Logic is sometimes made to be respected, and exceptions to remain exceptional. The seismic feat of October 3 at home had no aftershock. RC Lens failed to sublimate itself for its big meeting with the Emirates Stadium this Tuesday evening. Under the watch of 3,000 supporters who were never defeated despite the ongoing disaster, it even completely sank (6-0). A heavy defeat, potentially traumatic and above all with bitter consequences.
This setback excludes the Sang et Or from the race to qualify for the round of 16 of the C1. In addition to Arsenal, PSV Eindhoven won their ticket thanks to their stunning performance in Seville (2-3).
It’s the story of a gap, an absence of around 15 minutes between the 11th and 27th minutes. Enough to bury the dreams of Franck Haise and his men, suddenly apathetic, as if frozen in another space-time. A succession of individual errors from goalkeeper Brice Samba to Jonathan Gradit via Przemyslaw Frankowski and Arsenal therefore led 4-0, the Gunners converting their four chances without giving the impression of imposing a crazy pace. The match was already over. The amounts even refusing to reduce the gap to Medina (40th) on a long shot. Before the ordeal continues a little longer, with a fifth goal before the break, then a penalty at the end of the game (86th).
Leaving London with a suitcase full of goals was not the most unlikely scenario after knowing the draw. Arteta’s gang aren’t Premier League leaders for nothing. In the Champions League, achieving a feat at home or away are two very different things. Especially when the group in question is just discovering the demands of these mid-week games.
No, the regrets mainly relate to this disappointing double confrontation with PSV Eindhoven (a draw then a defeat). In Bollaert, there was room to win but based on experience, the Dutch knew how to set a false rhythm. Less naive or more vicious, it depends.
On December 12, Racing will now have the task at home to preserve their third place. All it takes is a point against Sevilla. Joining the round of 32 of the Europa League, fifteen years after his last participation in a European competition, would not be dishonorable, far from it. It would also be an opportunity to bury this London nightmare in the accident category and continue an adventure that deserves another ending.