Mevlut Erding’s goal subjected his former club to defeat as Rennes secured a 1-0 home victory against Sochaux.
The Turkish striker, a product of Sochaux’s youth academy, netted the only goal of the game in the 15th minute to keep Rennes in touch with the European hopefuls and leave Ligue 1’s bottom club winless in nine matches.
Erding, recently recruited from Paris St Germain, made the all-important breakthrough with a header from Jonathan Pitroipa’s cross, after the Burkina Faso international had picked up possession on the wing from Julien Feret.
The home side went close to a second goal on the half hour when Vincent Pajot’s stunning volley from 15 yards smashed the crossbar with goalkeeper Pierrick Cros beaten.
Sochaux’s only chance of the first half came when Yassin Mikari tried his luck from 20 yards. but Rennes goalkeeper Benoit Costil was equal to the effort.
Rennes started the first half strongly and Pitroipa was only narrowly wide with a right-footed shot barely a minute after the restart.
And in the 49th minute the hosts threatened again when Jires Kembo Ekoko finished a mazy run, which bamboozled on-loan defender Steven Mouyokolo, with a shot which went just past the Sochaux goal.
The visitors’ Sloan Privat found the side-netting in the 64th minute with a volley, before Charlie Davies gave Mehmed Bazdarevic’s side hope for the future in the closing stages.
United States international Davies, named in the matchday squad for the first time since late 2010 after suffering multiple injuries in a car accident which killed a fellow passenger, shot slightly over in the 89th minute.