Ligue 1: RC Lens striker Lois Openda sets record with blistering hat-trick

Lois Openda wasted no time in leading RC Lens to a commanding victory in Ligue 1, netting a speedy hat-trick.

The Belgian forward took just four minutes and thirty seconds to score a treble during a visit to Clermont. According to L’Equipe, this is the fastest Ligue 1 hat-trick in the 21st Century. In addition, Openda now holds the record for the quickest trio of goals in the history of the French topflight.

He beat the previous record of four minutes, thirty-five seconds, which Matt Moussilou had held since 2005. The ex-Lille player achieved his lightning-fast treble in an 8-0 demolition of Istres.

Sunday’s hat-trick helped Lois Openda bring a tough goal drought to an end. Prior to this emphatic performance, he had failed to find the net since 11 January.

It also helped Lens record a convincing win at Clermont.

Clermont 0-4 RC Lens: Lois Openda bags hat-trick

Les Sang et Or piled pressure on second-placed Marseille with a dominant performance at Clermont last weekend.

Despite the home side’s bright start, it was the visitors from the North of France that took the lead. Angelo Fulgini’s through-ball found Lois Openda, who slotted the ball between the legs of Mory Diaw from a tight angle.

Openda was a livewire now that he had snapped an eleven-game scoreless run. Seconds later, his pressing set up his and Lens’ second of the game. The Belgian caught Maxime Gonalons in possession, which set Adrien Thomasson free to run at goal. He then selflessly laid the ball off to Openda to double Lens’ advantage.

Lois Openda sealed his hat-trick – and effectively the game – with his third goal in under five minutes. From their own kick-off, a sloppy back pass put Clermont in trouble once more. Lens’ rapid striker pounced on the error, rounding the keeper to net a treble.

But Les Sang et Or’s hat-trick hero was not done filling the stat sheet yet. In the second half, Openda turned provider as he assisted Lens’ fourth goal on the day. His cutback found Alexis Claude-Maurice, who drilled an effort from the edge of the box into the far-bottom corner.

This victory saw Lens move within two points of Marseille in second place. Following Monaco’s defeat to Reims, they also moved up into third place and into a Champions League spot.

The race to qualify for Europe’s top competition is heating up after Marseille’s surprise result on Sunday night.

Marseille slip up in race for second

OM surrendered a two-goal cushion as Strasbourg came from behind to snatch a 2-2 draw at the Stade Velodrome.

The visitors threatened early on with multiple opportunities, and it seemed Marseille were in for a difficult night. This was made worse when Leonardo Balerdi received his marching orders for a foul as last man.

However, the home side instead took the lead just after half-time. Chancel Mbemba popped up with a goal via a rebound from a free kick. OM then put themselves in a commanding position as former Gunner Alexis Sanchez converted a penalty, too.

Unfortunately for Marseille, though, Strasbourg fought back in a stunning finish to the game. In the 88th minute, Jean Aholou’s bouncing effort looped over Pau Lopez in the home net.

Almost immediately after, the Strasbourg midfielder unleashed an absolute rocket to steal a point on the night.

This result keeps Strasbourg just outside the relegation zone. Meanwhile, Marseille surrendered further ground on the chasing Lens and Monaco in the top four.

Featured image credit: Getty