Lens vs Arsenal player ratings – Wahi winner grazes Gunners

Despite facing a formidable opposing lineup, RC Lens earned a memorable 2-1 win at home to favourites Arsenal to send them top of Group B on matchday two of the UEFA Champions League (UCL). The Gunners remain second after PSV and Sevilla drew 2-2 in tonight’s other clash.

Lens vs Arsenal: Timeline

14′ – Arsenal take the lead with their first shot on goal as Gabriel Jesus fires into the bottom corner from a Bukayo Saka pass. Adrien Thomasson gave the ball away cheaply for Lens.

25′ – Lens equalise through a Thomasson half-volley after an Elye Wahi acrobatic pass. David Raya gave the ball away in the build-up.

34′ – Saka comes off injured and is replaced by Fabio Vieira.

69′ – Lens are ahead as Wahi sweeps into the bottom corner first time following a Przemyslaw Frankowski cross.

89′ – Reiss Nelson’s shot is well-blocked by Jonathan Gradit following a sweeping Arsenal move. A scuffle between both teams follows.

Elye Wahi Lens
Lens’ Elye Wahi celebrates scoring the winner against Arsenal. Date: October 3, 2023. (Photo by Anthony Dibon/Icon Sport)

The Big Stat

Lens latest victim of Sak-attack

With his assist for Jesus, Saka is the first player in Europe’s top five leagues to record 5+ goals and assists in all competitions this season.


Lens vs Arsenal player ratings: Star Player

Elye Wahi – 8.40

Wahi was no doubt the player of the match, as he had a hand in both of Lens’ goals. He provided an acrobatic assist for their first goal scored by Thomasson, a crucial moment in the game that gave the hosts belief after going behind.

His winning goal was taken very well, a curling first-time finish into the bottom corner after a fine Frankowski cross.

Elye Wahi goal
Wahi produced a magnificent first-time finish. (Photo by Anthony Dibon/Icon Sport)

Lens vs Arsenal player ratings:

Lens player ratings

Brice Samba – 7

Samba produced some vital saves, especially at the end, as Lens held on.

Jonathan Gradit – 7

Gradit produced a tremendous last-minute block to win three points for his team.

Kevin Danso – 6

Danso had some difficult moments against Jesus but was solid overall.

Facundo Medina – 6

Like Danso, Medina was solid enough to reduce Arsenal to just one goal.

Przemyslaw Frankowski – 7

Frankowski produced a wonderful cross for Wahi to slot home the winner.

Nampalys Mendy – 6

Mendy was solid in the middle of the park as Arsenal hardly played through Lens.

Salis Abdul Samed – 6

Samed was solid in both boxes for Lens.

Deiver Machado – 6

Machado was lively and often provided an attacking threat.

Florian Sotoca – 6

Sotoca lacked a little bit of a creative spark but was involved in attacks.

Adrien Thomasson – 7

Thomasson gave the ball away for Arsenal’s opening goal but produced a sumptuous half-volley to equalise.

Sepe Elye Wahi – 8

Wahi was the star man for Lens, providing an acrobatic assist and fine finish of his own.

Angelo Fulgini (sub) – 6

Fulgini was resorted to more of a defensive job in the final 20 minutes.

Andy Diouf (sub) – 6

Like Fulgini, Diouf did not go forward as much as he would have liked.

Wesley Said (sub) – 6

Likewise, Said joined a solid defensive performance from Lens in the final moments.

Ruben Aguilar (sub) – 6

Aguilar was solid enough when he came on.

Andrea Thomasson Lens
Adrien Thomasson celebrates after scoring Lens’ equaliser. (Photo by Anthony Dibon/Icon Sport)

Arsenal no longer unbeaten

Arsenal player ratings

David Raya – 5

Raya’s sloppy pass led to Lens’ opening goal, and was not much of a presence.

Takehiro Tomiyasu – 5

Tomiyasu made some decent runs and was unlucky not to score in the second half with a volley, but defensively he was suspect.

William Saliba – 6

Saliba was not at fault for either goal and was confident in playing out of Lens’ press.

Gabriel Magalhaes – 6

Like Saliba, Gabriel had a solid performance despite conceding twice.

Oleksandr Zinchenko – 6

Zinchenko stepped into midfield well and played some dangerous passes.

Martin Odegaard – 5

Odegaard tried to play intricate passes through but it just was not his night.

Declan Rice – 7

Arsenal’s best player on the night, Rice played out of situations well and was the only midfielder who showed any real composure.

Kai Havertz – 5

Havertz had a shot saved in the first half but struggled to get in the game.

Bukayo Saka – 7

Saka provided the assist for Jesus’ opening goal before being forced off injured in the first half.

Gabriel Jesus – 6

Jesus took his goal well and was lively throughout, pressing well when he needed to.

Leandro Trossard – 5

Trossard provided some neat turns but end product is lacking.

Fabio Vieira (sub) – 5

Vieira had little impact despite playing an hour.

Ben White (sub) – 5

White did not have time to make much of an impact.

Emile Smith Rowe (sub) – 6

Smith Rowe was lively and forced a save from Samba.

Reiss Nelson (sub) – 6

Nelson could have scored an equaliser if not for a good block,

Eddie Nketiah (sub) – 5

Nketiah struggled to make much impact.

Gabriel Jesus Arsenal
Gabriel Jesus celebrates scoring Arsenal’s opener. (Photo by Anthony Dibon/Icon Sport)

The Final Word

The result will give Lens confidence they can qualify from the group, as they sit top with four points from a possible six. For Arsenal, their unbeaten start to the season ends, and they could not ask for a tougher opponent than Manchester City at the weekend.

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