PLAYER RATINGS | Rennes 0-1 Marseille: Sead Kolašinac gives Les Phocéens vital win

The team with Ligue 1’s best home record hosted the league’s best away side as Rennes locked horns with second-placed Marseille in a packed Roazhon Park, in full voice on Sunday evening. The visitors started with confidence. The first opportunity of the game fell to Cengiz Ünder, whose first-time volley from an Alexis Sánchez cross flashed across goal. France international Jonathan Clauss came close to punishing Steve Mandanda’s weak clearance, but the former Marseille goalie came to the fore.

At the other end of the pitch, Amine Gouri rattled Pau Lopez’s crossbar after neat link-up play down Marseille’s right flank. The hosts grew into the game with Les Phocéens looking more and more predictable, imprecise and out of shape, leaving Igor Tudor seething and agitated on the touchline. Pau López needed to come up big to thwart a header from Arnaud Kalimuendo and a powerful shot from Karl Toko Ekambi. An underperforming Marseille ended the first half unscathed.

In the second half, Rennes were punished against the run of play. Just before the hour mark, Jordan Veretout caught Les Rouge et Noir napping thanks to a free-kick taken quickly, with Ünder laying it on a plate for Sead Kolašinac to tap in unmarked. Rennes were stunned and had to scramble with the ball in search of a quick equaliser, leading to many lost possessions.

The visitors had to withstand sustained pressure from Rennes, but the hosts lacked spontaneity and spark to poke holes in OM’s tight-knit defence. Eventually, Marseille prevailed, ending a wretched week with an all-important win in their quest for second place. In the standings, Marseille now have a 9-point lead on fifth-placed Rennes, who will no doubt have to fight to the bitter end to qualify for European football next season.

Rennes’ players ratings

Steve Mandanda, 5 – The former Marseille man did not have much to do tonight, but he displayed good anticipation and aerial ability to snuff out any danger in his box. Absolutly not at fault for the opener.

Djed Spence, 6 – The Tottenham loanee was a willing outlet going forward and kept Guendouzi as well as Clauss mostly quiet. A promising outing.

Warmed Omari, 4

Arthur Theate, 5

Adrien Truffert, 4

Jérémy Doku, n/a – Not much of a threat before what looked like a muscle injury. Replaced before the half hour mark by Désiré Doué, who settled in nicely with slick attacking impetus before wavering.

Benjamin Bourigeaud, 5 

Baptiste Santamaria, 5

Karl Toko Ekambi, 3

Amine Gouiri, 4

Arnaud Kalimuendo, 3

Marseille’s players ratings

Pau López, 6 – He was probably Marseille’s most valuable player in the first half, which is saying something, keeping his side at bay with slick saves.

Jonathan Clauss, 5

Chancel Mbemba, 5

Leonardo Balerdi, 5

Sead Kolašinac, 7 – Probably Marseille’s most consistent centre-back tonight and the man who broke the deadlock in true centre-forward style. Dominant in both penalty boxes.

Nuno Tavares, 3 – Looked disjointed with plenty of unforced errors and countless lost possessions. Defence-wise, he offered too much freedom to the likes of Toko Ekambi and Truffert.

Valentin Rongier, 6

Jordan Veretout, 5

Cengiz Ünder, 6 – The former Leicester winger was involved in Marseille’s most dangerous plays, including the opener in which he proved vital with the assist. How Marseille missed his vision and technical ability against Annecy…

Mattéo Guendouzi, 3 – The former Arsenal man was an ineffectual outlet for Marseille, losing balls as well as his temper sometimes. It was no surprise to not see him come out for the second half with Ruslan Malinovskyi replacing him.

Alexis Sánchez, 4 – Plenty of runs and energy from the former Barcelona man, but his decision-making let him down.

GFFN | Bastien Cheval

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