Monaco revive Ligue 1 title hopes following slim win at Rennes

Emmanuel Riviere celebrates after Monaco's victory against Rennes at Stade de la Route de Lorient.


Monaco kept the Ligue 1 title race mathematically alive with a 1-0 victory at Rennes on Saturday.

A defeat for Claudio Ranieri’s men coupled with a Paris St Germain win on Sunday against Lyon would have seen the champions successfully defend their title with five games to spare. But Emmanuel Riviere netted the game’s only goal 10 minutes into the second half to lift second-placed Monaco to 10 points behind the leaders. The result did little for Philippe Montanier’s Rennes side, though, as they remained nine points above the relegation zone.

Lille kept a firm grip on third place and left Valenciennes in a parlous state after Divock Origi’s second-half strike earned a 1-0 home win. Origi scored the game’s only goal in the 69th minute to leave Valenciennes mired in the relegation zone, still six points from safety and hoping the gap does not widen on Sunday.

Sochaux are five points from safety – despite maintaining an unbeaten record stretching back to mid-January. Goals from Jordan Ayew and Roy Contout in each half gave Eric Hely’s strugglers a 2-0 win over Toulouse.

Elsewhere, Lorient leapfrogged Nice in the standings thanks to a dramatic 2-1 away victory. Vincent Aboubakar’s winner two minutes into stoppage-time sealed the win, after team-mate Gilles Sunu and Timothee Kolodziejczak had earlier exchanged first-half goals.


Evian came from behind to beat Bastia 2-1 and maintain a cushion over the drop zone. Florian Raspentino gave the Corsicans the lead after half an hour but Nicolas Benezet and Daniel Wass scored to turn things around.

Bottom club Ajaccio had Mehdi Mostefa to thank for the 86th-minute goal which staved off relegation. However, it only provided a 1-1 home draw against Bordeaux, who had led through Jussie’s 62nd minute breakthrough – and relegation is a near-certainty.

Dimitri Payet’s late winner handed Marseille a 3-2 win at Montpellier to further boost their Europa League chances on Friday night. Mathieu Valbuena had put OM ahead but Remy Cabella equalized just after half-time before Andre-Pierre Gignac handed the visitors back their lead. Morgan Sanson then leveled things up again with 11 minutes to play but Payet struck nine minutes later to hand Jose Anigo’s men all three points.