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Lens beats Sevilla in last Champions League group game

Lens' Angelo Fulgini Lens' Angelo Fulgini - The Canadian Press

LENS, France (AP) — Defending Europa League champion Sevilla was knocked out of European competition Tuesday in a 2-1 loss to Lens in their final Champions League group game.

Substitute Angelo Fulgini scored six minutes into stoppage time as the northern French club secured a Europa League place.

Lens needed only a draw to clinch third place in Group B and took the lead in the 63rd minute with a penalty from Poland winger Przemysław Frankowski. He shot into the right corner after Facundo Medina was fouled by Boubakary Soumaré.

Medina then conceded a penalty that goalkeeper Brice Samba saved brilliantly one-handed from veteran defender Sergio Ramos. But the kick was re-taken because Samba had moved off his line and, on his second attempt, Ramos clipped a superb Panenka-style penalty under the crossbar in the 79th. He sarcastically cupped his ear to the Lens fans who had jeered him.

With Sevilla chasing a winner, Ramos shot over from a good position in the fourth minute of stoppage time and — moments later — Florian Sotoca played Fulgini clean through and Fulgini guided the ball neatly into the bottom right corner.

In other game, group winner Arsenal drew 1-1 at PSV Eindhoven with both already in the round of 16.

Two weeks after being routed 6-0 by Arsenal, Lens was under pressure from seven-time Europa League winner Sevilla.

Veteran midfielder Ivan Rakitić had a stinging shot expertly stopped one-handed by Samba after 30 minutes. Samba was saved by his crossbar in the 56th when David Pereira Da Costa met a cross with a first-time flick.

Some 300 Sevilla fans were allowed to attend after France's Council of State overturned a decision by Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin to ban traveling fans following recent violent incidents in the French league.

The late decision to ban Sevilla's fans — who do not have a reputation for violence — was widely viewed as a panic measure, especially considering there were no incidents when Lens traveled to Spain for the corresponding fixture and that Sevilla fans had booked flights and hotel rooms.


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