Champions League: Lens clinch Europa League, Manchester United eliminated from competition

At the end of a courageous match, Lens snatched victory against Sevilla FC (2-1) on the last day of the group stage of the Champions League, on December 12. They are extending their European season and will play in the Europa League play-offs in the spring. For their part, Manchester United could do nothing against Bayern Munich (0-1) and will not see Europe again this season.

Midfielder Angelo Fulgini celebrates after Lens beat Sevilla FC in the Champions League on December 12, 2023. © AFP / SAMEER AL-DOUMY

By: Valentin Berg Follow


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Humiliated on November 29 at Arsenal and already eliminated from the race for the knockout stages of the Champions League, Lens managed to get back on track for this last match of the group stage by winning in the final moments at Bollaert against Sevilla FC (2-1).

In a match dominated by Sevilla FC, Lens were first saved by a save from Brice Samba on a superb shot that flew under Ivan Rakitić's bar (29'). After a sluggish first half that ended with a goalless draw, Sevilla thought they had finally found the net thanks to Pedrosa, who saw his shot hit the post of the Lens goal (57').

A few minutes later, well served by Wahi, Medina recovered the ball in the box and won a penalty after a clash with Soumaré. Frankowski did not hesitate and opened the scoring with a powerful strike (63′, 1-0). Sevilla then had a chance to equalise thanks to a penalty after Medina fouled En-Nesyri, but Sergio Ramos first came up against the firm hand of Samba (77') before the referee had the penalty withdrawn. The Spaniard made no mistake on his second attempt, beating the Lens goalkeeper with a beautiful panenka (79', 1-1).

It was in injury time that Lens snatched the victory, thanks to a ball recovered by Sotoca and perfectly given to Fulgini who slipped it into the right side of the net (90'+6, 2-1). This final victory allows Franck Haise's men to qualify in front of their home crowd for the Europa League play-offs. Lens will have its European spring!


🔜 🇪🇺@EuropaLeague #FierDEtreLensois #UEL

— Racing Club de Lens (@RCLens) December 12, 2023

Manchester United leave Europe

Manchester United, who were in a bad position in their group after an impressive draw against Galatasaray (3-3) on the previous matchday, had no room for error against Bayern Munich, unbeaten and already qualified for the knockout stages. But the hoped-for revival did not take place and the Mancunians were logically dominated by Bayern Munich (0-1).

Very quickly dangerous in the match, the Bavarians worried the opposing goalkeeper several times during the first half. But Kane lacked precision and sharpness in front of Onana (10'), while Maguire could have conceded a penalty after contact with Musiala (17'). A powerful shot from Shaw then forced Neuer to deploy his fists to protect his goal (23′). The Red Devils then suffered a blow when they lost Maguire to injury following a clash with Sané (37').

Powerless in attack and unable to really trouble Bayern Munich, the Mancunians slowly lost the thread of their game in the second half. Kingsley Coman finally cemented the Bavarians' dominance by opening the scoring after a superb deflection from Harry Kane (71′, 0-1). Apathetic, Erik Ten Hag's men never found the solution to exist against Bayern and are eliminated from any European competition. However, there was a sensation in the other match of the group: FC Copenhagen qualified for the knockout stages for the first time since 2010 with a 1-0 win over Galatasaray.

We keep going!! 🔥🔥🔥 #fcklive #UCL

— F.C. København (@FCKobenhavn) December 12, 2023

Results of the 6th day

Tuesday, December 12

Group A

FC Copenhagen - Galatasaray 1-0

Manchester United - Bayern Munich 0-1

Group B

PSV Eindhoven - Arsenal 1-1

Lens - Sevilla FC 2-1

Group C

Union Berlin - Real Madrid 2-3

Napoli - Braga 2-0

Group D

RB Salzburg - Benfica 1-3

Inter Milan - Real Sociedad 0-0

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