Lille and Lens, five derby stories

9 May 1948, Coupe de France (final): Lille 3-2 Lens

The two clubs met several times in the Coupe de France, some of these matches were Homeric and the last one also saw Sang et Or, led 2-0, overthrow the Mastiffs thanks to an immense Seko Fofana (2-2 ap, 4-3 on pens, January 4, 2022). But their most important opposition in the event was … the first! For the only time in the history of the competition, the neighbors face off in the final and the suspense remains at 86 ‘.

With 60,739 spectators in Colombes, a record for the time, the two teams were tied at 2-2 when goalkeeper Witkowski made a long pass. In the fight with Golinski, Jean Baratte recovers the ball before going to fool Duffuler (3-2, 86th). But a controversy breaks out: the attacker seems to have made a mistake after defeating the defender with an elbow. It doesn’t matter to LOSC: winner of the event for the third consecutive time, he equaled the record set by the Red Star in 1921, 1922 and 1923.

The joy of Lille after their victory at the Coupe de France in 1948. (L’Équipe)

February 5, 1977 (matchday 24): Lille 0-1 Lens

Only matchday 24 is played but Lille, who have fallen in the standings, must absolutely win to believe in their chances of keeping. Played in a half of the Grimonprez stadium acquired for the cause of his opponent, this match will put an end to his hopes. Already winner of the first leg (4-2), Lens won in this derby in which the LOSC had no efficiency, like this post found by Parizon from a tight angle (32nd).

Twelve minutes earlier, Françoise scored the only goal of the game, with a “mine” in Chemier’s goal (20th). The missed penalty in the second half by Bousdira, the midfielder Sang et Or seen his attempt rejected by the goalkeeper, does not change anything. Future vice-champion of France, Racing has brought its host to his knees. “Lens and Françoise condemn Lille”title by the way The group in his report. The LOSC will finish 19th, far from the first non-relegation.

Daniel Leclercq and Lens are doing very badly at Lille that day.  (The group)

Daniel Leclercq and Lens are doing very badly at Lille that day. (The group)

April 26, 1997 (matchday 34), Lens 1-0 Lille

This time, both teams face relegation. Only five points separate Lens, 15th before this meeting, from Lille, 17th. But their trajectories know opposite curves. Beaten in the previous four days, the Mastiffs are in free fall and the replacement of Jean-Michel Cavalli with Hervé Gauthier does not have the desired effect. Quite the opposite in Lens, where Roger Lemerre’s appointment as manager in place of Slavo Muslin did well at Sang et Or in full recovery.

This meeting will mark a decisive turning point in the struggle for maintenance. In the 24th minute, Philippe Brunel eliminates Jean-Marie Aubry and delivers the Félix-Bollaert stadium (1-0), which for 12 years had not seen the victory of his proteges in the derby. But the main thing is elsewhere. With this result the Lensois are definitely moving away from the red zone where they send Lille for the first time this season. LOSC does not come out anymore: 18th, he returns to D2, 19 years later.

10 May 2008 (37th matchday), Lille – Goal: 2-1

“A derby for life”, title The group in his presentation, proof of the extreme importance of this meeting. Despite the presence of players such as Carrière, Monterrubio, Hilton, Aruna or Loïc Rémy, Lens, 17th, are playing their future with neighboring Lille, 5th and in the running for continental qualification. Well compensated by Mavuba, Cabaye opens the scoring before the interval (43 °), Frau doubles after the hour (2-0, 66 °) and if Monterrubio reduces the penalty almost immediately (2-1, 69 °), the score is no longer changing.

The lineup co-coached by Jean-Pierre Papin and Daniel Leclercq dropped to 18th place before the final day, but Gervais Martel wanted to be confident. “This defeat does not condemn us”, says the president of the RCL. He is wrong. Ten years after the title of champion, Lens took the direction of L2 after the final draw against Bordeaux (2-2). Hanged from his side in Lorient (1-1), the LOSC lets Europe escape, after having plunged their rival into the abyss.

Eric Carrière's discomfort as Lens slide to Ligue 2. (P. Lablatinière / L'Équipe)

Eric Carrière’s discomfort as Lens slide to Ligue 2. (P. Lablatinière / L’Équipe)

7 May 2021 (36th matchday), Lens v Lille: 0-3

The stakes are high before this game. In the fight for the title, Lille can leave their position as leader in the event of a bad result, such as Lens abandoning the idea of ​​a possible qualification for the European Cup. For Sang et Or, who have just returned to the elite, it is time to celebrate: the fans blow the heat by accompanying the coaches of their protégés to the stadium in a formidable procession.

But the cold shower is almost immediate. From the first minute Lille benefited from a penalty converted by Yilmaz (4th), Lens was then reduced to ten after the expulsion of Michelin (35th), and the Turkish closed the suspense with a monstrous shot from the left before the interval (2 -0, 40 °). In the second half David increases the score (3-0, 60th). The victory is clear, but Lensois, embittered, criticizes the arbitration of Clément Turpin. “I have the impression that we are criminals”, Jean-Louis Leca even got angry during a press conference. For LOSC the hardest part is over: two weeks later, they are champions for the fourth time in their history.

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