PSV beats Lens and rises to second place in the Champions League group

Luuk de Jong after his 1-0

NOS Football

PSV recorded an important 1-0 home victory over RC Lens in the Champions League. With the three corresponding points for the victory – the first after seventeen matches at the highest level without a win – the Eindhoven team rises to second place in the group.

Leader Arsenal won 2-0 against Sevilla in London thanks to goals from Leandro Trossard and star Bukayo Saka, which remains on two points. PSV passed Lens because it can negotiate a better mutual result.

PSV still plays away at Sevilla (November 29) and at home against Arsenal (December 12). The best two teams advance to the eighth finals and the number three to the Europa League.

The standings in group B of the Champions League

With Guus Til in the starting line-up for the first time this Champions League campaign – because “he has always done very well when he had to”, according to Bosz – PSV kicked off in the pouring rain, knowing that after the false start at Arsenal (4-0 defeat) and draws against Sevilla (2-2) and Lens (1-1) would actually only benefit from a win against the French.

An early lead would be a welcome boost and it came. Of course, you could almost say now, through the head of Luuk de Jong. Johan Bakayoko put the ball on the head of the captain in the twelfth minute, who was given just too much space: 1-0.

Next to Van Nistelrooij

With his eighth Champions League goal for the Eindhoven team, 33-year-old De Jong came alongside Ruud van Nistelrooij, until this evening the most productive PSV player in the most important European club tournament. De Jong, who also scored for FC Twente (one) and Sevilla (two) in the Champions League, made his first in November 2015 against VfL Wolfsburg.

Luuk de Jong sees his header disappear into the French goal: 1-0

Lens, which was still undefeated in group B, did not have to worry immediately. In the previous three group matches, the current number ten of Ligue 1 also fell behind first.

It would have been a different story if Bakayoko had been able to run into Hirving Lozano’s cross with the outside right halfway through the first half, but the young Belgian fell just a little short. A shot by Joey Veerman lacked both power and direction.

After the sliders from Sergiño Dest and Lozano had failed to worry goalkeeper Brice Samba, PSV suddenly had a scare shortly before half-time when Deiver Machado was briefly overlooked. To the relief of the home team, the Colombian drove the ball over the goal in a promising position.

Yellow cards

After the break, the first danger came from PSV again. Lozano attempted three times, but twice too high and the third shot was stopped by Samba.

In the meantime, the Lens players continued to collect yellow cards, through fouls and excessive protest actions, which clearly did not please the German referee Daniel Siebert.

A moment of carelessness almost gave Machado the opportunity to return the favor, but he slipped clear in front of the goal before he could become dangerous. A free kick from substitute Angelo Fulgini was tapped over the PSV goal by Walter Benítez, with the Argentine goalkeeper appearing to injure himself.

Own success

PSV, which started to allow itself more and more sloppiness, threatened to lose control of the match for a moment, but recovered in time. However, the liberating 2-0 did not materialize, because the last pass invariably did not arrive. Shortly before the end, Lozano also went for his own success, although the sprinting Bakayoko was in a better position.

The expensive bill almost followed a minute later, but Lozano was lucky that Morgan Guilavogui’s shot hit the post behind Benítez. Substitute Malik Tillman assisted his goalkeeper on the line with a French header.

In extra time, Guilavogui received his second yellow card.

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