PLAYER RATINGS | Rennes 1-2 Toulouse: Bretons record third league loss on the bounce

After registering three straight defeats, including a 1-0 loss against PSG at the semi-final stage of the Coupe de France, Rennes had the opportunity to close the gap on Lens and Reims, who both lost this matchday, and bolster their credentials for a seventh straight European qualification, an objective deemed not as optional but mandatory by the Roazhon Celtic Kop, the club’s most ardent fan group.

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The hosts started with clear intent to get closer to said objective. Still, the first goalscoring opportunity fell to the visitors with Steve Mandanda sticking a leg to prevent Dutch international Thijs Dallinga from scoring his 17th goal this season. The hosts were way more clinical at first. Rennes’ in-demand left winger Désiré Doué dribbled past Christian Mawissa before applying the cleanest of right-footed finishes in Guillaume Restes’ bottom corner – a remarkable goal for an 18-year-old.

The Bretons’ lead lasted a mere two minutes. The unmarked Cristian Casseres let one fly at the edge of the box and found Mandanda’s top corner after some poor defending from the hosts. Toulouse even turned the game on its head. Following a poor attempt of a clearance from Guéla Doué, Toulouse centre-back Moussa Diarra tried his luck, flew past Enzo Le Fée before thwarting Mandanda with a well-taken left-footed effort. The end of the first half got worse for Julien Stéphan’s team with Le Fée limping off the pitch for his first start in months.

Toulouse missed the chance to go 3-1 up after a goalmouth scramble at the restart after another defensive no-show from the hosts. Rennes had most of the possession in the second half, but Les Rouge et Noir were all too wasteful in the final third to prove a serious threat to Restes. Meanwhile, Toulouse were keen to rely on counter-attacks, making the most of Dallinga’s remarkable hold-up play and Rennes’ brittle defense.

Toulouse were also clever enough to slow the game down, to the growing frustration of the hosts with tempers flaring in the dying minutes. Eventually, Carles Martinez Novell and Les Violets left Brittany with three vital points. Thanks to their 10-point lead on 16th-placed Lorient, the Garonne side are edging closer to reaching safety. Rennes remain stuck in 9th, out of the European places, deep in midtable and now with as many losses as wins this Ligue 1 season (10). The Bretons haven’t won a game in a month.

Rennes players ratings

Steve Mandanda, 5
Guéla Doué, 3

The older of the Doué brothers proved a willful outlet on the right side going forward. However, both Toulouse goals originated on his side and his overall decision-making was horrendous.

Warmed Omari, 4
Arthur Theate, 4
Jeanuël Belocian, 4
Benjamin Bourigeaud, 3

For some weeks now, the talismanic midfielder has been very far from his commanding best, as shown by Rennes’ last results. He missed several opportunities to score, showed defensive complacency and lost countless balls. Hooked at the hour mark by Stéphan with his head buried in his red shirt.

Baptiste Santamaria, 4
Enzo Le Fée, N/A

It was not the evening Le Fee expected for his first start in months. The former Lorient midfielder had little influence on his team’s play going forward and was at fault for Toulouse’s second goal. He came off injured minutes from half-time after taking a blow in his lower back.

Désiré Doué, 7

The electric winger was on one tonight. It is no exaggeration to say he single-handedly carried Rennes’ attacking, thanks to his dribbling ability and pace. The solo goal he scored is a testament to his growing skillset. All points lead to the 18-year-old proving to be Rennes’ next big sale, maybe as early as this summer.

Amine Gouiri, 3
Arnaud Kalimuendo, 4

Toulouse players ratings

Guillaume Restes, 6
Christian Mawissa, 4
Rasmus Nicolaisen, 6
Moussa Diarra, 6
Logan Costa, 6
Stijn Spierings, 7

The Dutch midfielder was at the heart of Toulouse’s efficient engine room, recovering way more balls than he lost and proving essential both in defense and in attack. Leading by example with guile and class.

Cristian Casseres, 6
Gabriel Suazo, 6
Yann Gboho, 4
Thijs Dallinga, 5
Zakaria Aboukhlal, 4

GFFN | Bastien Cheval

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