Week 4 Match Report: SM Caen v Stade Rennais – 30 August 2014
Stade Rennais came away with all three points in Le Mans as they faced a Julien Feret led Caen, despite not being at their best. With Kamil Grosicki and Paul-Georges Ntep restored to the starting 11, les Rouges et Noirs struggled against a Caen side who were determined from the off.
Within the opening 15 minutes, Caen had created two good chances. After picking up a loose ball 20 yards out, Feret saw a rasping drive fly just the wrong side of the post. Minutes later Bangaly-Fode Koita rose highest from a corner to crash a header against the crossbar. Rennes had been given two warning shots early in the game.
The main talking point of the half came 30 minutes in. After early picking up a yellow card for a late lunge on Ntep, N’Golo Kante lost his head when lunging in on Vincent Pajot and picked up a second booking and the inevitable red card. The foul seemed to get to Pajot as he was booked shortly after for a similarly wild challenge on Herve Bazile.
Stade Rennais’ first real chance came late in the half as a Ntep cross found Abdoulaye Doucoure in the Caen penalty area, he knocked it down to Ola Toivonen. The Swede took a heavy touch on his knee which meant the ball failed to come down in time leading to his shot flying over the bar.
Shortly after the break, Rennes made a double change as Grosicki and Pajot were replaced by Sanjin Prcic and Pedro Henrique. The away side were on the back foot for most of the second half as Caen piled forward with attack after attack. Crucially though they failed to create a clear cut chance. Something they would go on to regret.
As the game wore on, it seemed that Caen were the most likely to get a winner. Rennes though, should have been awarded a penalty less than 10 minutes from time as Henrique burst into the box only to be brought down by Thomas Lemar. It seemed a clear infringement but the referee waved play on. With only two minutes left, Jordan Adeoti needlessly brought down substitute Philipp Hosiner before Toivonen scored. Hearts were in mouths as the referee disallowed the goal before fortunately pointing to the spot. That left Toivonen the simple task of sending Caen goalkeeper Remy Vercoutre the wrong way to put les Rouges et Noirs ahead.
Rennes held out for victory, a win which takes them provisionally up to 5th place in Ligue 1. It was encouraging to see les Rouges et Noirs come away with the points in a game where they were second best. This wasn’t the case last season and can only be encouraging for the campaign ahead. After the match, Caen native Costil agreed by saying that “this may seem like robbery”, he went on to say that “the win was important as we have important upcoming games against Paris and Marseille”.
There’s now a two week international break before the Stade de la Route de Lorient plays host to the visit of champions Paris Saint Germain.
Montanier: “We didn’t do an awful lot in the game and finding ourselves with an extra man did not really help us. We never really managed to get the ball moving or create clear chances. We had put together two good performances in a row and we were really hopeful coming into this match. We were confident and thought we could show our qualities. In the first half we won the ball back well and defended well but we struggled going forward. And things became complicated after we found ourselves with the extra man. Caen defended in numbers and were well organised, and we lacked the quality to break them down. Against a brave and hard-working team like that the passing needs to be better, but we kept believing right to the end, even if we weren’t good. We can be very satisfied with the result but we will know not to get carried away after that match.”
Pajot: “It was a tough game, we struggled to create chances. The important thing is the victory. It has not demobilised us, we knew we had to be patient to score and that’s what we did. When they were reduced to ten men, it bothered us. This will serve as a lesson. Every game since the beginning of the season is different. It will be a mixture of all those as we try to get a good result against Paris!”
Doucoure: “We came to win. It was difficult but we did it. We are increasing momentum over the games, so it will be more automatic. We will continue to gain momentum.”
SM Caen: Vercoutre, Appiah, Pierre, Calve, Da Silva, Kante, Adeoti, Feret (C), Nangis, Koita (Raspentino 65′), Bazile (Lemar 78′)
Yellow Card: Kante 16′, 29′
Red Card: Kante 29′
Stade Rennais: Costil, Danze (C), Mexer, Armand, M’Bengue, Fernandes, Pajot (Prcic 59′), Doucoure, Ntep (Hosiner 79′), Grosicki (Henrique 59′), Toivonen
Yellow Card: Pajot 33′, Armand 74′
Man of the Match: Costil – yet again, the Rennes number one produced a number of saves to keep les Rouges et Noirs in the game. An indispensable member of the team in a week where he should have received his first call up to les Bleus.