Girondins Bordeaux, who just months ago were on track to retain their Ligue and Ligue Cup crowns desperately needed the three points in Lens to have any chance of pipping Montpellier to fifth place and the final Europa League spot, but Laurent Blanc's side were down to 10 men after just six minutes as Michel Ciani saw red - for a nasty tackle on Tofilou Maoulida.
The match was a frosty affair - three penalties were awarded and countless mistakes contributed to the goals. Bordeaux had the better of the opening chances, but Lens extra man paid off in no time as the impressive Maoulida drew first blood for the home side with a superb diving header in the 21st minute, and then Samba Sow doubled the aadvantage for Lens in the 36th minute with another brilliant effort.
Geraldo Wendel and his fellow Brazilian Jussié came close to restoring parity in the 19th, 22nd and 26th minute respectively but their efforts lacked the precision required for their intended target.
Arsenal bound Marouane Chamakh, who is making his last appearance after eight seasons at Bordeaux failed to score but at least he handed his team a lifeline when Henri Bedimo fouled him in the 40th minute inside Lens' penalty area, and Wendel converted the resultant penalty to reduce the deficit to just one goal.
Bedimo's night took a turn for the worst as he inadvertently guided Wendel's long-range free kick in the 49th minute to pull the former champions back on level terms, but just eight minutes later Trémoulinas brought down the hardworking Maoulida in the penalty area, and Issam Jemaá converted the spot-kick expertly to put Lens in front again. Jemaá wasn't done yet, he linked up beautifully with Mauolida in the 63rd minute, and the latter made it 4-2 via a clever drive.
Wendel scored his 11th goal of the season from the spot after he was adjudged to have being brought down by Sow deep in the Lens penalty area. But his strike couldn't keep the momentum running as Lens held out for the win.
Speaking to the Press after the game, Bordeaux's coach Laurent Blanc said: "We had ample opportunities to meet our objectives, but we didn't," the Frenchman who is tipped to replace Raymond Domenech as the next coach of France continued "It's dissapointing but we are not here to analyse the season. This is not the game that made us lose the qualification (Europe) we lost it since April, our performance was unconvincing."
The tactician, who is expected to leave Bordeaux this summer was asked to explain his stance at the club: "Was it the last game of Bordeaux this season? Yes. So it was actually my last game of this season," he said coyly
"Well, I know a little more in my head. If you want me to tell you more, then you will know nothing in my case.
"So, if you don't have more questions about the analysis of the match, I must leave you. But we'll meet again. I think."