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Young Star Elye Wahi Inspires Lens to 2-1 Win Over Arsenal in Champions League

 Young Star Elye Wahi Inspires Lens to 2-1 Win Over Arsenal in Champions League

Young Star Elye Wahi Inspires Lens to 2-1 Win Over Arsenal
Young Star Elye Wahi Inspires Lens to 2-1 Win Over Arsenal(Image-Getty) 

RC Lens forward Elye Wahi shone as his team triumphed 2-1 over Arsenal, securing the top spot in Champions League Group B in a thrilling return of Europe's premier club competition to their home ground.

The 20-year-old Wahi, who recently joined from Montpellier, played a pivotal role in Lens' victory. He provided the assist to Adrien Thomasson for the first-half equalizer after Gabriel Jesus had opened the scoring. Then, in the 69th minute, Wahi netted the winning goal, igniting celebrations among the Bollaert-Delelis stadium crowd.

This result propelled the Ligue 1 side to four points from two games, placing them one point ahead of Arsenal, who suffered their first defeat in the group stage of the competition in 10 games. Sevilla occupied the second spot with two points, just ahead of PSV Eindhoven, following their 1-1 draw in the Netherlands.

Lens coach Franck Haise expressed his delight, stating, "Beating Arsenal in the Champions League will surely stay in our memories. Elye is a young player, he only joined a month and a half ago, he's making big strides."

Arsenal's coach, Mikel Arteta, had to deal with an early injury substitution when Bukayo Saka had to leave the field. Arteta noted, "The difference between today and PSV (when his side won 4-0) was in the boxes. There were moments in the second half we could have been more efficient. We took a big lesson today."

For Lens, this marked their first Champions League home game in 21 years, and their sold-out stadium of 38,000 fans witnessed a memorable victory as the team continued to regain top form after a lackluster start to the season.

Lens had an early opportunity with Kevin Danso's attempt narrowly missing the target, and Thomasson's header going slightly off course. However, Arsenal capitalized on Lens' first mistake as Thomasson lost the ball in midfield to Saka, who set up Jesus for a goal in the 14th minute.

Arsenal's shot-stopper, Brice Samba, was then tested by Kai Havertz, but Thomasson made amends for his earlier error in spectacular fashion. Wahi's deflection of Deiver Machado's long pass found Thomasson, who expertly curled the ball into the far corner to equalize after 25 minutes.

Saka, who had picked up an injury in Arsenal's Premier League match against Bournemouth, was substituted for Fabio Vieira 11 minutes before halftime.

In the second half, Samba made a crucial save to deny Leandro Trossard, while Lens had a significant opportunity in the 64th minute, but Salis Abdul Samed's shot narrowly missed the target.

Samba continued to shine, making a remarkable save with his foot to thwart Takehiro Tomiyasu. On the other end, Wahi displayed his efficiency by slotting Przemyslaw Frankowski's cross into the bottom corner, securing the advantage for Lens.

Arsenal had one last chance through Reiss Nelson, but it was not their night as Lens emerged victorious.

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