Paris, April 23 Lens took a big step towards next season’s UEFA Champions League after a convincing 3-0 home victory over Monaco on Saturday night, moving to second place, two points ahead of Marseille.

Belgian international striker Lois Openda, 23, scored a brace in the first half, before turning to be the provider after the break to set up Adrien Thomasson’s goal.

“It’s a perfect evening for the club, 3-0, we are ahead of Monaco,” Openda said. “Of course, we must continue like this.”

The win lifted the northern team to a favourable place in the race for a spot in the Champions League, as the top two finishers of Ligue 1 will secure berths in the group stage and the third-placed team will play the qualifiers, a Xinhua report said.

“I think it’s the best game of our season. I loved it,” Lens coach Franck Haise said. “We must continue to go until the end of this season, to try to have performances of this quality, and to win a reward for the club.”

The pressure has fallen on nine-time French champion Marseille as Igor Tudor’s side will try to reclaim the second place against Lyon on Sunday.

Earlier on Saturday, Jonathan David scored his 21st goal of the season, but Lille were held to a 1-1 draw with Auxerre. M’Baye Niang converted a penalty in the 62nd minute to clinch one point for the hosts.

Lille remain in fifth place with five points off Monaco.

(This article is from a syndicated feed and has not been edited by Regular Sports News Team)

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