RC Lens' Elye Wahi and Nampalys Mendy celebrate the striker's goal against FC Lorient
Match Reports

Lens beat Lorient, edge closer to Europe

Lens beat Lorient, edge closer to Europe

Match Reports
Publish on 05/04 at 00:00 - E. DEVIN


Second-half goals from in-form Elye Wahi and David Pereira da Costa helped Racing Club de Lens seal a 2-0 win over FC Lorient

After a nervy first half that saw hosts Racing Club de Lens fail to break down a battling FC Lorient side, Franck Haise's charges netted twice in the second to round out a 2-0 win that leaves Le Sang et Or five points clear of Olympique de Marseille, firmly ensconced in the European places. Lens took to the pitch without youngster Neil El Aynaoui, while FC Lorient, three points off safety at the start of play, were missing a raft of key players, including attackers Ayman Kari and Bamba Dieng.

In a Stade Bollaert that was boisterous on a Friday evening, the hosts took the initiative from the match's first minutes. After a quarter of an hour, some fine team play saw a gilt-edged chance for Florian Sotoca after a ball played across goal from Elye Wahi. Lens continued to press for an opener, and could have had one after a corner with thirty minutes gone, but Facundo Medina fired over the bar as Les Merlus struggled to clear their lines. Moments later, Wahi curled a shot just wide of the far post, but neither side would get any closer to taking the lead before the interval.

After the break, Lens made good on their hard work. Just moments after coming close to scoring after a lovely ball over the top from Nampalys Mendy, Wahi finally found the net just before the hour mark. Mendy was again involved, as the ex-Leicester City midfielder showed some clever pressing before threading a ball through for Wahi, who has continued to impress in the season's second half. Conceding seemed to have woken up Lorient, and Panos Katseris did well to force Brice Samba into a diving save midway through the half.

Samba was called into action again with fifteen minutes to play as Lorient sought an equalizer, denying Mohamed Bamba from close range, but Lorient's eagerness to bring back a point from the north of France soon told, as a slack pass at the edge of the Lens area from Imrân Louza was found by David Pereira da Costa. After a nifty one-two with Adrien Thomasson on the left, the Portuguese youth international had his first goal in more than two months, ensuring that Lens recorded their ninth home win of the season -- a figure only bettered by PSG.

With the loss Lorient remain in the bottom two ahead of Clermont Foot and FC Metz playing tomorrow, while Lens are a provisional fifth ahead of Stade Rennais and Olympique Lyonnais playing later in the round.

>> Florian Sotoca: Lens' experienced head

>>David Pereira Da Costa: Racing's in-form attacker

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