Arsenal vs Lens last five H2Hs: Gunners to face tricky opponents

Arsenal face Lens in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday night as they look to secure qualification through to the knockout stages of the competition. The Gunners need just a point from the match to make it through to the round of 16 while Lens need to pull off a shock victory to keep their qualification hope alive.

The Arsenal vs Lens last five H2Hs suggest that it won't be a straightforward night for the home side which makes this match a must-watch.

Arsenal vs Lens last five H2Hs
Lens player celebrate after beating Arsenal last time out – Photo by Icon Sport

Arsenal vs Lens H2H Record

Arsenal and Lens have played each other five times in the past with the first meeting coming 25 years ago in the group stages of the Champions League.  Although Arsenal are considered a bigger and more glamourous club, Lens have more than held their own in matches against the London club.

  • Lens Wins: 2
  • Draws: 1
  • Arsenal Wins: 2

The biggest matches between the two sides came in the 1999/2000 edition of the UEFA Cup. The clubs faced off in a two-legged semi-final with Arsenal coming out on top after 180 minutes of football. The Gunners would go on to face Galatasaray in the final, where they lost in a penalty shootout.

declan rice
Declan Rice will start in the heart of the Arsenal midfield on Wednesday – Photo by Icon Sport

Arsenal vs Lens last five H2Hs

Lens 1-1 Arsenal – 16th September 1998

The first Arsenal vs Lens H2H ended in a draw and remains the only time the two clubs have shared the points. It was the opening game of the 1998/99 Champions League group stages and Marc Overmars gave the Gunners the lead just after half time. Lens equalised in stoppage time through Tony Vairelles and both teams moved onto matchday two with a point.

Arsenal 0-1 Lens – 25th November 1998

By the time Arsenal and Lens faced off at Wembley Stadium late on in the group stages, both clubs were locked together on five points. It was a must-win match for both sides but it was Lens who stunned the home side by snatching all three points thanks to a second-half goal from Mickaël Debève. The loss knocked Arsenal out of the competition while Lens also failed to qualify after losing their final group game.

Arsenal 1-0 Lens – 6th April 2000

It was just 18 months later that Arsenal and Lens met again, this time in the semi-final of the UEFA Cup. The first leg was played at Highbury with Arsenal getting off to a rapid start in front of their home fans when Dennis Bergkamp opened the scoring after just two minutes. The Gunners would go on to squander several chances to double their lead before settling for a 1-0 victory.

Lens 1-2 Arsenal – 20th April 2000

In the return leg in Lens, Arsenal got an all-important away goal in the first half courtesy of Thierry Henry which effectively put the tie to bed. Lens temporarily made things interesting late on when Pascal Nouma made it 1-1 on the night before Kanu rubber-stamped the victory for the Gunners in the 87th minute. Arsenal went on to lose the final to Galatasaray on penalties after a 0-0 draw.

Lens 2-1 Arsenal – 3rd October 2023

The most recent Arsenal vs Lens H2H came in October 2023 in the second matchday of this season's Champions League. Arsenal went in to the match as red-hot favourites but succumbed to a 2-1 loss despite taking the lead through Gabriel Jesus after just 15 minutes.

recent lens vs arsenal h2h
Lens beat Arsenal 2-1 earlier in the competition – Photo by Icon Sport

Potential MVP – Bukayo Saka

Although the Arsenal vs Lens rivalry has been ongoing for 25 years, the best player on the pitch on Wednesday night will be someone who wasn't alive for the first four encounters between the two clubs. At the age of 22, Bukayo Saka has quickly become Arsenal's most important player and the right winger will be key as they look to qualify from Group B.

Saka has enjoyed his first taste of Champions League football this season and has scored two goals and provided three assists in four matches. In their most recent Group B fixture against Sevilla, Saka provided Leandro Trossard with an assist for the opener before making it 2-0 himself in the second half. A similar performance from him here and qualification should be ensured.

Bukayo Saka
Can Bukayo Saka lead Arsenal to victory? Photo by Icon Sport

Key trend

After five Arsenal vs Lens H2H, the two teams have identical record in terms of wins, draws, losses, goals scored and goals against. Something is going to have to give here with both teams on the hunt for a win which should make for an exciting match at the Emirates Stadium. We are backing the home side to get the job done and to progress through to the round of 16. For more tips, check out our detailed Arsenal vs Lens prediction.

Andy is a freelance Sports Journalist with ten years of experience covering football in the United Kingdom and abroad for various publications including the Manchester Evening News, UtdReport and Football Whispers. Andy also has a keen interest in basketball, cricket, golf and tennis and has covered major sporting events such as the Masters in Augusta.