A fine goal from Yacine Brahimi has lifted les Rouge et Noir back into the race for the Championnat crown.Depleted Rennes picked up an impressive 1-0 victory over Paris Saint-Germain in a frantic and exciting encounter, igniting their Ligue 1 hopes while dealing those of les Parisiens a significant blow.
A bright start from the home side was rewarded with less than 20 minutes on the clock, when promising youngster Yacine Brahimi enhanced his quickly growing reputation with a fine goal. Having received the ball 30 yards from goal, he stepped away from Claude Makelele’s challenge before resisting Clement Chantome to create a shooting opportunity. From just outside the box, the France Under-21 international’s low drive found the net.
Abdoul Camara nearly killed a thrilling, end-to-end game in the closing stages, but his low drive was deflected onto the post by Christophe Jallet.
Rennes were much the better side in the early exchanges. Brahimi fired a long-range drive over the top to start the assault on PSG’s goal, while further efforts from Alexander Tettey and Romain Danze produced the kind of start that deserved the opening goal.
Les Parisiens had previously only threatened through Ludovic Giuly, and it would be the veteran right winger who had the ball tackled off his toe by Kevin Theophile just as he appeared poised to strike following a lovely flowing move.
By this point, the visitors had steadied themselves without showing a real goal threat. Mathieu Bodmer had tamely prodded at a chance at the near post, while Chantome had driven a firm shot comfortably wide.
Half-time came with home goalkeeper Nicolas Douchez largely untested, and the home No.1 would enjoy spectator status early in the second period, when les Rouge et Noir sought to double their lead.
Former PSG midfielder Jerome Leroy would have the best of Rennes’ openings, but a low shot from the edge of the box after good work from Abdoulrazak Boukari was easily stifled by Apoula Edel. Boukari has been a real bright spark for the Bretons since signing in January from Lens, and he nearly made his presence felt just prior to the hour mark, but his drive went wide.
Les Parisiens replied, though ineffectively. Bodmer’s clipped pass picked out Chantome, but Douchez saved smartly at his near post. The goalkeeper was then out quickly from his goal moments later to force Giuly to fluff his lines when clean through. As PSG’s momentum lessened, the custodian made a smart reflex save as Hoarau seemed destined to strike.
Right at the death, a fine low shot from Nene would have salvaged a point for the guests, but Douchez dived unsighted to send the shot wide.
In a hectic conclusion, Jean-Eudes Maurice thought he had leveled, but Sylvain Armand had been flagged offside in the preceding scramble.
Antoine Kombouare’s men lacked options from the bench to change the game in a positive manner, missing the opportunity to close the gap at the summit of Le Championnat to Lille to a solitary point. They are joined four points behind les Dogues by Rennes, though by tomorrow evening they could trail LOSC by up to seven marks.
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