Published By: Sports Desk
Last Updated: February 12, 2024, 00:00 IST
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Rennes won its fifth straight game by edging Le Havre 10 in the French league to boost its bid for a Champions League spot on Sunday.
LE HAVRE, France: Rennes won its fifth straight game by edging Le Havre 1-0 in the French league to boost its bid for a Champions League spot on Sunday.
Midfielder Benjamin Bourigeaud scored the winning goal with a half-volley in the second half as Rennes moved within four points of the top four.
Fortunes have changed quickly for Rennes, which was just one point above the relegation playoff spot in November when the club dismissed Bruno Genesio to hire Julien Stephan.
The hosts worked hard to close down Rennes players, putting in physical challenges throughout.
Le Havre had its best chances in the first half. Rennes center back Arthur Theate had to clear the ball off the line after inadvertently heading a cross against the post in the 12th minute. Rennes goalkeeper Steve Mandanda then parried an angled shot from Le Havre striker Mohamed Bayo in the 17th.
But Rennes found more space in the second half, nearly finding the net when Arnaud Kalimuendo’s deflected shot bounced off the bar in the 49th. Bourigeaud broke the deadlock in the 60th by firing a half-volley through the legs of goalkeeper Arthur Desmas.
The result sees Rennes leapfrog Marseille into seventh place while Le Havre stayed 11th.
Third-place Brest was held 1-1 by bottom side Clermont. Brest took the lead with a long-range effort from Pierre Lees-Melou in the 50th. But Grejohn Kyei equalized with a powerful header in the 69th. Both teams were down to 10 men in the 88th when Brest goalkeeper Marco Bizot and Clermont winger Elbasan Rashani were sent off for repeatedly shoving each other.
Lorient boosted its safety hopes by beating midtable Reims 2-0. Ivory Coast forward Mohamed Bamba headed in a cross from Panos Katseris to put Lorient ahead in the 70th. Signed from Austrian club Wolfsberger during the winter transfer window, Bamba scored his third goal in as many games.
Nantes snapped a six-game winless run to beat Toulouse 2-1.
The 21st round ends later Sunday with Clermont vs. Brest, Lorient vs. Reims, Toulouse vs. Nantes, Montpellier vs. Lyon and Nice vs. Monaco.
Paris Saint-Germain beat Lille 3-1 on Saturday to extend its lead at the top of the league to 11 points.
AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer
(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – Associated Press)
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