Ben Arfa scores on Rennes debut
Hatem Ben Arfa made a winning start to his Stade Rennais FC career, scoring in a 2-1 win over Jablonec in the UEFA Europa League. Full round up…
UEFA Europa League group stage, Matchday 1
Roazhon Park, Rennes
Stade Rennais FC 2-1 FK Jablonec 97
Rennes were on top from the off against Czech visitors Jablonec with Clément Grenier flashing an early shot into the arms of Vlastimil Hruby (16'). The Bretons - making their first European appearance since 2011 - took a deserved lead soon after when Ismaïla Sarr poked home Benjamin André's cross (31'). Romain Del Castillo was denied by an onrushing Hruby towards the end of the half (41') and Sabri Lamouchi's men had to settle for a 1-0 lead heading into the break.
Jablonec got back on level terms early in the second half when Michal Travnik curled home following a set piece (54'). Lamouchi threw on Hatem Ben Arfa for his Rennes debut soon after (65') but it was André who came closest to restoring the lead, with a thumping, top-corner-bound effort which had Hruby scrambling (74'). M'Baye Niang headed a late chance off-target (80') before Ben Arfa found the winner, sending Hruby the wrong way from the poenalty spot (90+3') and it ended 2-1 at the Roazhon Park.
Orange Vélodrome, Marseille
Olympique de Marseille 1-2 Eintracht Frankfurt
Last season's Europa League finalists Marseille started brightly at their Orange Vélodrome and took the lead inside the first five minutes thanks to Lucas Ocampos, who finished well following a Florian Thauvin cross (3'). Valère Germain then forced a save from Paris-Saint-Germain-owned Kevin Trapp when one-on-one (29') before the Germany international shot-stopper kept Thauvin at bay (40').
Despite the one-way traffic in the first half, Eintracht got back on level terms with their first shot on target in the second, Lucas Torro heading home (52'). The visitors ended the game with ten men having seen Jetro Willems sent off (59'), and they spent the final half-hour under the hammer. Thauvin headed Dimitri Payet's free-kick over the bar (71') but Marseille's dominance was ultimately in vain with Luka Jovic snatching a late winner for the visitors against the run of play (89').
Eden Arena, Prague
SK Slavia Praha 1-0 FC Girondins de Bordeaux
Slavia Prague captain Josef Husbauer was the first to threaten, racing past Jules Koundé before sending an effort wide of Benoît Costil's far post (18'). Ibrahim Traoré then came close for the Czechs with an acrobatic effort which sailed narrowly over (20'), and the hosts finally broke the deadlock at the end of the half thanks to Jaromir Zmrhal, who raced onto Husbauer's pace before thumping the opener in off the crossbar (35'). Pablo cleared another Husbauer chance off the line (45+1') and the sides went in for half-time with Ricardo Gomes' side on the back foot but only one goal behind.
Bordeaux looked better in the second half, with Jimmy Briand giving the home fans a sharo intake of breath with a shot which flew over (55'). Miroslav Stoch saw a shot deflect wide for a corner soon after (57') before sending in a cross for Michael Ngadeu-Ngadjui, only for the big Cameroonian to come off second-best to the imperious Pablo (61'). Costil then pulled off a stunning point-blank save to keep Tomas Soucek at bay (73') before palming away a Jaromir Zmrhal effort (81') and Bordeaux left the Eden Arena bloodied but not scarred, with only a one-goal deficit on the board.