This provisional 4th place seemed very distant at the end of the fifth day and a 1-0 defeat against Metz which left the Artésiens last in Ligue 1 with just one point. “In the first five games of the season, there was not everything to throw away,” underlined Lilian Nalis. “We knew that we weren’t doing everything well, but we knew that we were doing great things, and that we had to be positive to move forward.”

The roaring return of the Sang et Or does not surprise Eric Roy, the Finistère coach: “The whole club is constantly progressing. He has the level to play in the Champions League. I’m not totally surprised that, over time, they come back into the race.” “When I arrived, Monaco was first, Lens was 17th, but I knew where I was signing, I knew the project,” smiled Ruben Aguilar, the scorer of the evening. Are the Lensois starting to think about the Champions League? “We will first talk about European places,” tempers Aguilar. “We will see at the end of March where we are.” The next few weeks promise to be busy for Lens, which hosts Nice next Saturday before traveling to Lille for the derby at the end of March.