Nancy, Rennes share the spoils

Nancy and Rennes battled out a goalless draw at the Stade Marcel Picot in a Ligue 1 match brought forward four hours due to adverse weather.

The hosts created the better of the chances but were wasteful in front of goal and did not overly test Rennes goalkeeper Benoit Costil.

Rennes mustered the first opportunity in the ninth minute when Jonathan Pitroipa made his way down the right and picked out Romain Danze, but his volley from the edge of the six-yard box was straight into the arms of Guy N'Dy Assembe.

But Nancy, without a home win since early November, soon found their rhythm and started to assert their influence as the half wore on. Daniel Niculae found himself through on goal after latching onto Yohan Mollo's pass, but dragged his shot wide with just the keeper to beat.

Loosemy Karaboue was causing the visitors problems on the right and, from his cross, Mollo was just inches away from making a vital connection at the back post.

Yann M'Vila was off target with a first-time blast for Rennes just after the half-hour mark but there was to be no breakthrough before the interval.

Hosts miss chances
And it continued in the same vein after half-time. Niculae dragged a low shot wide in the opening moments of the second half for Nancy, who were looking much the more likely of the two teams to break the deadlock.

The home team passed up their best chance of a winner in the 55th minute. Niculae's ball released Mollo, but he was unable to find the target from 20 yards after getting the better of the out-rushing Costil. Niculae again failed to test Costil two minutes later after earning himself a shooting opportunity following a neat one-two with Mollo.

Costil was called into action 15 minutes from time to push away Niculae's shot from Mollo's left-wing cross. Despite having been dominated for much of the second half, it was Rennes who almost snatched an undeserved victory right at the end.

Substitute Jires Kembo Ekoko cut inside from the left side of the penalty area and moved the ball onto his right foot before unleashing a powerful shot, which N'Dy Assembe did well to gather to preserve his clean sheet and his side's point.