A chaotic start
The match got off to the worst possible start for the Red & Whites. After an uneventful opening few minutes during which the teams sized each other up, Paul-Georges Ntep surged forward in the 7th minute, beating Andrea Raggi on the left with a stepover before whipping in a cross. Abdennour, tussling with Toivonen, turned the ball into his own net. Danijel Subasic could do nothing. Rennes led 1-0. Unable to come up with a response, Leonardo Jardim's men found themselves smothered by the home side's midfield, which was pressing high up the pitch and leaving no space for their opponents. On 19 minutes, another Ntep cross from the left found Toivonen strangely unmarked in the penalty area. He collected the ball and side-footed past Subasic to give Rennes a two-goal lead.
Possession but no chances
The second Rennes goal drew a response from the Monegasques, who took hold of the ball and attempted to regain control of the match. Despite clearly dominating possession (55% at half-time), the visitors were unable to carve out chances. In fact it was Rennes who, in the latter stages of the first half, once again looked the most threatening. On 40 minutes, Doucouré forced Subasic into a save following another left-wing cross from Ntep. The Croatian 'keeper put the ball behind for a corner and saved his team. In stoppage time, it was Toulalan's turn to come to the rescue as he threw himself in front of a point-blank shot from Doucouré just three yards from goal.
The Monegasque response
After a quiet start to the second half, AS Monaco launched an assault on the Rennes goal. On 55 minutes, a good cross from Fabinho found the head of Ocampos in the penalty area, but the Argentine's looping header lacked the power to trouble Costil. In the 60th minute, Costil pushed away a cross from Martial, who had just come on for Ocampos. The ball fell to Elderson, who hit the bar with his effort. The visitors were getting closer and closer to reducing the deficit. On 65 minutes, there was a wonderful chance for Fabinho who brought a great save from Costil in the area. Moments later the Rennes keeper produced another stop as the ball took a deflection off a defender and came close to dropping over his head and in.
Unbeaten run comes to an end
A Subasic save in the 67th minute from a well-placed header by Pajot heralded the end of AS Monaco's hopes of a comeback. Montanier's players managed the last 20 minutes, playing on the counter-attack. Leonardo Jardim made his last throw of the dice, sending on Ferreira Carrasco in place of Silva, and then Germain in place of Berbatov, but Rennes' control of proceedings ensured all the Mongegasques efforts were in vain. Despite a fine long-distance shot from Ferreira Carrasco on 76 minutes and a Dirar header in the 88th, the players from the Principality could not find a way back into the game. The Monegasques, who had not lost a Ligue 1 game since 27 September, saw the three points slip away and are now 10th in the table. Expect to see a response against RC Lens at the Stade Louis-II on Tuesday!