M’Baye Niang scored the only goal of the game as Stade Rennais FC ended a run of eight games without a win in all competitions by beating OGC Nice at the Allianz Riviera.
OGC Nice 0-1 Stade Rennais FC
Here were two teams in desperate need of a win after wretched form in recent weeks which had seen them slide down the Ligue 1 Uber Eats table and crash out of Europe.
Nice had drawn one and lost six of their previous seven games in all competitions, form which had cost coach Patrick Vieira his job, with his assistant Adrian Ursea replacing the former France midfielder in the dugout.
Rennes, meanwhile, had gone eight games without a win since the start of November, including suffering four defeats in the UEFA Champions League and collecting just one point from a possible 12 in the league.
The visitors went in front just before the half-hour mark, pouncing on a mistake by Danilo Barbosa as Niang fired past Walter Benitez in the home goal. Nayef Aguerd had a header cleared off the line before that goal, and most of the chances fell the way of Rennes, who held on for what they will feel was a deserved victory.
It is a result that allows the Brittany side to move back to within touching distance of the top six and leaves Nice in the bottom half of the table.
THE PLAYER: M’Baye Niang
With fellow striker Serhou Guirassy sidelined, Niang took advantage by finally scoring his first goal of the season on what was just his second start of the campaign - his only other start so far had come on the opening weekend. Could it be the goal which kickstarts Rennes’ season?
THE STAT: 8
For all their problems, Rennes have lost just one of their last eight away league games, and that came at Paris Saint-Germain.