Gritty Toulouse keep Rennes at bay
Toulouse held out for nearly half-an-hour with ten men to pick up a point with a goalless draw at home to Stade Rennais FC on Saturday.
Toulouse FC 0-0 Stade Rennais FC
Rennes travelled to the south west on a desperate run of form that had seen them win just once in their last 13 league games - 1-0 against derby rivals FC Lorient in late February - and Christian Gourcuff's men were clearly keen to stop the blood-letting.
They proved difficult to break down, though Toulouse did do so on 15 minutes when January signing Andy Delort was sent clear, but before he could test Benoît Costil, called up by France in midweek, Edson Mexer raced back to tackle.
Wesley Saïd had scored the Rennes goal that had secured them a point at home to Dijon FCO last time out and had fired a 90th-minute equaliser at FC Metz in Week 28 - he would have had a third in as many games but for Toulouse goalkeeper Mauro Goicoechea, who stood firm when face-to-face with the Rennes man just before the break (42').
Toulouse's prospects of picking up a first win over Rennes in four attempts took a major blow when Alexis Blin, who had already been booked, arrived late to challenge Benjamin André, and left referee Sébastien Desiage with little option other than to show him a second yellow card, followed by a red (62').
Still, Rennes remained cautious, though they might have snatched all three points ten minutes from time when Yoann Gourcuff found Joris Gnagnon with a free-kick, but Goicoechea spectacularly parried the youngster's point-blank header (80').
THE PLAYER: Mauro Goicoechea
Ensured his side picked up the point they deserved.
THE STAT: 8
Eight of Rennes' 11 league matches in 2017 have now finished in a draw.