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Adamo Coulibaly then blasted wide moments later and saw an audacious effort from outside the box blocked before it could cause trouble.
However, Lyon were gifted the lead in the 21st minute when Jean-Philippe Gbamin clumsily turned the ball into his own net.
Lens set about trying to find an equaliser and came close when El Jadeyaoui saw his left-footed shot saved, while Lalaina Nomenjanahary missed the top left corner by inches.
The home side then shot themselves in the foot once again when Boubacar Sylla handled in the area, prompting the referee to gift Lyon a penalty that the free-scoring Alexandre Lacazette converted with ease.
From then on, Hubert Fournier's charges would not relinquish their lead, the sting having been largely taken out of the game.
Despite the occasional drive forward by Lens, most of their chances weren't as incisive as in the opening stages, and the visitors were able to see out the game with relative ease.