RC Lens will not be European. But the way he still went to snatch the draw (2-2), this Saturday evening, after extra time, from a Monaco quick to punish the slightest error in an incandescent Bollaert, all in devotion, is worth a lot.
There it’s finished. It’s cruel, but it was beautiful. Crazy, even, once again. This Saturday, RC Lens scored again after stoppage time (2-2, 90th + 6). By taking a badly cleared free kick, Ignatius Ganago blew up the Bollaert stadium. Lens will not play in the European Cup next season. Nice’s victory in Reims lessens the regrets a bit.
Like having left Monaco K.-O. as if struck down, depriving him of second place and a direct ticket to the Champions League. Lens finished seventh, but regardless, this ranking is not really related to what he showed in the game and the emotions he gave.
A start full of rhythm
His audience thanked him at length at the final whistle. This ” All together, hey! » shared with the players said everything about a communion that lasted all season. These supporters also know how to pay tribute.
Yannick Cahuzac, entered in the 89th minute, was entitled to an outing worthy of his commitment. A monster clamor had already accompanied the captain’s return to the locker room, a quarter of an hour before kick-off, while his family and loved ones, including Jean-Louis Leca, and the substitutes reserved a guard of honor for him.
Everything was in place for a great evening between the two best teams of the end of the season. The chances of qualifying were slim; the Lensois, however, had no intention of letting a crumb pass, they delivered a huge match. Their start full of rhythm and intensity bears witness to this.
They did not leave the ball to Monaco, they pushed hard, multiplied the strikes (11, including four on target in the first 22 minutes alone). It was necessary by one leg, the one that Alexander Nübel, the Monegasque goalkeeper, released in extremis to deflect Seko Fofana’s shot after a one-two with David Pereira da Costa (21st).
It was finally Przemyslaw Frankowski who concretized the domination of Racing (1-0, 30th). On the lookout in the area, the Polish piston took over a cross from Jonathan Clauss, repelled by Nübel, with the help of the bar and the back of Ruben Aguilar.
The joy did not last
Two minutes later, with Nice and Strasbourg behind, the planets were aligned. The joy did not last. By taking a corner from Aleksandr Golovin in two stages, Benoît Badiashile conditioned Bollaert (1-1, 35th). The only shot on target by ASM in this first period when they suffered a lot… But he had the gift of perking up the Monegasques, who came back with a more muscular game, and more chances too.
Twice, Wuilker Farinez had to work, in front of Youssouf Fofana (50th), then to smack a header from Aurélien Tchouaméni (60th). Facundo Medina, then Kevin Danso also went there to rescue them. None could do anything, however, to prevent Wissam Ben Yedder from scoring a header at the far post at the end of a counterattack (1-2, 62nd).
Lens did not give up, however, not in his DNA. David Pereira da Costa and Florian Sotoca (twice) had tried their luck, but it was again Seko Fofana who offered himself the best opportunity (70th), once again repelled by an imposing Nübel (8 saves). Racing then laid siege to the Monegasque goal. True to his values, to himself. He has much to be proud of.
RC Lens: “Lens will always remain in my heart”, says Seko Fofana
Lens – Monaco: magnificent Sang et Or until the end
RC Lens – AS Monaco: look back on a crazy evening… which started early in the day
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