Boxing Day Lens PSG 3-1

More than 38,000 spectators at Bollaert for Lens – PSG (photo JMD/Sports5962)

RC Lens beat Paris Saint-Germain 3-1 in a melting Bollaert-Delelis stadium on Ligue 1 matchday 17. For the first time, a league game took place on the first day of the year. Lens drops PSG for the first time this season on Boxing Day. The RCL returns to 4 points behind the leader in the general classification of Ligue 1, after a THQ meeting (very high quality).

A Ligue 1 match on January 1st… that has never happened in the era of modern football in Lens, or even anywhere else in France. Three days after opening this French Boxing Day with a trip to Nice (1-1), the RCL played in its good old Bollaert-Delelis stadium, the most English of French stadiums. And what is more by the shock of the season: Paris Saint-Germain. This first match of 2023 was the perfect poster: the duel between the first two in the championship. Of course, for this dream poster on an unprecedented day, Bollaert was sold out for the 16th time in a row.

Haise’s Hundredth, St. Barbara’s and Pelé

And yet, Galtier’s PSG came to Lens for this Boxing Day without two of its stars: Neymar (suspended) and Lionel Messi (on post-World vacation). This did not prevent the Lensois public from responding a few hours after New Year’s Eve. Even the very framed visitors’ stand was well stocked for this exceptional poster. The covid years already seemed far away, whereas a year ago we were still playing here behind closed doors.

The Parisians were greeted by an impressive volley of whistles during the warm-up. The atmosphere rose in tone two minutes later for the arrival of the Sang et Or. The weather was also mild, with a mild temperature despite the finally light rain. What a contrast with the polar cold two weeks before for the friendly match against Le Havre

It was also the hundredth game on the bench for Frank Haise. The Lensois coach-manager also received a nice ovation. Finally, the RCL celebrated Sainte-Barbe on this occasion, several weeks after the calendar date. Because there was no match at Bollaert during this period of the World Cup.

Last event of the match: a strong tribute to Pelé, disappeared this week. The audience provided a minute of applause in memory of the greatest footballer of all time.

No observation round

The public will not be long in vibrating because the match will keep all its promises. No dead time. Przemyslaw Frankowski opened the scoring from the 4th minute. But Hugo Etikitewho was not expected to start, equalized three minutes later by hitting a ball poorly controlled by Brice Samba. The Lensois protest but the VAR validates the goal.

The first half is lively and very open. Finally, Lens regained the lead following a failed raise from Gianluigi Donnaruma. Lois Openda embarks on a solitary breakthrough, puts Sergio Ramos and Marquinhos in the wind, before deceiving the Italian goalkeeper. The RCL leads 2-1 in the 27th minute and keeps this deserved score at rest.

Barely time to look for a beer at the bar, and shortly after the settlements, the Lensois knock out the Parisians. Alexis Claude Maurice recovers a ball lost by Fabian Ruiz and mark. 3-1 for RCL in the 47th minute. It is the first goal of the former Niçois since his arrival in Lens during the season.

The Sang et Or are euphoric and dominate the champions of France, yet masters of the ball. A possession that they fail to exploit. The absence of Messi and Neymar is felt at this level. Even Kevin Dance allows himself to shoot on goal. The 38,047 spectators present are over the moon. The two scorers of the day are thus warmly applauded when they go out 20 minutes from the end.

Brice Samba jjust after succeeds a magnificent parry on a shot from the head of Pablo Sarabia. But the waves from Lens are constantly returning to the Parisian goal, with a Seko Fofana untenable. Frustrated by seeing their first defeat of the season coming, the Parisians got angry in the last minutes.

Openda and Fofana at the top

It won’t change anything. Lens beats PSG 3-1 in a high-level game that will not be forgotten by the 38,000 Bollaert spectators who came for this Boxing Day. The Lensois public will have experienced an exceptional first January, worthy of English Boxing Day.

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Loïs Openda was the man of the match (photo JMD/Sports 5962)

The players remained on the pitch for a long time, to celebrate this exceptional success with their supporters. Even Frank Haise came before the kop to sing: “but what did we do, we choked them…” Which will make the Lensois coach say, in a press conference: “I’m not into that sort of thing. Players have asked me too. It was fun to share with the public. In life, you have to enjoy the good times. But don’t worry, I won’t do this every Sunday…”

A truly exceptional Sunday, as we tell you… And not only because Lens beat PSG during this Boxing Day.

The game sheet

RC Lens-Paris SG: 3-1 (2-1)

17th day of Ligue 1 UberEats. Bollaert-Delelis Stadium: 38,047 spectators. Mild weather, light rain. Land in good condition.

Arbitrator: Jerome Brisard

The goals : Frankowski (5′), Openda (28′) and Claude-Maurice (48′). Paris SG: Ekitike (8′).

Warnings . RC Lens: Abdul Samed (40′), Gradit (45′). Paris SG: Hakimi (45′), Gharbi (88′), Verratti (90′).
RC Lens: Samba – Gradit, Danso, Medina – Frankowski, Abdul Samed, Fofana (c) (Poreba, 90′), Haïdara – Claude-Maurice (Onana, 72′), Sotoca, Openda (Saïd, 72′).
Paris SG: Donnarumma – Mukiele, Ramos, Marquinhos (c), Hakimi – Pereira (Vitinha, 58′), Verratti, Ruiz (Sarabia, 58′) – Soler (Gharbi, 78′), Mbappé, Ekitike (Zaire-Emery, 73′) .

The reactions

Christophe Galtier, PSG coach. “Over the whole match, Lens deserved their victory. It’s not so much the defeat that annoys me, but the way he conceded the goals. The players did not respect their position. We gave them two goals. We split in two. It’s the first time I’ve seen my team so disorganized. »

Franck Haise, RC Lens coach. When you are ambitious in the game, with this state of mind, you can be ambitious at all levels. But we are not going to compare ourselves to Paris. This victory shows that we can beat everyone, and even Paris with style. And not just on a game fact.

“We always want to do well for the boyfriend”

Jonathan Gradit, RC Lens defender. “We knew we were going to have opportunities to come out. In the duels, you had to be present. Afterwards, it’s difficult not to be present in such a context, with an audience in turmoil too. With such supportive players. We always want to do well for the boyfriend. That’s wonderful. It’s a big night. We will enjoy and quickly move on. »

Lois Openda, RC Lens striker. The most important thing is the collective. We had a good game tonight. We take three points against Paris. There is nothing better. As I can play against Nice, I was fresher than usual. I knew that going deep today could help. I did well today. »

Marquinhos, captain of PSG. It is always in defeats that we put our feet on the ground. We then look at what can be improved. At times like this, it’s normal. You don’t have to question everything. We had a good start to the season. Today we lose our invincibility. It is therefore necessary to regain the solidity and cohesion of the team.

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Boxing Day Lens PSG 3-1

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