Valenciennes hit Rennes Euro hopes
Rennes' hopes of securing a top-four finish in Ligue 1 were dealt a blow as they lost to mid-table Valenciennes.
Knowing a win would move them to within a point of Lyon - who play later this evening - Rennes never recovered from Foued Kadir's first-half opener. Gael Danic made certain of the win after the break, but in truth Rennes never really got going.
They did start well, though, with Victor Hugo Montano firing a header wide. After that Valenciennes got on top, and Gregory Pujol ran at the Rennes defence and drilled just wide.
The goal followed on 18 minutes, with Nam Tae-Hee taking the ball from Stephane Dalmat and trading passes with Renaud Cohade before crossing for Kadir who did the rest. It could have been more for them before the break, but Danic was beaten to a Pujol cross by Nicolas Douchez when it looked as though he was set to score.
Valenciennes doubled their lead eight minutes after the half-time interval, with Danic pouncing on a loose ball in the box and leaving Douchez with no chance. Rennes then looked to get back into things with Fabien Lemoine chesting and volleying against the outside of the post.
That was the closest they came all afternoon, although Montano forced Nicolas Penneteau into a flying save. There was still time for Valenciennes to go close again too, with Mamadou Samassa picking up the ball inside the Rennes penalty area and then curling just over the bar.