Rennes 2-2 Lyon: Late fightback for the hosts results in stalemate

The away side couldn't hold their two goal lead as the Bretons fought back in a pulsating table topping clash.

Rennes 2-2 Lyon: Late fightback for the hosts results in stalemate
The Rennes players embrace following the equalizer | Source: Ouest Medias
Stade Rennais
2 2
Olympique Lyonnais
Stade Rennais: Costil; Danze (c), Mendes (Diagne), Armand, Zeffane; Andre, Fernandes; Grosicki, Gourcuff (Boga), Dembele; Henrique (Erasmus).
Olympique Lyonnais: Lopes; Rafael, Koné, Umtiti, Morel; Ferri (Tolisso), Gonalons (c), Darder (Grenier); Ghezzal, Lacazette, Cornet.
SCORE: 0-1, min. 33, Ghezzal. 0-2, min. 55, Lacazette. 1-2, min. 70, Diagne. 2-2, min. 82, Boga.
REFEREE: Frank Schneider.

Rennes and Lyon remain where they started before the match on the league table as the two sides played out an energizing two all draw at Roazhon Park.

It was a substitute inspired performance from Rolland CourbisRouges et Noir side as his two half-time changes did the business to restore parity. The ever lively Rachid Ghezzal opened the scoring for Lyon in the first half and the infamous Alexandre Lacazette continued his fine form by converting the second.

However, defender Fallou Diagne gave Rennes a glimmer of hope by scoring their first goal of the night. Then, deep into the half, Jeremie Boga’s equalizer, with the help of Rafael, sealed the point.

Both teams remain in fourth and fifth spot in Ligue 1 as the competitive hunt for European positions becomes ever harder with only eight games remaining of the season.

All Lyon in the first half

Both teams had early chances to put a marker down on the match with ex-Lyon attacker Yoann Gourcuff missing two swipes inside the box. While, at the other end, Jordan Ferri’s free header from inside the box went narrowly wide of the target.

However, the best chance of the opening proceedings came from Lacazette who picked up on slack play at the back from the man of the moment, Ousmane Dembele. The young winger was caught in possession which led to the striker being played through on goal only to be denied by the near post.

After overcoming a wave of Lyon pressure, without giving as much back, Rennes rightfully went behind on 30 minutes through Ghezzal. French international hopeful Maxwell Cornet was threatening down the wing and picked out the scorer who made a darting move to the centre of the box and slotted away.

Rennes overcome early second half scare to draw level

If Rennes were ever to keep up with Lyon, who were pulling away at some speed, changes were to be needed. Their manager Rolland Courbis duly obliged by bringing off Gourcuff, who struggled with the pace throughout the first half, and Pedro Mendes who was close to a sending off. On came Diagne and on-loan Chelsea attacker Boga to freshen things up.

Although the play following the restart didn’t show any particular team being ahead in terms of quality, the away side found themselves two goals ahead on 55 minutes. An expertly placed cross found Lacazette who was virtually unchallenged inside the box. The striker headed past the on-rushing Benoit Costil who had recklessly made a late decision to come and collect the ball.

The scorer Lacazette could have doubled his goal tally and tripled his team’s when he passed up an easy on a plate chance to score. Awful defending from the Rennes back line had the Frenchman through on goal but he opted for power over accuracy and the effort was hit into Row Z.

He was made to rue the chance only a couple of minutes later when the score was brought down to one goal as Diagne scored his chance. The surprise scorer ended up with the ball at the back post following a corner and made easy work of heading the ball in from an acute angle.

Rennes did eventually find that all important equalizer on 82 minutes with Boga taking credit for the goal. Dembele had the original effort at goal but it was poorly cleared and fell into the path of the on-loan attacker Boga. The Chelsea man placed a shot to the bottom corner of the goal only for it to be turned in by Rafael who tried to clear.

A late Ghezzal chance for Lyon and his second of the match forced Costil to make a fantastic save, but ultimately the full time whistle blew with the score remaining as a draw.

Next week Rennes have another tough contest away at Marseille on Friday while Lyon play Les Rouges et Noir’s bitter rivals Nantes at home.