Rennes continued their unbeaten run at home this season to six matches after defeating Metz at Roazhon Park.
Following a dull opening period, the game sprung into life when Wesley Said netted for the hosts on 56 minutes with an expertly hit volley.
The away side chapped at the door on occasion, however Rennes remained untroubled for large portions of the tie.
Both teams went into the game after successfully progressing in the Coupe de la Ligue in midweek - Rennes defeating local rivals FC Lorient and Metz beating Paris FC on penalties.
Uninspiring first half from both teams
The away side began unchanged for the most part while Rennes gutted out most of their cup starters for the Ligue 1 tie.
The first chance of the match came midway through the half when Renaud Cohade forced a save from close range by Benoit Costil.
The first shot on target for les rouges et noirs came a minute before the regulatory 45 when Giovanni Sio's curled effort was caught by Thomas Didillon.
Second half delight for the home side
Both teams did little to threaten either keeper from the restart, with only Bouna Sarr's nestling of the side netting coming closest.
The scoring was opened 11 minutes into the half by Rennes when Paul-Georges Ntep was allowed time and space down the left to hook a ball across the box for Said to volley past Didillon.
This was Ntep's third assist of the season after coming back into the team at the start of this campaign following a lengthy spell out through injury.
Twice in quick succession later in the match, Ntep and Said were allowed to link up in similar fashion to the goal, but were unable to snatch a second of the game.
There were not a lot of positives to take away for Metz other than the positive play by Sarr down the wing.
This defeat is their 19th in 21 matches away from home in the league - a stat that Philippe Hinschberger's men must put right if they are to have any chance of survival next season.
Next week Hinschberger's men host a tough side in Saint-Etienne who themselves are challenging Rennes in the upper reaches of Ligue 1.
Meanwhile, Christian Gourcuff's side arguably have it even tougher as they face the champions PSG in the capital.