Cruel scenario, logical result. Stade Rennes has said goodbye to qualifying for the knockout stages of the Champions League, after its loss conceded Tuesday, November 24 on its home ground against Chelsea (1-2), for the fourth day of group E. In a match without a bang, the English showed their superiority in all areas of play during the first period. From his own half of the field, young midfielder Mason Mount recovered the ball before lobbing six players from a Rennes block positioned too high. His offering reached the feet of Callum Hudson-Hudoï, who easily deceived Alfred Gomis with a strike placed at the entrance to the penalty area (1-0, 22e).
The Rennais, diligent, waited for the end of the first act to frame their first shot of the game and be dangerous by taking advantage of some hesitation in the defense of the Blues. But the English returned from the locker room with firmer intentions, posting a higher positioning and sometimes relying on the experience of the Brazilian Thiago Silva in central defense to counter the few Breton attacks.
More and more numerous, they soon forced Edouard Mendy to concede the corner on an attempt by Guirassy, then to do it in the wake of the header from defender Nyamsy, captured in two stages by the goalkeeper. But if the Rennes left side Adrien Truffert, sharp in his interventions, tried to bring the excess in the opposing camp, Edouardo Camavinga, in the middle, abused numbers of soloists, while possession shifted to the side of the Red and Black.
The rest of the game would be decided from the sidelines. By bringing in his two Frenchmen, N’Golo Kanté and Olivier Giroud, twenty minutes from time, English coach Franck Lampard hoped to breathe new life into the English environment to preserve the brand.
Against the course of the game, the center forward Serhou Guirassy nevertheless catapulted the leather at the bottom of the English nets with a head butt at the near post (1-1, 85e), at the reception of a coiled center of Bourigeaud.
Rennes can no longer hope for a draft in the Europa League
Forcing the Bretons to play their game in a rhythmic end of the match and to expose themselves to their cons, Chelsea finally took advantage of a loss of Grenier ball in the central circle, so that Ziyech, freshly entered, launches Timo Werner in the depth around the Rennes surface. His shot from the right stumbled on the legs of Gomis, who thought he had done the hardest part, before his ball, rejected by candlelight, found the head of an Olivier Giroud rising higher than Nyamsy to lodge his head under the crossbar, lobbing the keeper then Da Silva, folded into his own cages (1-2, 90 + 1).
The French international striker, who himself judged his situation “Worrying” given his poor playing time at the London club since the start of the season, scored his thirtieth goal since joining the Blues two years ago. And further strengthened his status as supersub (super-replacement) in the eyes of his trainer.
On the sidelines of the Blues’ league success at Newscatle last weekend, he had words of comfort to his center forward, calling him ” essential member of the team ” and expressing his wish to see him stay at the club in the next transfer window.
Rennes, for its part, suffered its third setback in four days in Group F, dominated on equal points by Chelsea and Sevilla, who won in added time for the Russians in Krasnodar. The Breton club can only hope, as a consolation prize, that a draft in the Europa League, from next week in Russia, in a decisive match for third place in the group.