Ligue 1: Fans clash, invade pitch as Lens beat Lille in derby

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Lens beat defending French champions Lille 1-0 on Saturday in a Northern derby overshadowed by a pitch invasion that delayed the start of the second half by 30 minutes.

Dozens of Lensois supporters stormed the Stade Bollaert-Delelis lawn at half-time to confront visiting Lille supporters nestled in a corner of the pitch after tensions erupted with other spectators.

Riot police moved in to separate opposing factions of supporters as the two groups of supporters threw seats at each other over a dividing wall.

The issue comes the week after Nice lost a point following the horrific incidents that led to their August 22 home game with Marseille being abandoned.

This match will be replayed at a neutral venue on October 27. Nice have also been ordered to play three matches behind closed doors.

“This start to the season is not going to help us. A return to reality is quickly needed for all players in football, starting with the supporters,” French Sports Minister Roxana Maracineanu tweeted.

Polish midfielder Przemyslaw Frankowski scored the winning goal in the 74th minute as Lens moved up to second in Ligue 1, unbeaten in six games and three points behind Paris Saint-Germain, who host Lyon on Sunday.

Lille have won only once under new coach Jocelyn Gourvennec and are 13th with just five points.

AFP

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