20 March 2012 | à 20h15

Toulouse defeat toothless Rennes

Ligue 1, Stade rennais 0 - 1 Toulouse. Smothered by a Toulouse team showing solid in defence and dominating at midfield, the Rouge et Noir did not show much in their show-down against a direct competitor for European places. And the Bretons were eventually hit by bad fortune, when Danzé countered an inoffensive shot by Rivière in his own goal.

Toulouse defeat toothless Rennes

Between two teams renowned for their solidity and fighting for European positions, the match was promising to be close. It was, and it could be expected, the game opposing Rennes and Toulouse was only decided on details, a little bit like it was during the first leg at the Stadium.

The game started on a slow rhythm, with Toulouse seeming to take the initiative. Well installed in their solid 4-1-4-1, Alain Casanova’s players did well in blocking the Rennes midfield, causing considerable trouble to the launching of Rennes’ actions. As a result, the Toulousains also created the first chances. Rivière was even very close to opening the score at the fifteenth minute, but his headed goal – deflecting a shot by Regattin – was disallowed for a debatable offside position.
It would take Yann M’Vila and his team-mates nearly twenty minutes to finally get in the game and give some worries to Ahamada who had spent a quiet night so far. Erding, unmarked on a corner, headed the ball over the bar before Kembo recovered a ball following a bad defensive clearance and hit a powerful shot, punched away by the Toulouse goalkeeper.

Unable to score on these first opportunities, the Rouge et Noir saw Toulouse wake-up, well helped by the injury of Vincent Pajot, replaced by Doumbia. Multiplying the combinations on free-kicks, the Southerners were very close to find a goal. With a subtle chipped pass, Didot launched Rivière, who volleyed from the left. But Théophile-Catherine, back in a hurry, countered the shot in front of Costil and the ball flew over the crossbar.
The game opened up in the last minutes of the first half, it was then Brahimi who tested Ahamada after a good work by Pitroipa. But finally, the game was turned by a few seconds of chance. After a (too) solid tackle by Boye on Rivière, Aurier charged on the right flank. The full-back cut-across to feed the ball to Rivière, who fell while shooting. The ball was slowly going towards Costil but Danzé miscued a clearance that flew straight… under the crossbar of his own goalkeeper, powerless in this case (0-1, 45e). Trailing just before the interval, the Bretons’ morale was seriously dented.

Difficult indeed to come back in the game against the best defence in the league, especially considering the lack of response observed since the beginning of the game for Rennes. And as soon as the second half started, it was the Toulousains who threatened Costil. With a long shot from the right, Didot tested the former Caen keeper, who was even put to contribution twice after a second shot by Rivière.
As for Rennes, they were relying on an unlikely individual exploit from Pitroipa or Kembo, who tried to shoot in several occasions without success. Well in place, the “Violets” didn’t loosen their grip at the middle of the pitch and prevented the Rennes midfield to connect with their forwards. In several occasions, they were even very close to kill the game, when Rivière placed a header over the bar or when Sissoko saw his shot blocked by Costil.

Unable to respond on the scoreboard, Stade Rennes lost for the second time at home this season. A very damaging defeat against a direct competitor. It is now up to the Rouge et Noir to avoid an even bigger disillusion, this Wednesday in Valenciennes.

Match Facts

STADE RENNAIS FC 0 - 1 TOULOUSE FC (half-time : 0-1)

Ligue 1, Game Week 28
Sunday, March 18th, 2012, 17 h 00

Stade de la route de Lorient
Attendance : 22 127 spectators

Referee : Stéphane Lannoy

Goal : Danzé (45e o.g.) for Toulouse.

Yellow Cards : Boye (45’+1) and Doumbia (84’) for Rennes ; Capoue (34’), M’Bengué (85’), Braaten (90’+3) and Didot (90’+3) for Toulouse.

- Stade rennais FC : Costil - Danzé (cap), Kana-Biyik, Boye, Théophile-Catherine - M’Vila, Pajot (Doumbia, 23’), Pitroipa, Brahimi (Boukari, 62’), Kembo (Hadji, 76’) - Erding.

Manager : Frédéric Antonetti.

- Toulouse FC : Ahamada - Aurier, Congré (cap), Abdennour, M’Bengué - Regattin (Braaten, 74’), Sissoko, Capoue, Didot, Machado (Tabanou, 61’) - Rivière.

Manager : Alain Casanova.

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