The official website for European football

Lens revival floors Deportivo

Published: Wednesday 23 October 2002, 23.59CET
RC Lens 3-1 RC Deportivo La Coruña Three second-half goals revive Lens's hopes of progress.

Match statistics


Goals scored3
Attempts on target6
Attempts off target5
Fouls committed24
Yellow cards3
Red cards0



P: Played   
Pts: Points   
Last updated: 20/11/2017 15:46 CET
Published: Wednesday 23 October 2002, 23.59CET

Lens revival floors Deportivo

RC Lens 3-1 RC Deportivo La Coruña Three second-half goals revive Lens's hopes of progress.

A sensational second-half performance at the Félix-Bollaert stadium saw RC Lens bring their hopes of a place in the second group stage of the UEFA Champions League alive as they won 3-1 against RC Deportivo La Coruña.

Superb display
Trailing to a 15th-minute Roy Makaay goal, Joël Muller's men went in at half-time in disarray, before coming out to win the game with goals from Adama Coulibaly, Daniel Moreira and Olivier Thomert in a torrid second half for Javier Irureta's team.

Stylish play
Having started the game with four men up front, Lens had looked like they would take the game to their visitors; but in fact Deportivo started the game looking stylish, composed and extremely slick. They opened the scoring in style after 15 minutes as Makaay, playing as a lone striker, received the ball in the penalty area and forced goalkeeper Guillaume Warmuz to commit himself before scoring with a shot from a narrow angle.

Patient defence
Stunned by the early setback, Lens struggled to break back into the game as a Deportivo defence, featuring the 39-year-old Donato Gama, dealt with everything the French side could throw at them. Indeed on the stroke of half-time, they nearly went a second goal behind as Joan Capdevila's pass from the left was deflected on to Warmuz's right-hand post by defender Rigobert Song before bouncing to safety.

Terrific save
However, after the interval Lens were a completely different side and Deportivo goalkeeper Juanmi García was forced to make a terrific save within seconds of the restart, from a heavily deflected shot by Senegalese international Pape Bouba Diop.

Deflected shot
Deportivo continued to defend deep but their tactics came unstuck after 61 minutes as Coulibaly levelled with a shot from the edge of the area which cannoned off both Fran González and Mauro before beating Juanmi just inside his left-hand post.

Promising position
The visitors could easily have been ahead again five minutes later as Capdevila blazed a promising loose ball over the crossbar, and they were made to pay for their profligacy after 79 minutes as Lens won a free-kick on the edge of the penalty area for a late challenge by Donato.

Fine shot
The ball was laid off for Moreira, and as the Deportivo defensive wall disintegrated, he hammered an unstoppable shot through the packed penalty area. The luckless Juanmi was beaten for a second time, and Lens's unhappy record of never having scored more than one goal in a Champions League game was broken.

Killer blow
The goalkeeper's miserable evening was completed after 84 minutes when an embarrassing handling error extended Lens's lead further. Juanmi got his hand to Olivier Thomert's low, angled shot but could only palm it upwards into his own goal.

Wide open
The celebrations at the final whistle in Lens reflected the fact that, with four points from four games, the French club are still in with a chance of qualification. Deportivo still have six points, but their defeat has allowed FC Bayern München back into Group G and the German side could qualify if they beat Lens and Deportivo in their next two games.

Last updated: 24/10/02 14.40CET