Rennes grab win at Lorient
Rennes moved fourth in the Ligue 1 table with a 2-0 victory at Lorient tonight. Jonathan Pitroipa and Youssouf Hadji scored in each half for the visitors to grab a win to get their European bid back on track.
Rennes had won just once in their past five games before tonight but would have fancied themselves against a Lorient side who have gone without a win at home in the league since November.
Lorient set about trying to rectify that in an opening period in which they created the better chances only to go behind to Pitroipa's 42nd-minute goal. It took both sides almost a half-an-hour to get going, though, with Innocent Emeghara forcing the first save, albeit a comfortable one, from Benoit Costil on 26 minutes.
Emeghara then failed to hit the target with the goal gaping, getting too much on a cross from Lucas Mareque, but it would not have counted anyway as he was flagged offside. Lorient should have been 1-0 ahead on 38 minutes when Alaixys Romao somehow missed the target after Kevin Monnet-Pacquet's perfectly-delivered cross.
Rennes made them pay with the opening goal following a counter-attack three minutes before the break. Hadji quickly released Pitroipa and he took a touch before firing a 25-yard left-footed shot beyond the advancing Fabien Audard.
Rennes almost grabbed another breakaway goal before half-time, but Audard made a fine save to deny Julien Feret. After the break Hadji scuffed wide after a neat combination between Feret and Pitroipa and at the other end Jeremie Aliadiere headed over.
Rennes made the game safe with 11 minutes left when goalkeeper Benoit Costil's throw freed Pitroipa on the left wing. He attacked the area and pulled the ball back to Hadji to fire in from the edge of the box.