The Lensois are ready. Four days before the decisive clash against the English Arsenal, as part of the 5th day of the group stage of the Champions League, the Sang et Or took care of their preparation by winning on the Clermont lawn (3 -0), Saturday November 25, in Ligue 1. A seemingly comfortable success, but also marked by great nervousness in both ranks, which could have cost the Artesian club dearly a few minutes before half-time.

Before getting there, the Lensois delivered a performance reminding us why this club is the reigning vice-champion of France. Largely dominant, Franck Haise’s men multiplied the offensive waves on the cage of Clermont’s Mory Diaw. One man particularly caught the lights in the Clermont night: Elye Wahi.

The most expensive recruit in the history of Lens (35 million euros), the ex-Montpellier striker has struggled to score goals since his arrival in Pas-de-Calais. Against Clermont, however, he was in all the good moves of his team for a long time, notably opening the score with a subtle lobbed header on a cross from Ruben Aguilar (11th minute).

In the process, he distinguished himself in particular by a breakthrough on the left (30th), then by a header pushed back on his line by Mory Diaw (36th). This is the part of the Wahi match that Franck Haise undoubtedly greatly appreciated. Because subsequently, the 20-year-old striker suddenly showed off his inexperience.

Wahi excluded… and expected against Arsenal

After having already conceded a first yellow card for protest (45th 2), he received a second synonymous with exclusion two minutes later, for having been at the origin of a scuffle. He was not the only one to rush to the locker room since Clermont defender Alidu Seidu was also asked to leave by the referee, Benoît Millot. Very annoyed on the sidelines, Auvergne coach Pascal Gastien also received a red card.

Sent back to the stands, the coach watched in disappointment as his goalkeeper’s completely missed pass, offering a ready-made goal to Adrien Thomasson, who probably wasn’t asking for that much (49th). Played in a more relative calm, the end of the match allowed the Lensois to add to the score, thanks to the right foot of Wesley Saïd (82nd), and to continue a new defensive recital. Lens has not conceded a single goal in Ligue 1 since October 8 and the derby against Lille (1-1).

Their invincibility in the championship even goes beyond this date since the Sang et Or have not fallen since September 16 and a defeat against Metz (1-0). This bodes well, as a prestigious trip to Arsenal now awaits them on Wednesday 29 November. Third in their group with five points – four less than the Londoners, and as many as the Dutch PSV Eindhoven – the Lensois will probably have to bring back points from their English escapade if they want to continue to dream of the first qualification in eighth final part of their story.

Confident thanks to their results in France, the Lensois will also be able to motivate themselves by remembering the first leg, during which they created the feat by bringing down the Gunners in an incandescent Bollaert stadium (2-1). A success notably marked by a goal from Elye Wahi. Hoping for the Artesians that the young French striker will maintain his success from Saturday, adding a good dose of calm.