Monaco keep going
Last Updated: 12/04/14 10:34pm
Fabinho charges forward
Monaco kept the Ligue 1 title race mathematically alive on Saturday night with a 1-0 victory at Rennes.
Emmanuel Riviere netted the game's only goal 10 minutes into the second half to lift Claudio Ranieri's second-placed side to 10 points behind leaders Paris St Germain, who visit Lyon on Sunday.
The result did little for Philippe Montanier's Rennes side, though, as they remained nine points above the relegation zone with five games left.
The hosts started brightly and could have gone ahead in the third minute, but Jean Makoun's curling effort flew inches wide after good work on the right by Kamil Grosicki.
Monaco came to life thereafter, and mustered the lion's share of the remaining decent chances.
Joao Moutinho controlled Anthony Martial's pass on the run and lashed a powerful right-footed shot just over the bar in the 14th minute, and Riviere was denied by Rennes goalkeeper Benoit Costil five minutes later after unleashing a left-footed drive from Layvin Kurzawa's assist.
Riviere had another sight of goal just before the half-hour mark, courtesy of Moutinho, but Costil got down well and made the save.
The 24-year-old's endeavours were rewarded in the 55th minute, though, when he managed to despatch a superb ball from Jeremy Toulalan past Costil while in the process of falling down.
Ranieri's side could have stretched their advantage in the final half-hour, Costil pulling off a brilliant reflex save from Riviere after Moutinho and Fabinho had combined to set up the chance.
Moutinho then freed Geoffrey Kondogbia and he produced a fierce 25-yard attempt with his left foot, only for Costil to again be in the right place to avert the danger.
Rennes finally conjured up their first shot on target 16 minutes from time when Romain Danze found Foued Kadir on the right-hand side of the penalty area, but his left-footed effort was blocked by Monaco goalkeeper Sergio Romero.
French Ligue 1
|1||Paris St Germain||38||83|
|18||Evian Thonon Gaillar||38||37|