Amine Gouiri scored his first Stade Rennais FC goal as the Bretons beat AJ Auxerre 5-0 on Sunday evening.
Stade Rennais FC 5-0 AJ Auxerre
Rennes only had two full days of rest following Thursday's 2-1 win at AEK Larnaca in the UEFA Europa League, but they started brightly back at their Roazhon Park, taking the lead when Kamaldeen Sulemana cut in from the left and fired low through Jubal's legs and into the far bottom corner (3'). Rennes had to make an early substitution with Lesley Ugochukwu replacing Baptiste Santamaria, who injured his ankle in a tangle with Rayan Raveloson (12'), but they continued to dominate. Gouiri missed what might have been his first goal since arriving from OGC Nice before the flag went up for offside anyway (14'). Selumana was only a last-ditch Paul Joly clearance away from making it two after rounding former Rennes goalkeeper Benoît Costil (16'). Martin Terrier then tested Costil from a tight angle (25') as Auxerre held on. M'Baye Niang could have drawn the visitors level late in the half, but his shot hit the joint (37') and it was 1-0 at the break.
Gouiri gets his goal
Sulemana made way for Flavien Tait at the start of the second half (46'), and Auxerre - no doubt relieved to see him go - conjured up the first chance after the restart, with Birama Touré forcing a save from Steve Mandanda with a low drive from range (48'). Gouri wouldn't be denied for long, though. The forward picked Alexandre Coeff's pocket and steered his first, and his side's second of the game, beyond Costil for 2-0 (60'). Terrier then got in on the action, tapping home a drilled Gouiri cross for 3-0 (68'). Rennes didn't have to wait long to make it four. Mandanda launched the ball forward for Tait after collecting an Auxerre corner, and the winger held off Gideon Mensah before forcing home (78'). Matthis Abline then grabbed his first Rennes goal two minutes after coming on (85') and it ended 5-0. Rennes are up to sixth with the win, with Auxerre still 14th.
THE PLAYER: Kamaldeen Sulemana
Goueiri may have got off the mark but Sulemana was unlucky not to have a brace here, and kept Auxerre on the backfoot throughout the first half. This was only the talented Ghanaian's second start of the season, with Terrier, Tait and Benjamin Bourigeaud providing stiff competition in the wide areas, but he made his case for further inclusion loud and clear before making way.
THE STAT: 5
Auxerre are now without a win over Rennes in five attempts in Ligue 1 Uber Eats. They have spent the last 11 years outside the top flight, meaning 14 November 2010 is the date of their last victory over les Rouge et Noir.
AC Ajaccio 0-1 OGC Nice
Nice look to have turned a corner, picking up their second win in three Ligue 1 Uber Eats outings with a 1-0 victory at AC Ajaccio in Corsica.
With Pablo Rosario suspended and Aaron Ramsey and Mario Lemina injured, les Aiglons had a makeshift midfield, but that didn't stop Andy Delort from scoring a stunning third goal of the season, his control and overhead-kick lob over Benjamin Leroy proving enough to claim the points.
FC Lorient 3-2 FC Nantes
Lorient pulled up to fourth, meanwhile, running out 3-2 victors over Nantes at the Stade du Moustoir.
The Bretons went behind to an early Ignatius Ganago goal, but returned fire with three of their own through Dango Ouattara, Yoann Cathline and Ibrahima Koné, with Ouattara assisting Koné's goal for 3-1.
Nantes pulled one back five minutes from time through Moses Simon, but it proved nothing more than a consolation.
Angers SCO 2-1 Montpellier Hérault SC
Elsewhere, Angers halted a four-game losing streak with a 2-1 win at home to Montpellier.
Adrien Hunou cancelled out Arnaud Nordin's opener early on before Sofian Boufal - in his second spell at the club following time with Lille, Southampton and Celta Vigo - settled the game with a penalty.
Toulouse FC 1-0 Stade de Reims
Toulouse snapped a three-game slide of their own, beating Reims 1-0 at the Stadium de Toulouse.
Zakaria Aboukhlal got the only goal of the game with a fine first-half goal, although Reims deserve credit for keeping the score down having played the final half-hour shorthanded due to Alexis Flips' sending off.