PLAYER RATINGS | Lille 1-1 Rennes: Mandanda heroics earn point for visitors

Lille had to settle for a draw despite a dominant home performance, as they stifled Rennes’ usually devastating frontline but were unable to convert enough of their chances to secure the three points.

Les Dogues won the midfield battle decisively in the first half, constantly pressing Rennes and launching quick counter-attacks, although their forwards’ finishing touch would desert them. It was the veteran José Fonte who would open the scoring instead for the hosts, as the Portuguese defender turned in from close range after a Steve Mandanda spill from a corner. 

Rennes would find the equaliser on the hour mark – Benjamin Bourigeaud scoring his first of the season against the arch-rivals of his former club Lens – after an ostensibly needless foul from Jonathan Bamba in the box. Paulo Fonseca’s men kept pushing for the rest of the game but it wasn’t to be – they would hit the post three times and be consistently denied by an excellent Mandanda, more than atoning for his first-half error.

Rennes remain in third place but not have a five point deficit on Lens, who won again this weekend. Lille missed out on the chance for a statement win after shutting down one of Ligue 1’s best attacks, but nevertheless stay in touch with the European places.

Lille – 1

Lucas Chevalier, 6

Timothy Weah, 7 – The American was lined up as a right wing-back/right-back tonight and proved a very solid choice both in attacking and defence, in what was an attacking-minded set-up from Paulo Fonseca.

José Fonte, 8 – Became the oldest scorer in the top five leagues this season with his early opener, and played a key role in shutting down a usually prolific Rennes defence. 

Tiago Djaló, 7

Bafodé Diakité, 6

Benjamin André, 7

André Gomes, 6 – Replaced by Adam Ounas after a solid first half which saw him come off injured before the break. The Algerian was a constant threat in the second half and looked closest to setting up the winner.

Jonathan Bamba, 4

Angel Gomes, 5 – Was pushed deeper into midfield after André Gomes’ injury, having initially started further up the pitch.

Rémy Cabella, 6

Jonathan David, 5 – Lille’s best player going forward tonight, but constantly took the wrong option when he found himself in front of goal (barring his strike that went on to be ruled out for offside). His link-up with Adam Ounas was the likeliest source of Lille’s winner, were it to come.

Rennes – 1

Steve Mandanda, 7: Recovered from a shaky start to the game – let the ball slip out of his hands for Fonte’s opener – to pull out a string of stops against a wasteful home attack.

Hamari Traoré, 5

Christopher Wooh, 5

Arthur Theate, 6

Adrien Truffert, 5

Xeka, 6

Lesley Ugochukwu, 5

Flavien Tait, 3 – The Frenchman was completely bypassed all game and contributed to the Bretons decidedly losing the midfield battle tonight.

Benjamin Bourigeaud, 5

Arnaud Kalimuendo, 3 – The former Paris Saint-Germain man continued his difficult start to life with Rennes with a performance in which he was admittedly isolated up front for the most part, but also never quite on the same wavelength as his teammates. Replaced by Birger Meling, who was sent off shortly afterwards while trying to stop Adam Ounas.

Amine Gouiri, 4 – An ineffective performance out in an unfamiliar position on the left but nevertheless showed the most intent out of Rennes’ forward players in an otherwise barren display.