Les Rouge et Noir are top of the standings in France after a convincing win over les Sang et Or.
After making much of the early running, Rennes moved into the lead in spectacular style. Abdoulrazak Boukari, captured from the guests during the January transfer window, picked the ball up on the left hand side of the park before cutting inside and launching an unstoppable shot into the net from 25 yards out.
The hosts continued to make much of the running, and just as les Sang et Or were beginning to commit players forward, Frederic Antonetti’s side added a second through Victor Hugo Montano. The South American ran powerfully onto a wonderfully weighted pass from Jerome Leroy and beat Vedran Runje with a low shot.
Rennes’ early pressure was somewhat defused by their opening strike, and for a period Lens started to come back into what was an open, though sometimes scrappy affair. Nicolas Douchez in the home goal was never tested by the visiting strikers in the opening 45 minutes, despite some scares, but the same certainly cannot be said of Runje at the other end of the park.
The home side were clearly happy to shoot regularly from range, with particularly good strikes from Alexander Tettey and Montano drawing the best from the goalkeeper. Just before the interval, Tettey was given a glorious chance to double the Bretons’ advantage but scuffed a shot wide after a fine flick-on by his Colombian cohort.
Early in the second period, Rennes went for the jugular of their opponents, though some excellent goalkeeping and some poor finishing contributed to a failure of les Rouge et Noir to strike. Runje made a superb block from Jerome Leroy after he had moments earlier prevented Montano rounding him with some sharp work.
Montano certainly should have struck just before the hour mark, firing over the top after getting clear of the clutches of Alaeddine Yahia.
Lens exerted some pressure late in the game but ultimately lacked the power to break down a resolute defensive unit, which has been a key facet in leading Rennes to four consecutive home wins and top spot in France.
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