Angers' 10 month unbeaten run at home was ended as Stade Rennais comfortably defeated them at the Stade Jean-Bouin, winning 2-0.
Abdoulaye Doucoure's first half header coupled with a rare Gelson Fernandes goal settled the fixture and gave Rennes their first win in eight games.
The early chances came thick and fast in this match with both teams getting an early sniff at goal. Cheikh Ndoye was denied at the last by Ludovic Baal who flung himself at the shot deep inside the box.
At the other end Rennes were more successful with their opportunity as they managed to go ahead on four minutes. The goal was orchestrated by Doucoure as he knocked the ball out wide to Pedro Henrique. The Brazillian's precisioned cross met the onrushing Doucoure on the border of the six yard box who headed the ball in the net.
Angers looked to get the game back to a level footing but weren't troubling Benoit Costil between the Rennes goalposts. Thomas Mangani tried his luck from 25 yards with a powerful strike but without any direction all the shot did was sting Costil's hands.
As the half wore on, both keepers weren't forced to make any type of save. There were a few half chances which passed both teams by. Romain Saïss dallied on the ball for too long inside the penalty area before releasing and hitting Steven Moreira who blocked. At the other end Kamil Grosicki mustered up a feeble cross/shot to the far post which didn't cause any bother for Ludovic Butelle in the Angers goal.
Dominant Rennes prevail in second half
Angers could have equalised early into the second half through Ismaël Traoré. A free kick was floated into the box and then flicked on to the defender in space who saw the ball late and couldn't manage a proper hit. Soon after, Gilles Sunu forced a strong last-gasp block from Sylvain Armand after the striker burst deep inside the area.
Rennes seemed more comfortable as the half went on, barring a few sights at goal from their opponents. The free flowing Bretons expressed their dominance when they doubled their lead on 61 minutes. The unlikely source of Gelson Fernandes was to provide it, his first for the club. A poorly cleared cross into the area fell to Fernandes on the edge of the box who struck the ball with venomous power by Butelle. Fernandes' last goal came nearly two years to the day for SC Freiburg against Braunschweig.
It seemed after the second goal that Angers had given up on the game, posing little threat to Rennes. They were being restricted to long shots which posed no danger for Costil, it was plain sailing for the French international.
Little did he know that he would be forced into important action when Angers were awarded a late penalty kick. Grosicki bundled over right-back Vincent Manceau as he was set to shoot. Mangani was tasked with taking it and forced Costil to guess right to stop it with his thigh. The last glimmer of hope for Angers was dashed and it certainly showed. It was a disappointing performance from an Angers team that promised so much in the early stages of the league.
The Rennes win takes them up from 10th to sixth temporarily whereas Angers are still fourth with the other Ligue 1 fixtures still to be played. The next league match for the winners is at home to Bordeaux while Angers will try to get back to a positive footing away to SM Caen.