Two of the best free-flowing but most inconsistent Ligue 1 sides faced off this Saturday afternoon with Stade Rennais hosting Lille OSC. Rennes started on the front foot, displaying sequences of intricate passing in the visitors’ half of the pitch. Still, Bruno Genesio’s side were unable to find cracks in Lille’s exciting double defending act composed of hugely promising youth product Lenny Yoro and seasoned France international Samuel Umtiti.
On the other hand, Les Dogues looked much more organized when going forward. Paulo Fonseca’s side kept hold of the ball for long sequences of play, which highly frustrated Rennes midfielder Nemanja Matic. The former Chelsea and Manchester United man conceded an avoidable free-kick near his penalty box. Rémy Cabella chipped a clever ball for Yoro to emphatically volley it in Steve Mandanda’s top right corner after the half-hour mark. Rennes and Lille left the pitch for half-time to the booing of the home fans.
Les Rouge et Noir’s attacking threat was completely nullified by Lille, and again, Les Dogues bit back through a set piece. Cabella’s free-kick again fed Yoro whose shot was parried by Mandanda only for Bafodé Diakité to slam home from close range. At 2-0 down, Genesio rang the chances with Ludovic Blas and new recruits Fabian Rieder and Bertrug Yildirim entering the fray. Unexpectedly, Lille were guilty of complacency. Lucas Chevalier failed his clearance with the ball falling to Lorenz Assignon. The right-back sent Umtiti for a hot dog before emphatically beating Chevalier from a tight angle, breathing new life into the Roazhon Park.
Rennes went all in to salvage a consolation point with Lille showing clear signs of frailness. Ibrahim Salah rocked the ground in finding the back of Chevalier’s net courtesy of a deflection from Yoro just before injury time. The momentum completely shifted in Rennes’ favor now. An unmarked Blas went close to go 3-2, but his scissor kick only found Chevalier’s side-netting. Eventually, both sides shared the spoils at the end of this highly exciting encounter. Lille could feel frustrated at letting a two-goal lead slip in the last 15 minutes whilst Rennes’ winless streak continues.
Rennes players ratings
Steve Mandanda, 6
Lorenz Assignon, 6
Warmed Omari, 4
Arthur Theate, 4 – Lille scored two goals from set pieces where you would expect Rennes’ physical defensive leader to step up. The Belgium international centre-back did not.
Adrien Truffert, 4
Baptiste Santamaria, 4
Nemanja Matic, 4 – The former Chelsea man made good use of his aerial ability but, mostly, he made uncharacteristic errors and fouls. One of them led to Yoro’s opener. It must be said that the start of his Rennes career is a bit disappointing.
Benjamin Bourigeaud, 5
Enzo Le Fée, 4 – The electric playmaker seems to have lost his voltage. In a more advanced and central role, he struggled to find space for his teammates to run into. Replaced by Ludovic Blas at the hour mark and booed off the pitch.
Désiré Doué, 5 – His enthusiasm and skillset are evident and a joy to watch. However, his decision-making let him down and he failed to strike an understanding with his teammates. Came off injured early in the second half and replaced by Ibrahim Salah (6), who scored his side’s equalising goal late on.
Amine Gouiri, 4
Lille players ratings
Lucas Chevalier, 5
Bafodé Diakité, 6
Samuel Umtiti, 5
Lenny Yoro, 6 – The 17-year-old youth product has been superb throughout, dealing with Rennes’ firepower superbly. Because bossing a penalty box wasn’t enough, he steered clear of Rennes’ defense to volley in his first Ligue 1 goal and got a hand on Diakité’s goal too. Unfortunately, his performance is marred by a deflection in Rennes’ equalizing goal.
Benjamin André, 5
Angel Gomes, 6
Yusuf Yazici, 5
Rémy Cabella, 6
Ivan Cavaleiro, 5
Jonathan David, 3 – No dice nor goalscoring opportunity for the Canadian free-scoring centre-forward. He struggled in his hold-up play and never got a chance to threaten Mandanda. Frustrated and logically booked late on for a blatant tug on Rennes’ Mathis Lambourde
GFFN | Bastien Cheval