Rennes up to 2nd in Ligue 1 after draw at Nice
PARIS (AP) — Martin Terrier became the joint top scorer in the French league as Rennes salvaged a 1-1 draw at Nice to move into second place on Saturday.
Nice broke the deadlock with Youcef Atal’s outrageous cross from the outside of the boot that Andy Delort headed into the bottom corner in the 67th minute.
But Rennes leveled in the 78th when Terrier got ahead of Brazilian center back Dante to head home a free kick from Benjamin Bourigeaud. Terrier raised his tally to 17 league goals, tying Monaco striker Wissam Ben Yedder for the lead.
“We can regret the last 20 minutes when we lacked a bit of personality to keep our defensive block higher up the pitch in order to avoid free kicks and corners,” Nice coach Christophe Galtier said.
Rennes could have even won the game but Argentine goalkeeper Walter Benitez saved a close-range effort from Terrier in the 88th.
Marseille was third to Rennes on goal difference. Nice remained in fourth place, two points behind Rennes. The top two clubs qualify for the Champions League while the third-placed club goes to qualifying.
“Mentally, it’s important to stay on the podium and to stay in front of them,” Rennes coach Bruno Genesio said.
Meanwhile, Lille couldn’t find the net against 10-man Bordeaux, the most porous defense in the league. Lille stayed in sixth place after the 0-0 draw while bottom side Bordeaux was five points from safety.
Bordeaux defender Enock Kwateng was sent off in the 35th minute for a second yellow card after a poor challenge on Jonathan Bamba.
After that, Lille hit the woodwork once and had three goals disallowed for offside.
“Tonight, it was a hitch. We’ll have to get those points back somewhere else,” Lille coach Jocelyn Gourvennec said. “We first lacked accuracy in our game, then in the second half we lacked spontaneity and fluency.”
Marseille was scheduled to visit relegation-threatened Saint-Etienne but heavy snowfall forced the game to be postponed to Sunday.
Snow made the pitch impractical and access to Saint-Etienne’s Stade Geoffroy-Guichard difficult, and local authorities urged people to postpone non-essential travel. Marseille supporters were banned from attending the game anyway by the Loire prefecture over fears of crowd trouble.
On Sunday, runaway leader Paris Saint-Germain can inch closer to a record 10th French league title with a victory over lowly Lorient.
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