OGC Nice 1-0 Stade Rennais: Teenage dream start for hosts

A youthful and mostly inexperienced team start their season with all three points.

OGC Nice 1-0 Stade Rennais: Teenage dream start for hosts
Nice celebrate the winner by the youngster | @instantfoot
OGC Nice
1 0
Stade Rennais
OGC Nice: Cardinale; Souquet, Baysse, Sarr, Dalbert; Walter, Koziello, Seri; Marcel (Cyprien), Plea (Donis), Lusamba (Bodmer).
Stade Rennais: Costil; Moreira, Mendes, Bensebaini, Baal; Chantome (Grosicki), Fernandes (Erasmus), André, Said; Gourcuff, Sio (Diakhaby).
SCORE: 1-0, min. 60, Sarr.

Nice started their Ligue 1 season positively after defeating Rennes in a toughly contested match at the Allianz Riviera.

Teenage debutante Malang Sarr got his ideal start by scoring the only goal of the match on 60 minutes. A leaping header at the back post resulted in the 17-year-old's first goal of the season.

This game was a memorable one for more than just footballing reasons. This was the first match at the Allianz Riviera following the horrendous Nice Attack during the summer. Both teams forfeited their shirt sponsors for one match and in their place wore the names of the attack victims.

Key figures missing for both teams

The travelling Bretons were without several key names such as Paul-Georges Ntep and familiar centre-back Mexer. Hot prospect from last season Ousmane Dembélé was sold to Borussia Dortmund in the summer window.

Likewise, Nice were also fielding an unfamiliar team with top scorer Hatem Ben Arfa, Valère Germain and Nampalys Mendy all going to pastures new.

Rennes dominant without many chances to show

Rennes controlled most of the action in the first half with the possession stats and shot tally all going the way of Christian Gourcuff's men.

The new manager started his son up front with strike partner Giovanni Sio. The best chance of the first half fell to Gourcuff junior as his speculative volley stung the gloves of Nice goalkeeper Yoan Cardinale.

Nice take their chance while Rennes struggle to score

In the second half, Rennes continued their slight dominance from the first period with Nice's only goal threat from the previous half Dalbert Henrique being largely quiet.

The Rennes attacking outlets were conisistently troubling the Nice backline, only being kept safe from going a goal down by experienced defending by Paul Baysse and strong saves by Cardinale.

Fortunately for the Niçois, a rare chance presented itself and they took full advantage. A crossed free kick into a crowded box was headed in at the back post by Sarr. The gamble to play youths had definitely paid off for manager Lucien Favre.

As the game drew to its end, Favre was kicking every ball and was very expressive on the touchline. 

The game could have ended differently of course as Yoann Gourcuff did put the ball in the back of the net. Unfortunately for Rennes, the linesman flagged for offside against Gourcuff. However, replays showed that the ball played through to the denied scorer was hit by a Nice player.

Chasing their first three points of the league, Rennes host promoted Nancy who also lost on opening day at home to Lyon. Nice go to Angers who lost narrowly to Montpellier

New faces at Rennes who could play next week at Roazhon Park include Real Madrid's Martin Ødegaard and former Roma attacker Dani Pablo Osvaldo