Sala strikes again as Nantes pick up point at Rennes
Emiliano Sala scored his fifth goal in his last three Ligue 1 Conforama outings as FC Nantes pegged back Breton rivals Stade Rennais FC in a 1-1 derby draw on Sunday.
Stade Rennais FC 1-1 FC Nantes
Nantes had dismissed another Breton side in red-and-black, En Avant Guingamp, 5-0 last weekend, and with Rennes shaky on home soil at Roazhon Park, were looking to stake their claim as the region's top dog even more convincingly.
They quickly saw their ambitions suffer a setback. Clément Grenier's free-kick was played in low, and Jakob Johansson stuck out a foot to turn the ball beyond Ciprian Tatarusanu for his first goal for the club he joined this summer (8').
Nantes had won their last three, picking up an impressive head of steam under new coach Vahid Halilhodzic, and were soon back on level terms thanks to Sala.
Grenier penalty miss
The big Argentine had scored two against Guingamp, and took his tally to 11 for the season when he got to Lucas Lima's cross first to send a header in off Tomas Koubek's crossbar (16').
With Valentin Rongier prompting, the visitors looked to add a second, but they were fortunate not to go behind before the break when Adrien Hunou headed wide from close range after jet-heeled approach work by Ismaïla Sarr (38').
Rennes were handed the ideal opportunity to go in front when Diego Carlos mistimed his challenge on Sarr ten minutes after half-time — Tatarusanu, however, guessed the right way to keep out Grenier's spot-kick (56').
Even the introduction of Hatem ben Arfa failed to inspire the hosts, who have now won just once in their last eight league games, while Nantes have moved out of trouble with 10 points from a possible 12.
THE PLAYER: Emiliano Sala
Once again, the former Girondins de Bordeaux and SM Caen man was a threat throughout, and added to his goal tally. He's now just one shy of his personal best for a Ligue 1 Conforama season.
THE STAT: 8
Rennes have picked up just eight points from six home matches this season.