Jonathan David’s second-half equaliser allowed LOSC Lille to leave the Stade Bollaert-Delelis with a 1-1 draw against RC Lens in Saturday’s northern derby.
RC Lens 1-1 LOSC Lille
Lens came into this game on a poor run of form but they were looking to maintain an outstanding home record this season and make it 12 wins from 13 matches in front of their own fans. They had the better of the first half and were rewarded with the opening goal four minutes before the interval. Angelo Fulgini’s free-kick delivery from the Lens left was headed into his own net by Lille captain José Fonte (41’).
Lille, with coach Paulo Fonseca serving a suspension and watching from the stand, were much better in the second half and got the equaliser in the 69th minute. Lens goalkeeper Brice Samba made two saves in quick succession to deny Jonathan Bamba and then Rémy Cabella, but Bamba then nodded the ball down for David to score from close range.
The visitors then pushed for a winner but Samba made big saves from Benjamin André and Cabella to keep Lens on level terms before producing a stunning stop to prevent Edon Zhegrova from finding the net in stoppage time.
The result keeps Lens six points ahead of Lille in the race for European qualification and prevents Les Dogues from climbing up into the top five, at least until Stade Rennais FC play on Sunday.
THE PLAYER: Brice Samba
Rested for the midweek Coupe de France quarter-final defeat against FC Nantes, Samba returned to the Lens line-up here and showed his value to Franck Haise’s team with a string of vital second-half saves to ensure his team escaped with a point.
THE STAT: 100
David marked his 100th Ligue 1 Uber Eats appearance with the equalising goal for Lille.