Saint-Etienne come from behind twice in Rennes draw
By A. Scott
Jonathan Bamba scored his fourth goal of the season as AS Saint-Etienne came from behind twice to draw 2-2 with Stade Rennais FC at the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard on Sunday.
AS Saint-Etienne 2 - 2 Stade Rennais FC
Clear goal-scoring chances were few and far between in the first 40 minutes at a Stade Geoffroy-Guichard drenched in brilliant sunshine, even if Bamba had Tomas Koubek scrambling twice from deflected efforts. Rennes lost star summer signing Ismaïla Sarr to a worrying injury in the 37th minute as he failed to recover from taking Kévin Théophile-Catherine's studs on his achilles as he raced towards goal, but the Brittany side went on to open the scoring soon after.
Stéphane Ruffier rolled the ball out to Ole Selnaes on the edge of the Saint-Etienne box, but the Norwegian midfielder was caught in possession by Benjamin Bourigeaud, who saw Ruffier still off his line and chipped the Saint-Etienne goalkeeper to silence the home support (41').
Rennes were unable to hold their advantage until the interval, though. As the game moved into the second of four added minutes, Bamba delivered a corner from the left for Loïc Perrin, arriving at the back post, to return the ball to the edge of the six-yard box where Gabriel Silva swept it home.
Penalties at both ends
The first of many second-half taking points came when the visitors were awarded a penalty as Kévin Théophile-Catherine was adjudged to have pushed Firmin Mubele to the ground in the area. Wahbi Khazri sent Ruffier the wrong way from the spot for his second goal since moving to Rennes on loan (53').
However, Les Verts got a penalty of their own when Koubek clumsily fouled Loïs Diony in the area and Bamba netted from 12 yards (70'). Koubek got a touch but could not prevent Bamba from scoring his third penalty already this season.
That was the end of the scoring, although substitute Kévin Monnet-Paquet should have done better than head straight at Koubek when unmarked six yards out (73'). And in a dramatic finish, Morgan Amalfitano swept a shot against the post at one end (89') before Monnet-Paquet's header at the other rebounded off the frame of the goal (90').
Saint-Etienne, who had Silva sent off at the death, maintain their unbeaten record at home this season but lose their place on the podium to Girondins de Bordeaux. There were plenty of signs of encouragement for Rennes, but they have still managed just one win this season.
THE PLAYER: Gabriel Silva
The Brazilian made just his second start for Saint-Etienne since his summer move from Udinese and his first appearance since coming off injured in the Week 4 defeat at Paris Saint-Germain. Playing as a left wing-back in the first half, he got the hosts' first equaliser with his first Ligue 1 Conforama goal. Playing as a conventional full-back as Óscar García reverted to four at the back after the break, his afternoon was somewhat ruined as he received a straight red card in stoppage time for a foul on Morgan Amalfitano.
THE STAT: 3
Benjamin Bourigeaud's third Ligue 1 Conforama goal of the season was also his third from outside the penalty box. That is more than any other player in any of Europe's big five leagues so far this season.