Lens beat Saint Etienne 2-0 to go second in Ligue 1

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Lens beat Saint Etienne 2-0 to go second in Ligue 1

Lens secured a 2-0 win over nine-man Saint Etienne and moved up to second place in Ligue 1 thanks to goals from Gael Kakuta and Florian Sotoca. Kolo was the first to be sent off after conceding an early penalty with a clumsy tackle that injured Ignatius Ganago. Referee Bastein Dechepy viewed a replay of the incident before brandishing the red card at the 29-year-old defender, with Kakuta firing Lens into the lead with the spot kick. Saint Etienne sent Khazri on in the second-half but his first appearance of the season was a short-lived affair as he was dismissed in the 64th minute for a lunging tackle on Jonathan Gradit as the two raced for a long ball. Sotoca settled the game with a towering header from a corner in the 81st to wrap up the victory that sent Lens up to second spot on 13 points behind leaders Stade Rennes, who have a game in hand, on goal difference. Saint Etienne are seventh on 10.