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French Ligue 1

Route de Lorient 16th April 2012 - Kick off 20:00 Ref: Benoit Bastien

Rennes Rennes vs Nice Nice

Rennes 3

J Feret (23)
T Doumbia (44)
J Pitroipa (82)


Nice 1

F Clerc (59)

Rennes maintain European push

French side bounce back from cup humiliation

Last Updated: 16/04/12 11:23pm

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Tongo Doumbia: Doubled Rennes' advantage on their way to three precious points

Tongo Doumbia: Doubled Rennes' advantage on their way to three precious points

Rennes maintained their push for European football next season with a solid 3-1 victory at home to relegation battlers Nice on Monday night.

Goals by Julien Feret and Tongo Doumbia had the hosts in control at the break and, although Francois Clerc reduced the deficit, Rennes made sure of the points thanks to Jonathan Pitroipa's 82nd-minute strike.

The win means Rennes are now fifth, just two points behind fourth place and a Europa League berth, while Nice stay a point above the drop zone.

The home side had a point to prove after last week's humiliating defeat against third-tier Quevilly which cost them a place in the Coupe de France final later this month.

With the home crowd whistling their every touch, Rennes looked fired up and Youssouf Hadji's volley after 12 minutes forced Nice goalkeeper David Ospina to save.

Reflex stop

Ospina again was in action on 18 minutes, Feret with a stunning shot that brought a reflex stop from the custodian.

The breakthrough came after 22 minutes, this time Feret receiving the ball from Yacine Brahimi and firing a low shot beyond Ospina.

The second goal arrived a minute before the break, Feret again involved as his header picked out Doumbia who confidently headed home.

Ospina was again in action on 52 minutes, producing a fine stop to deny Brahimi, but seven minutes later - and against the run of play - Nice were back in it.

Eric Mouloungui, just back after five weeks out with an ankle problem, flicked the ball on and Clerc ran on to the ball before finishing low and hard.

The game was finally put to bed in the final 10 minutes, however, Romain Danze's long ball collected by Pitroipa, who beat Didier Digard before slotting past Ospina.

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French Ligue 1

French Ligue 1
Pos Team P Pts
1 Paris St Germain 38 83
2 Lyon 38 75
3 Monaco 38 71
4 Marseille 38 69
5 St Etienne 38 69
6 Bordeaux 38 63
7 Montpellier 38 56
8 Lille 38 56
9 Rennes 38 50
10 Guingamp 38 49
11 Nice 38 48
12 Bastia 38 47
13 Caen 38 46
14 Nantes 38 45
15 Reims 38 44
16 Lorient 38 43
17 Toulouse 38 42
18 Evian Thonon Gaillar 38 37
19 Metz 38 30
20 RC Lens 38 29