Elye Wahi celebrates scoring for Lens against Arsenal

Lens 2-1 Arsenal: Elye Wahi in starring role as Lens come from behind to beat Gunners

Elye Wahi celebrates scoring for Lens against ArsenalElye Wahi has scored and assisted in a game for Lens for the first time since August 2022 against Brest.

Elye Wahi starred as French side Lens came from behind to shock Arsenal in the Champions League.

Wahi’s first-time finish into the bottom left corner from a Przemyslaw Frankowski cross in the 69th minute saw the home side seal a notable success.

The below-par Gunners rode some early pressure from Lens before Gabriel Jesus claimed a 14th-minute opener from a through-ball from Bukayo Saka, who went off injured with a muscular problem.

Lens levelled 11 minutes later as Adrien Thomasson curled a superb finish into the far corner.

As Arsenal suffered their first loss of the season on a difficult night, they were dealt another blow before Sunday’s crunch Premier League meeting with Manchester City as England forward Saka went off after just 33 minutes.

But Lens were worthy of a win that took them to the top of Group B on four points, with Mikel Arteta’s side second on three.

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The hosts threatened from the start with Kevin Danso shooting just wide and Thomasson’s header going close before the offside flag was raised.

Jesus’ finish into the bottom left corner did not dampen the spirits of the home crowd who were experiencing their first Champions League game at the Stade Bollaert-Delelis since 2002. The Brazilian striker has now been involved in 16 goals in his last 16 Champions League starts, scoring 13 and assisting three.

But Lens hit back following a poor clearance from Arsenal keeper David Raya out to the left. Wahi, a summer signing from Montpellier, provided the assist, expertly controlling a long ball before laying off the pass for Thomasson to finish.

Gabriel was also caught out of position when given a loose pass in the Lens half and the hosts carved an opening with a well-struck effort from Salis Abdul Samed which rippled the side-netting.

The 20-year-old Wahi had the final say when he swept home the winner. In doing so, he became the youngest Frenchman to score and assist in a Champions League match since a 19-year-old Kylian Mbappe did so for Paris St-Germain in December 2018.

Saka injury adds to sloppy Arsenal’s woes

Bukayo Saka down injured for ArsenalBukayo Saka went off in the 34th minute

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It was a tough night for the Gunners who looked off the pace as a run of nine Champions League group stage games unbeaten was ended by a buoyant Lens.

Sloppy in defence, Arsenal struggled to create clear-cut chances.

Lens goalkeeper Brice Samba made a good reaction save to deny Takehiro Tomiyasu from a Gunners corner, but was not tested enough.

Arsenal will look to bounce back in the Champions League when they travel to Sevilla in three weeks’ time, while Lens host PSV.

However, the departure of Saka will be the biggest concern when the dust settles.

He was doubtful for the 4-0 win against Bournemouth at the weekend but started before being withdrawn after 76 minutes. Saka was passed fit for this match, but went off in discomfort.

Before his substitution, Saka showed his quality once more by providing the assist for Jesus’ strike and become the first player to record five goals and five assists in all competitions this season for a team in Europe’s big five leagues.

He later emerged around the hour mark and sat on the bench with his team-mates to watch the rest of the match.

But, while Arteta said he had no regrets, questions will be asked about his decision to risk Saka, especially if he is absent when champions City visit the Emirates on Sunday.

Player of the match

SaïdWesley Saïd

with an average of 6.67

  • LensLensLens
  • ArsenalArsenalArsenal

Lens

Avg

  1. Squad number22Player nameSaïdAverage rating

    6.67

  2. Squad number30Player nameSambaAverage rating

    6.61

  3. Squad number9Player nameWahiAverage rating

    6.59

  4. Squad number11Player nameFulginiAverage rating

    6.56

  5. Squad number18Player nameDioufAverage rating

    6.56

  6. Squad number2Player nameAguilarAverage rating

    6.56

  7. Squad number28Player nameThomassonAverage rating

    6.21

  8. Squad number29Player nameFrankowskiAverage rating

    6.14

  9. Squad number14Player nameMedinaAverage rating

    6.13

  10. Squad number4Player nameDansoAverage rating

    6.13

  11. Squad number26Player nameMendyAverage rating

    6.13

  12. Squad number7Player nameSotocaAverage rating

    6.11

  13. Squad number6Player nameAbdul SamedAverage rating

    6.11

  14. Squad number3Player nameMachadoAverage rating

    5.90

  15. Squad number24Player nameGraditAverage rating

    5.82

Arsenal

Avg

  1. Squad number9Player nameGabriel JesusAverage rating

    6.37

  2. Squad number8Player nameØdegaardAverage rating

    6.06

  3. Squad number7Player nameSakaAverage rating

    5.97

  4. Squad number2Player nameSalibaAverage rating

    5.89

  5. Squad number41Player nameRiceAverage rating

    5.84

  6. Squad number19Player nameTrossardAverage rating

    5.66

  7. Squad number6Player nameGabriel MagalhãesAverage rating

    5.63

  8. Squad number18Player nameTomiyasuAverage rating

    5.60

  9. Squad number35Player nameZinchenkoAverage rating

    5.51

  10. Squad number29Player nameHavertzAverage rating

    5.21

  11. Squad number10Player nameSmith RoweAverage rating

    5.15

  12. Squad number22Player nameRayaAverage rating

    4.73

  13. Squad number4Player nameWhiteAverage rating

    4.59

  14. Squad number21Player nameFábio VieiraAverage rating

    4.32

  15. Squad number24Player nameNelsonAverage rating

    3.93

  16. Squad number14Player nameNketiahAverage rating

    3.89

  • Line-ups
  • Match Stats
  • Live Text
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Line-ups

Lens

Formation 3-4-2-1

30Samba24Gradit4Danso14Medina29Frankowski26Mendy6Abdul Samed3Machado7Sotoca28Thomasson9Wahi

  • 30Samba
  • 24Gradit
  • 4Danso
  • 14Medina
  • 29Frankowski
  • 26MendySubstituted forDioufat 73’minutes
  • 6Abdul SamedBooked at 90mins
  • 3MachadoSubstituted forAguilarat 81’minutes
  • 7Sotoca
  • 28ThomassonSubstituted forFulginiat 73’minutes
  • 9WahiSubstituted forSaïdat 73’minutes

Substitutes

  • 2Aguilar
  • 11Fulgini
  • 16Leca
  • 18Diouf
  • 20Maouassa
  • 22Saïd
  • 23El Aynaoui
  • 25Khusanov
  • 27Guilavogui
  • 40Pandor

Arsenal

Formation 4-3-3

22Raya18Tomiyasu2Saliba6Gabriel35Zinchenko8Ødegaard41Rice29Havertz7Saka9Gabriel Jesus19Trossard

  • 22Raya
  • 18Tomiyasu
  • 2Saliba
  • 6Gabriel
  • 35ZinchenkoSubstituted forWhiteat 71’minutes
  • 8ØdegaardSubstituted forNketiahat 80’minutes
  • 41Rice
  • 29HavertzSubstituted forSmith Roweat 70’minutes
  • 7SakaSubstituted forFábio Vieiraat 34’minutes
  • 9Gabriel JesusBooked at 90mins
  • 19TrossardSubstituted forNelsonat 70’minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Ramsdale
  • 4White
  • 5Partey
  • 10Smith Rowe
  • 14Nketiah
  • 15Kiwior
  • 17Cédric Soares
  • 20Jorginho
  • 21Fábio Vieira
  • 24Nelson
  • 25Elneny
  • 31Hein

Referee:Marco GuidaAttendance:37,040

Match Stats

Home TeamLensAway TeamArsenalPossessionHome33%Away67%ShotsHome10Away11Shots on TargetHome3Away6CornersHome3Away5FoulsHome8Away10

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Lens 2, Arsenal 1.

  2. 90’+5′

    Full Time

    Second Half ends, Lens 2, Arsenal 1.

  3. 90’+5′

    Post update

    Attempt blocked. Gabriel Magalhães (Arsenal) header from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Reiss Nelson with a cross.

  4. 90’+5′

    Post update

    Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Florian Sotoca.

  5. 90’+5′

    Post update

    Attempt blocked. Emile Smith Rowe (Arsenal) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Takehiro Tomiyasu with a headed pass.

  6. 90’+4′

    Post update

    Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Przemyslaw Frankowski.

  7. 90’+1′

    Post update

    Takehiro Tomiyasu (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  8. 90’+1′

    Post update

    Foul by Florian Sotoca (Lens).

  9. 90′

    Booking

    Gabriel Jesus (Arsenal) is shown the yellow card.

  10. 90′

    Booking

    Salis Abdul Samed (Lens) is shown the yellow card.

  11. 89′

    Post update

    Foul by Fábio Vieira (Arsenal).

  12. 89′

    Post update

    Brice Samba (Lens) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  13. 89′

    Post update

    Attempt missed. Gabriel Jesus (Arsenal) header from the left side of the six yard box misses to the right.

  14. 89′

    Post update

    Attempt blocked. Reiss Nelson (Arsenal) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

  15. 88′

    Post update

    Attempt missed. Florian Sotoca (Lens) left footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Angelo Fulgini with a cross.

  16. 87′

    Post update

    Foul by Gabriel Jesus (Arsenal).

  17. 87′

    Post update

    Jonathan Gradit (Lens) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  18. 85′

    Post update

    Attempt saved. Emile Smith Rowe (Arsenal) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top right corner.

  19. 81′

    Post update

    Emile Smith Rowe (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  20. 81′

    Post update

    Foul by Andy Diouf (Lens).

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