Montpellier 1-1 Rennes: Game of two halves in the south of France

Montpellier started strong but Rennes battle back from behind to earn a point.

Montpellier 1-1 Rennes: Game of two halves in the south of France
Benjamin André wrestles for the ball with Ninga | Picture: Ouest France
Montpellier HSC
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Stade Rennais
Montpellier HSC: Jourdren; Congre, Hilton (Remy), Vanden Borre, Roussillon, Sanson, Boudebouz, Skhiri, Berigaud (Saihi), Mounie, Ninga (Camara).
Stade Rennais: Costil; Danzé, Mexer (Fernandes), Mendes, Baal; Henrique (Diakhaby), Andre, Bensebaini, Said (Lenjani); Gourcuff, Sio.
SCORE: 1-0, min. 22, Congré. 1-1, min. 65, Diakhaby.
REFEREE: Benoit Millot

Stade Rennais came back from a goal behind to earn a point at Montpellier leaving both teams with four points on the board after three games.

A dominant first half performance by the hosts was rewarded on 22 minutes when Daniel Congré opened the scoring with a volley.

However, the visitors switched on in the second half and looked like winning but had to settle for an equalizer by young talent Adama Diakhaby on 65 minutes.

Rennes manager Christian Gourcuff brought Mexer back into the starting 11 and deployed another centre back Ramy Bensebaini at the centre of midfield. Also making his return to the squad was Sanjin Prcic. Montpellier were unable to name a full list of subs.

Montpellier deservedly ahead in first half

Montpellier dominated most of the play in the first period with Morgan Sanson being the most active player in the early minutes of the game. However, it was to be Congré who would get Montpellier's opener.

A drilled corner was met by the onrushing Congré who got a strong ankle behind the ball to volley by Benoit Costil at his left hand post.

Rennes were restricted to long distance efforts which weren't going to trouble Geoffrey Jourdren in between the sticks for Montpellier.

Rennes pull back after a better second half

In the second half, a more spirited Rennes side tipped the game on its head as they seemed to be raring to get the all important equalizer and perhaps the winner.

They were duly awarded with a 65 minute leveler scored by 20-year-old substitute Diakhaby. A sweet Benjamin André pass from the outside of his foot found its way into the scorer's path, composed himself and slotted the ball comfortably into the net. 

The best opportunity for the Bretons to take the lead came eight minutes later when Romain Danzé hit the post with a header. Following a corner, and in acres of space, the Rennes captain was at an awkward angle when he directed his effort at goal. 

A small bit of controversy presented itself when the final whistle blew 15 seconds before the end of the minimum three minutes of added time. Rennes were on the counter-attack and were left fuming once Benoit Millot blew to signal the end of the match.

After the international break Rennes take on SM Caen at Roazhon Park while Montpellier also play in Brittany against EA Guingamp