2021-22 Ligue 1
  • Karl Toko Ekambi (25' PEN)
  • Houssem Aouar (41')
  • Arnaud Kalimuendo (61')

Lyon weather Lens storm to go fifth in Ligue 1

Lyon hung on for dear life in the second half to claim a 2-1 home win against second-placed RC Lens and move up to fifth in the Ligue 1 standings on Saturday.

After opening up a 2-0 lead in a clinical first half thanks to goals by Karl Toko Ekambi and Houssem Aouar, Lyon then struggled and Lens pulled one back through Arnaud Kalimuendo.

They now have 19 points from 12 games and trail second-placed Lens by two points.

Leaders Paris St Germain have 31 points after beating champions Lille 2-1 on Friday.

"We're usually much better, but I miss a key chance early in the second half," said Lens midfielder Gael Kakuta.

Lyon went ahead on 25 minutes when Toko Ekambi converted a penalty after Bruno Guimaraes was brought down by Facundo Medina.

Lens reacted swiftly but Jonathan Clauss's equaliser was ruled out for offside after a VAR review.

The visitors suffered on Lyon's counter attacks and they found themselves trailing 2-0 before the break as Aouar headed home in the 41st after Jean-Louis Leca parried Toko Ekambi's strike into his path.

But Lens continued to play their usual eye-pleasing football and piled the pressure with Kakuta forcing Anthony Lopes to two saves in quick succession early in the second half.

They were rewarded in the 61st minute when Kalimuendo beat Lopes with a fine lob after a one-two with Kakuta.

The hosts were on the back foot but the arrival of substitute Rayan Cherki in place of Toko Ekambi handed them a late boost as they continued to threaten on the break.

Eventually, Lens were left frustrated after managing 10 shots on target in a high-octane encounter.