Stade Rennais FC 2-0 Olympique de Marseille
The stakes were high at Roazhon Park, with Rennes needing to win to keep their Champions League hopes alive. Defeat could even see them fall out of the European places altogether, while Marseille knew a win would see them secure a top three with one game to spare.
Yet it was Rennes who drew first blood and never looked back after Bourigeaud struck in the 12th minute, finishing coolly into the net with a first effort after being spotted in space to the side right from the surface by the excellent Martin Terrier. .
It was always going to be a tough fight for Marseille after that, especially with their talisman Dimtri Payet watching from the stands, the injury he suffered in the Europa Conference League semi-final second leg against Feyenoord l ‘excluding the rest of the season. Top scorer Arkadiusz Milik, meanwhile, was only on the bench for Jorge Sampaoli’s side.
Mattéo Guendouzi sent a dangerous ball in front of the goal but there was no taker, and Rennes fired a warning shot just after the half-hour as Bourigeaud almost made it 2-0, his shot being deflected by Duje Caleta-Car . The second goal arrives shortly after, Terrier again becoming a passer of a superb low center from the left sent in first intention by Lovro Majer for his sixth goal in Ligue 1 Uber Eats (36th).
Marseille’s hoped-for response didn’t come after the break, with Bamba Dieng coming closest after his introduction. The Senegalese international burst past Nayef Aguerd before being blocked by goalkeeper Alfred Gomis. Rennes then almost got a third, with Steve Mandanda producing a strong arm to knock down a Majer shot, but the home side comfortably saw the game come to an end.
The win means Bruno Genesio’s side are now fourth and just three points behind third-placed Marseille. OM only need a draw next weekend at home against RC Strasbourg Alsace to guarantee a place on the podium and qualification for the Champions League, but a loss for them or AS Monaco would allow Rennes to slip through if they can win at Lille. Either way, Rennes have fourth place and Europa League qualification in their hands.
THE PLAYER: Benjamin Bourigeaud
What a season for the former RC Lens midfielder. He entered the weekend with 13 assists, the same number as Lionel Messi and a tally only bettered by Kylian Mbappé. He then opened the scoring with his 10th goal of the campaign and was unlucky not to score again before leaving to a standing ovation.
THE STAT: 50
Rennes have scored 50 home goals this season in 19 games.
Meanwhile monaco roared two goals to beat Brest 4-2 at the Stade Louis II and claim a remarkable ninth successive victory to move up to second place, ahead of Marseille on goal difference. The evening began in a catastrophic way for the men of Philippe Clément since Jean-Kévin Duverne returned and allowed Brest to take the advantage in the 10th minute at close range.
Youcef Belaïli then made it 2-0 with a superb individual effort midway through the first half, but more importantly Monaco reduced the deficit before half-time as Wissam Ben Yedder struck a penalty after a review VAR spotted a handball (44′).
In the second-half turnaround, Ben Yedder burst into the box and stabbed to equalize five minutes after the restart, then completed his hat-trick to make it 3-2 as he headed down a decisive pass from Aurélien Tchouaméni (54th). Kevin Volland then secured the points 20 minutes from time as he reacted to score after Ben Yedder’s volley was saved.
OGC Nice had started the day in fourth place and still had a chance of qualifying for the Champions League, but a 3-1 loss at home to LOSC Lille saw Christophe Galtier’s side drop out of European places altogether and end up sixth.
Beaten in the Coupe de France final last weekend, The Eaglets bounced back to beat AS Saint-Etienne 4-2 at home in midweek and then swept past Lille at the Allianz Riviera as Justin Kluivert – who had previously hit the bar – superbly swept home in the 31st minute.
Andy Delort then saw a header hit both posts but not go in, and Lille came back strong after the break. Jonathan David’s brace gave Lille the lead on the hour mark, and Timothy Weah broke away to make it 3-1 in stoppage time.
It allowed RC Strasbourg Alsace pass over Nice in fifth as they beat Clermont-Foot 63 1-0 at the Stade de la Meinau. Adrien Thomasson scored the game’s only goal with a superb header in the 28th minute, and their superior goal difference to Nice means fifth place, and qualification for the Europa Conference League, is in their hands going into the final day. However, RC Lens are still in contention as they are just two points off seventh place after coming from behind to win 3-1 at ESTAC Troyes. Giulian Biancone put Troyes ahead but Kevin Danso, Arnaud Kalimuendo and Jonathan Clauss all scored for Lens.
Meanwhile, the champions Paris Saint Germain picked up a 4-0 away win Montpellier Herault SC. Lionel Messi scored twice in the opening 20 minutes at the Stade de la Mosson before Ángel di María’s deflected shot made it 3-0. Kylian Mbappé made it 4-0 with a penalty on the hour mark after being knocked down in the box.
>> ROUND 37: Calendar/results