Lens-OL: What happened in the reverse fixture
On January 6, 2021, OL were starting the new year atop Ligue 1 and aimed to stay there as long as possible. In front of them was Lens, one of the season's surprise packages, a team who had just been promoted but who were watching the fight for survival from afar, since they were already well-placed in the top half of the table. Against a Sang et Or side who had already beaten PSG and Marseille, OL had been warned. Without Toko Ekambi, Bruno Guimarães and Marcelo, Rudi Garcia had to be somewhat innovative. Maxwel Cornet started on the left wing in attack, while Sinaly Diomandé played alongside Jason Denayer in central defence.
This rotation, however, did not prevent OL from taking the lead just before half-time. Well played in by Paqueta, Memphis opened the scoring and gave his club the lead before the interval. In the second half, OL did not stop there and wanted to secure the points. This was done in the 46th minute thanks to an own goal by the Lens defender Fortes, following a cross from Dubois. Then Memphis scored his second from the penalty spot. But Lens lived up to their reputation and quickly closed the gap. The visitors became more dangerous and even came back to within a goal late in the game. OL ended up winning 3-2, not without some difficulty. But at the same time, they consolidated their position as league leader had in their sights the honorary title of autumn champion, which would be confirmed a few days later in Rennes.