Martin Terrier scored a hat-trick as Stade Rennais FC went second in the table with a 5-0 win over AS Saint-Étienne at the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard on Sunday afternoon.
AS Saint-Étienne 0-5 Stade Rennais FC
Saint-Étienne began the day rooted to the foot of the table, but they started brightly against their third-placed visitors and would have taken the lead in the opening few minutes had Jean-Philippe Krasso connected properly with Timothée Kolodziejczak's cross into the box (3'). ASSE thought they had pulled into a deserved lead when Wahbi Khazri broke through and steered the ball beyond Alfred Gomis (18'), but he was denied his eighth goal of the season by the offside flag. Such has been Sainté's luck this season that Rennes duly went up the other end and opened the scoring in near-identical fashion. The flag initially went up for Terrier, too, but after VAR review the winger was given his sixth of the campaign (23'). His seventh followed minutes later, Lovro Majer cutting the ball back for the former Olympique Lyonnais man, who finished with a fine backheel (28'). Khazri looked the most likely to get the hosts back into the game, but he cut an isolated figure up front and Rennes carried a 3-0 lead into the break after Lorenz Assignon's shot ricocheted in off Yvann Maçon (45').
Things went from bad to worse for ASSE after the restart. Terrier picked up position quite some distance from goal and little looked to be on, but he looked up, spotted a window and curled an unstoppable finish beyond Etienne Green for the goal of the game (48'), and one which put the result beyond any reasonable doubt. Gaëtan Laborde - Rennes top scorer until Terrier's goal-glut today - then attempted to test Green from range, but the England under-21 goalkeeper held firm this time (57'). Terrier came off to a standing ovation just past the hour, to be replaced by Kamaldeen Sulemana (63'), but Rennes' dominance continued unabated, Laborde denied after a volley from close range soon after (66'). Sulemana should then have made it five, finding the wrong side of the side-netting after a low Benjamin Bourigeaud cross (72'). Rennes would add more gloss top the scoreline, though, Lesley Ugochukwu concluding the scoring with his first Ligue 1 Uber eats goal (83') and it ended 5-0.
THE PLAYER: Martin Terrier
With Jérémy Doku recently returning from injury, Terrier's place on the Rennes flank might have come under pressure, but he showed once again why he is so trusted by coach Bruno Génésio. Saint-Étienne had no answer for his ability to cut inside from the left and make directly for goal, and he has now scored once every 146 minutes he has played this term.
THE STAT: 4
Rennes have now scored at least two goals in each of their last four away matches in Ligue 1 Uber Eats. They haven't been beaten on the road since a 2-0 reverse at Olympique de Marseille in September - little wonder they find themselves second, two points above OM, albeit having played a game more.