Stade Rennais 2-2 FC Lorient: Hosts respond well after early derby disaster
Yoann Gourcuff returned to Rennes in the Brittany Derby | Ouest Medias

Stade Rennais showed great character after coming back from two goals down early in the match to draw level in the Brittany Derby against FC Lorient.

Lorient took an early lead after Fallou Diagne turned a Romain Philippoteaux cross into his own net. Things got worse for the home side when pantomime villain for the evening, Abdul Mujeed Waris, scored the second for the visitors. 

However, Philippe Montanier's men battled on and pulled a goal back through Ousmane Dembele. The game returned to a level footing just before half time when Jeremie Boga netted a remarkable effort.

Talk before the match was the inclusion of former French international midfielder, Yoann Gourcuff, to the Rennes squad. This was his first appearance in the squad of his boyhood team in almost 10 years. Everyone knew he'd appear and the anticipation ate away at the Rennes faithful throughout the match.

Yoann Gourcuff makes Rennes debut | Photo: ouestmedias
Yoann Gourcuff makes Rennes debut | Photo: ouestmedias

Lively first period

Lorient started the dominant of the two sides from the kick off. Their passing abilities were precise, and on the counter they made the Rennes midfield look non-existent. They were rewarded with their early offensive prowess on five minutes when they took the lead. Animated down the left-wing, Philippoteaux crossed low into the box only for the ball to be accidently turned in by Diagne at the near post.

After having nothing in the way of a chance in the first 10 minutes, Rennes were awarded a guilt-edged opportunity to level the match. Lorient goalkeeper, Benjamin Lecomte, mis-hit a goal kick and it fell into the path of Giovanni Sio. Unfortunately for the Ivorian striker, he took too long on the ball and could only force the ball off the keeper's legs. 

The chance passed up meant even more a few minutes later when Lorient doubled their lead through Waris. The striker had been victim of stadium-wide booing up until that point. He had refused a move to Les Rouges et Noires in the summer to sign instead for their regional rivals. The scorer couldn't miss when keeper, Benoit Costil, palmed a cross into his vicinity and it was an easy tap-in to follow up. The Ghanaian celebrated by shooshing the silent crowd.

Down and out, with really nothing to lose at this point, Rennes changed their game plan and gave their young attackers more of the ball. The energetic winger, Dembele, looked a real threat going forward and gave the Lorient backline problems. The 18-year-old was awarded with his persistence when he scored his side's first of the match. After turning centre-back, Zargo Toure, inside out, Dembele cut onto his left and smashed the ball near post by Lecomte.

Rennes continued to be the dominant team and were looking to draw the game level before half time. They managed to accomplish that five minutes before the break through on-loan Chelsea attacker, Boga. From out of nothing, the Frenchman got the ball onto his stronger right foot and hit a speculative effort from 22 yards into the bottom right corner. 

Quieter second half

The second period started with a bang with both clubs passing up promising chances to take the lead. Firstly, Waris flicked a header onto the outside of the right post from an acute angle. Dembele was then denied a second, narrowly avoiding the target with his low drive deep inside the box. Additionally, Dembele then went onto smash the post after some lovely interplay between the Rennes frontline. 

The stadium finally got what they wanted after 75 minutes - not a winning goal, but the introduction of Gourcuff. The attacking-midfielder replaced Juan Quintero and slotted into his famous spot on the pitch. His first piece of play he was involved with resulted in the fan favourite being flagged for offside. Hearts were in mouths near the end of the match when he collided with team mate, Cheikh M'Bengue, resulting in the new man hobbling until full time. Fortunately, the injury didn't look too serious.

Next week Gourcuff and his new Rennes squad travel to Ligue 1 strugglers, Troyes while Lorient have to contend with an away trip to Bordeaux.