Rennes halt losing run
Last Updated: 22/03/14 8:48pm
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Rennes halted a three-game losing run as they claimed a 1-0 win over Marseille on Saturday.
Midfielder Abdoulaye Doucoure scored the only goal of the game in the 76th minute to earn Rennes their eighth Ligue 1 win of the season.
Meanwhile, Marseille's bid to play in Europe next season continued to stutter following defeats to Paris St Germain, Nice and a 1-1 draw against Reims.
Marseille had all of the chances in the first half but were unable to find a way past Rennes keeper Benoit Costil.
Mathieu Valbuena almost set up Benoit Cheyrou from a free-kick, but Costil made a save at full-stretch to deny the midfielder's sixth-minute header.
Valbuena then saw a volley denied three minutes later by Costil before Cheyrou's strong shot was kept out thanks to another fantastic save by the Rennes stopper.
Shortly before the break, Marseille launched another good attack, with Cheyrou laying the ball off to Andre Ayew who unleashed a rocket, which Costil again blocked.
The second half started more positively for Rennes and they had their first real effort on goal in the 49th minute when Romain Alessandrini pinched the ball from Nicolas Nkoulou and immediately freed Doucoure at the edge of the penalty area. The striker sent a low shot goalbound but Marseille keeper Steve Mandanda blocked it on the ground.
Rennes then finally broke the deadlock midway through the second period when substitute Jonathan Pitroipa launched a counter-attack which resulted in Doucoure beating Mandanda at close range, with the ball grazing the post on the way into the net.
Valbuena went agonisingly close to scoring an equaliser five minutes later when he sent a header just inches wide but Rennes held on to claim a valuable victory.
French Ligue 1
|2||Paris St Germain||31||62|
|15||Evian Thonon Gaillar||32||36|