The start of the game was uneventful and neither team looked particularly comfortable pushing the lines forward, though Lens looked dominant in terms of possession and overall supremacy, even if that didn’t translate into clear scoring opportunities.
Auxerre tried to play on the counterattack but were not successful in their approach, and they barely moved into the opposing final third.
The fact that neither side registered a single shot on target during the first half was perhaps the most telling stat of how things unfolded in the opening 45 minutes at Stade Bollaert-Delelis, with Lens creating the best chance through Lois Openda.
The Belgium international came close to breaking the deadlock in the latter stages of the first half, but his close-range header struck the post when Benoit Costil was beaten, and the initial 45 minutes ended with a stalemate.
Both sides showed a lot more aggressiveness in the second half, and a lot more chances were being created. The hosts eventually found the breakthrough around the hour mark as Birama Toure gave away a penalty, allowing Frankowski to step up and coolly convert from the spot.
As if that was not enough, Auxerre’s task of mounting a potential comeback got even more complicated when Souleymane Toure was sent off following a second yellow card a few minutes after Lens’ goal.
Auxerre made three late changes looking to provide a spark, but it proved to be too tricky for them and Lens ended up closing the game out with relative ease.
The win pushed their undefeated streak to nine matches in league play and strengthened their position as a bonafide Champions League contender and potential title threat, while Auxerre continued to stumble in their return to the top flight and have now lost five Ligue 1 games in a row.