisting Wahi. The accuracy of his crossing was a joy to behold and had an immense influence on the game. 

Nampalys Mendy – 5

Salis Abdul Samed – 6

Deiver Machado – 5

Florian Sotoca – 7

Elye Wahi – 7, Wahi showed exactly why Lens broke their club record fee to sign the French U21 international. He lead the line brilliantly often shifting into the channels and running in behind whilst showing a clinical streak any striker would be proud of to level the game. 

Angelo Fulgini – 5

GFFN | Liam Wraith


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