Ruthless Rennes show Amine streak once again
Standout performer Amine Gouiri registered a goal and an assist, as Stade Rennais secured an important three points, comfortably defeating AJ Auxerre 5-0 at Roazhon Park and extending their impressive home form to 21 wins in 28 matches.
Coming into the contest on the back of successive league defeats, Auxerre made the worst possible start, conceding the opener after just three minutes. Kamaldeen Sulemana picked up the ball from a long Steve Mandanda kick, before dribbling into the box and driving an accurate strike into the bottom corner beyond former Rennes keeper Benoît Costil. Buoyed by the opener, the hosts quickly looked to double their advantage, but Sulemana’s goal-bound effort was superbly cleared off the line by Paul Joly.
Auxerre slowly gained a foothold in the match after a shaky opening 20 minutes, and came close to finding an equaliser when Mathias Autret saw a close-range strike thwarted by Mandanda and M’Baye Niang fired a powerful half-volley narrowly over the bar. With HT approaching, the visitors continued to improve and look dangerous in attack, but the Rennes rearguard held firm to preserve their one-goal advantage going into the break.
The second half began with Auxerre surprisingly dominating possession, but Rennes remained a constant threat on the counter and doubled their lead against the run of play on the hour mark. Gouiri demonstrated excellent awareness to pounce on some sloppy defending from Alexandre Coeff, before calmly slotting the ball into the bottom corner for his first league goal since January.
Armed with the comfort of a two-goal lead, the hosts extended their advantage further just eight minutes later, as Gouiri’s deflected cross was clinically dispatched by Terrier from inside the six-yard box. This shattered all of Auxerre’s belief and resistance, giving Rennes the perfect opportunity to add gloss to the scoreline in the final 10 minutes.
Substitutes Flavien Tait and Matthis Abline were the beneficiaries of some awful defending to add their names to the scoresheet, with the latter ensuring that Rennes would make it three goals from players aged under 23 on the day, in a sign for many that the hosts are set for a bright future. The same, emphatically, cannot be said for Auxerre on this evidence, after a third straight defeat for the newcomers – their worst in Ligue 1 since February 2010.
Man of the Match: Amine Gouiri (Stade Rennais)
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