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Niang and Rennes send Lille out on low

Publish on 24/05/2019 at 00:00 - S. WILLIS

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Mbaye Niang scored twice as Coupe de France winners Stade Rennais FC defeated Ligue 1 Conforama runners-up LOSC Lille 3-1 in Saturday's top-flight finale.

 Stade Rennais FC 3-1 LOSC 

THE MATCH
Rennes had ended a winless streak of nine matches with victory at Strasbourg last weekend, and Julien Stéphan's men were quickly in the groove. Edson Mexer was very clearly pushed by Thiago Mendes at a corner, and Niang slotted home the spot-kick for an early Rennes lead (16').

A fitting tribute was paid to Rennes defender Romain Danzé, who is retiring after 18 seasons at the club, but the party was nearly pooped by the Ligue 1 Conforama runnners-up.

Loïc Remy will not have wanted the season to end as the former Olympique Lyonnais, OGC Nice and Olympique de Marseille forward netted his sixth goal in 14 league matches after good work from Jonathan Ikoné (35').

Double save

Mike Maignan, called up by France boss Didier Deschamps for the first time in midweek, denied both Ismaïla Sarr and Adrien Hunou in quick succession (41'), but his efforts soon counted for nothing as Sarr latched onto the Lille goalkeeper's parry from Niang to put Rennes ahead (60').

Lille had lost just one of their previous 18 league games, but there was no way back for Christophe Galtier's men when Niang stepped away from Jose Fonte and fired into the far side of the goal for a superb 11th league goal, all but one of which has come after the turn of the year (72').

Luiz Araujo's ill-judged challenge on Eduardo Camavinga (90') meant Lille's season — only the third in which they have finished in the top two since 2000/01 — ended on a low note.

THE PLAYER: Mbaye Niang
The Senegal international continued his fine 2019 form with a brace, meaning he has been involved in nine goals in his last ten Ligue 1 Conforama matches, scoring seven. Rennes will be hoping his loan move from Torino becomes permanent.

THE STAT: 2
This was only Lille's second defeat of 2019.