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Ghanaian Salis Samed side Lens, defeated Alidu Seidu’s clermont foot

RC Lens became only the second team this century to begin a Ligue 1 campaign with eight consecutive home victories after they came from a goal down to beat Clermont Foot 2-1 at the Stade Bollaert-Delelis.

After keeping clean sheets in their four previous home games, Lens had Brice Samba to thank to avoid conceding an early opener. The former Nottingham Forest goalkeeper reacted well to push Mateusz Wieteska’s diving header away from danger. At the other end of the pitch, Samba’s opposite number Mory Diaw also had to be alert to prevent Wesley Saïd from finding the net.

As expected, Lens dominated possession in the opening 45 minutes, but it was the visitors who took a surprise lead into HT. Moments after Grejohn Kyei forced Samba into action with an ambitious long-range strike, Saîf-Eddine Khaoui’s inswinging corner-kick struck former Clermont midfielder Salis Abdul Samed and trickled into the net after Kyei failed to make contact with his attempted header.

After conceding the opening goal for the first time in a Ligue 1 home game this season, Lens began to up the ante in the second half, and their relentless pressure was rewarded with an equaliser on the hour mark. Florian Sotoca’s low cross found the run of Saïd, who swept the ball home to register his fifth goal of the season. Less than 10 minutes after restoring parity, Lens completed the turnaround through Seko Fofana, who smartly controlled Jonathan Gradit’s pass before guiding the ball past the onrushing Diaw.

Fofana’s strike proved to be the decisive goal as Clermont were unable to muster a single shot on target in the second half. The victory extends Lens’ unbeaten home run in Ligue 1 to 13 games, and following their impressive form this season they will head into the World Cup break in second place. Clermont, meanwhile, are now winless in five matches, and they will be looking to use the time off as an opportunity to reset.

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