The home fans at the Stade-Bollaert-Delelis produced an incredible atmosphere full of energy and intensity, and their players brought the same conviction. Not fazed by coming up against L1’s leaders, Lens took the game to PSG and looked the better side throughout the half. Keylor Navas was kept busy throughout the opening 45 minutes and saved a long-range free kick from Jonathan Clauss, then produced a brilliant stop to deny Cheick Doucouré’s stinging volley.
Despite winning 13 of their 16 league games this season, Mauricio Pochettino’s side have had their critics for their performances, and it was more of the same again. Despite having some of the biggest names in world football, it was a disjointed, lacklustre display from ‘Les Parisiens’, who looked to rely on individual moments from their stars. Lionel Messi, who hit the post with a curling effort from the edge of the box, cut a frustrated figure at HT, as his side struggled to make an impact on the game.
PSG continued to struggle in the second half, with Lens looking the likeliest to open the scoring. This is exactly what they did, albeit with a hint of fortune, as Seko Fofana’s long-range shot was fumbled by the usually reliable Navas. ‘Les Parisiens’ pushed forward for an equaliser but this left them open to the counterattack, and Lens came agonisingly close to taking advantage on the break as David Costa’s effort rebounded off the post and into Navas’ arms.
The home side did not try to sit back and defend their one-goal lead, and instead went searching for a second, and would have got it if it wasn’t for the brilliance of Navas, who was making up for his earlier mistake. This proved vital, as Georgino Wijnaldum rose highest to power a header into the back of the net, securing a 1-1 draw. Whilst PSG will be disappointed with their performance, they still possess a 13-point lead at the top of L1. Meanwhile, Lens remain in fifth place, two points behind second-placed Marseille.