Lens triumph in drop zone showdown
Lens moved out of the Ligue 1 relegation zone and dropped Caen into the bottom three as they claimed a crucial victory at Stade Felix-Bollaert. Laszlo Boloni has only been in charge at Lens for three weeks but he already appears to be winning his battle to keep Les Sang et Or in the top flight.
Goals from Adil Hermach and Toifilou Maoulida were the difference this evening and leave Boloni's counterpart Franck Dumas with plenty to ponder.
Caen had actually made the better start during an understandably nervy opening. Sambou Yatabere's pass released Romain Hamouma but he saw his shot well saved by Vedran Runje. But Lens began to settle and Caen goalkeeper Alexis Thebaux was forced into fine saves from Maoulida and Henri Bedimo as the hosts began to exert sustained pressure.
And the opening goal was not long in coming as a poor defensive clearance fell to Hermach in the 19th minute, and he produced a stunning volley that left Thebaux with no chance. Youssef El Arabi could have replied for the visitors five minutes before half-time but his effort went narrowly wide.
That miss proved costly when Lens doubled their advantage in the 54th minute. Gregory Sertic's clever pass found Maoulida, who chested the ball down before curling home from the left side of the area.
Caen sought a rapid response as Benjamin Nivet was unlucky to see his volley deflected to safety by Lens defender Alassane Toure. Runje then saved a Nivet free-kick before Kanga Akale failed to find the target at the other end as Lens looked to put a seal on the win late on.