Rennes takes the broth, Lens hanging on and Toulouse crucified

By Thomas Larroquette and Maël Chrétien

Published 4 minutes ago, Updated now

Angel Di Maria played a nasty trick in Toulouse this Thursday… MARIA ABRANCHES / REUTERS

No victory to report for the three clubs involved in the C3 first leg play-offs this Thursday, two defeats and a draw.

Continuation and end of the Europa League play-offs this Thursday, after a first salvo of the match at the start of the evening. Three French clubs on the track, no victory to report. The most worrying situation ahead of the return match next week is that of Rennes, crushed 3-0 in Milan. At the same time, Lens conceded a draw against Friborg (0-0). Finally, TFC thought they would bring back a good draw from Lisbon, against Benfica. That was without counting on a penalty converted by former Parisian Angel Di Maria in the final moments (2-1). Note the success of the Azerbaijani Qarabag in Braga (2-4). Earlier, OM were joined twice against Shakhtar (2-2) in Hamburg.

Unrecognizable lens

Returned to the Europa League after an honorable run in the Champions League, Lens attacked the C3 play-offs with a certain appetite. But the Sang et Or were almost crushed from the start with a strike on the bar from Sallai (19th) after a sluggish start to the game. Before the half hour mark, the Lensois pushed several times but attempts from Sotoca or Pereira Da Costa went over the top.

Apathetic, clumsy and even timid, Franck Haise’s men avoided the worst at the hour mark when Danso magnificently saved his team on his line after a strike from Eggestein. Note that the Lensois defender will miss the return match after his yellow card received in the first half. Heckled, Florian Sotoca’s teammates thought they had delivered Bollaert thanks to Haïdara’s two-step goal (71st) before the match referee refused it for a handball from the latter . Lens wasted a great opportunity and will have to do much better next Thursday (6:45 p.m.) in Friborg to try to continue its European adventure.

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