Substitute Wesley Saïd scored the second-half winner as RC Lens beat Olympique de Marseille 3-2 in a tremendous game to climb above their opponents into second place in the table.
Olympique de Marseille 2-3 RC Lens
Lens knew a win at the Orange Vélodrome would take them above their hosts and they got off to a fantastic start. Florian Sotoca netted from the penalty spot in the ninth minute after a handball in the area by Pape Gueye was spotted by referee Mikaël Lesage when he came across to review the images.
Polish star Przemysław Frankowski then doubled the away side’s lead in stunning fashion just before the half-hour mark, collecting a flick-on by Sotoca from Jean-Louis Leca’s long kick downfield, cutting in from the right and curling a shot high into the far corner of the net on his left foot (27’).
However, Dimitri Payet led the Marseille fightback, winning a free-kick 20 metres from goal which he curled over the wall and into the net to reduce the deficit in the 33rd minute. Payet’s deflected cross then created a glorious chance for Gerson to equalise soon after, but his strike was brilliantly saved by Leca. However, Payet did draw the hosts level from the spot in first-half stoppage time, converting a penalty awarded for a foul by Christopher Wooh on Bamba Dieng.
OM had the momentum at the start of the second half and they might have completed the turnaround but Cengiz Ünder crashed a shot off the bar and Bamba Dieng’s header moments later was saved by Leca. Pol Lirola, introduced at half-time, then sent a shot narrowly past the post.
Instead it was Lens who scored again midway through the second half. Jonathan Clauss had just been sent on from the bench when he set up Sotoca to cross from the right for Saïd, another substitute to head in and silence the home support. Lens then had chances to add to their lead as they held out for a thoroughly deserved victory.
THE PLAYER: Seko Fofana
There were outstanding performances all round from Lens but captain Fofana led by example from beginning to end. He seemed to be everywhere on the field for the away side and he surely deserved a goal for his regular marauding runs into the penalty box. Former Manchester City youngster Fofana is loving life in the far north of France after returning to the country of his birth from Udinese prior to the start of last season.
THE STAT: 600
Payet scored twice for Marseille on what was the 600th appearance of his club career.