Monaco cut gap on leaders
Last Updated: 30/11/13 10:22pm
Emmanuel Riviere in action for Monaco
Monaco closed the gap on the top of the Ligue 1 table to two points with a routine 2-0 victory over Rennes at the Stade Louis II.
First-half goals from James Rodriguez and Anthony Martial were enough to wrap up the points, while Rennes are indebted to goalkeeper Benoit Costil for ensuring the scoreline remained respectable with a number of fine saves.
Victory sees Monaco keep up the pressure on Paris St Germain and Lille above them, with Rennes mired in mid-table after a run of four matches without a win.
Rodriguez struck the first blow after 19 minutes with a curling free-kick from the edge of the penalty area which left Costil stranded.
Claudio Ranieri's men immediately set about adding to their lead and Rodriguez freed Moutinho inside the area two minutes later, but the Portuguese midfielder could only find the side-netting.
The home side continued to boss proceedings and Rodriguez was at the heart of the action again six minutes before the interval, controlling a pass from Jeremy Toulalan with his chest before unleashing a superb volley which produced an equally impressive save from Costil.
However, a second goal arrived shortly before the half-time whistle. Rodriguez was the provider again this time for Martial, whose shot took a helpful deflection off the post on its way into the net.
The second half was all Monaco, but Costil rose to the challenge six minutes in, turning away a powerful effort from Mounir Obbadi.
Rodriguez then saw his left-footed drive cleared off the line by Sylvain Armand and Costil came to the rescue once more with 10 minutes remaining, denying Lucas Ocampos after the Argentinian's penetrating run into the area.
Monaco continued to push forward until the final whistle, but a 20-yard strike from Ocampos was dealt with by Costil's timely punch before the Rennes keeper showed even greater agility to tip away one last effort from Emmanuel Riviere.
French Ligue 1
|3||Paris St Germain||22||44|
|16||Evian Thonon Gaillar||22||23|