Stade Rennais FC are out of the running to progress to the knockout rounds after conceding a dramatic late defeat at home to Chelsea. With just one point from four matches, the out-of-sorts Breton club no set their sights on a Europa League place.
There were dramatic scenes at Roazhon Park on Tuesday as Serhou Guirassy capped Rennes' second-half domination with the club's second-ever Champions League goal to level the score with Chelsea at 1-1 with five minutes to go, but France striker Olivier Giroud ruined the party with an injury-time header off the bench, clinching a 2-1 win to qualify the Blues for the knockout rounds.
Stéphan: 'We moved them around'
A bitter pill for Rennes, who have been struggling in the league and in Europe, to go so close, but coach Julien Stéphan was proud of his side's effort.
"There is a lot of disappointment with the content of the match. We managed to take the upper hand, and we got a deserved equaliser. We could even have won," said Stéphan, whose side will now do battle with Krasnodar - also with just a single point from four matches - for third place and entry int o the Europa League knockout rounds. "I saw commitment, ambition with the ball, the will to work with width, the ability to create goals... I have the feeling that we moved them around in a way that they're really not used to."
It has been a tough maiden Champions League campaign for the Brittany club, but Stéphan is proud of the effort his debutants - who travel to Strasbourg in Ligue 1 Uber Eats on Friday - have put in.
"We have respected the Champions League, even though we haven't collected many points," he explained. "Now we'll have to recover and lift our heads. There was a lot of disappointment, a bit of despondency in the changing rooms. But we have a match in three days."