Rennes boss Bruno Génésio on crashing out of the Europa League: “Sometimes, football is cruel.”

Rennes crashed out of the Europe League playoff round against Ukrainian outfit Shakhtar Donetsk on Thursday after a dramatic tie. The hosts looked set to book their place for the last 16 round but a 119th-minute Jeanuël Belocian own goal gave Shakhtar a lifeline and an opportunity to cause an upset through penalties. Donetsk then won the shoot-out with goalkeeper Anatolyi Trubin proving instrumental in stopping three Rennes attempts. Manager Bruno Génésio was bitterly disappointed in his post-match press conference that Ouest-France attended.

It hurts“, assessed the former Lyon manager. “It’s hard to accept because I think we deserved to go through but sometimes, football is cruel.” Les Rouge et Noir dominated their opponents and opened the scoring through Lyon loanee Karl Toko Ekambi, levelling the score on aggregate. Ibrahim Salah gave Rennes the lead in extra-time as Donetsk players came close to exhaustion, but a late mistake from 18-year-old Belocian turned the tie on its head. “He is dejected, of course, a little devastated”, said Génésio. “But he has played three games in a row while being good and that’s what I told him.”

In order to return to play European football next year, Stade Rennais need a strong finish in the league, where they slumped to fifth place. Rennes will play arch-rivals Nantes at La Beaujoire on Sunday.

GFFN | Bastien Cheval

More European Football News