Rennes too much for struggling Caen
Rennes continued their challenge near the top of the Ligue 1 standings with a 2-0 away win over free falling Caen.
Jires Ekoko put the visitors ahead in the 21st minute and Victor Hugo Montano added a second in the 65th minute as Rennes moved level on 35 points with fourth-placed Lyon, who suffered a 1-0 defeat at Montpellier.
Caen are heading in the opposite direction, though, having now taken just one point from their last six matches, while this loss was their eighth defeat in their last 10 competitive fixtures.
Rennes broke the deadlock following good work by Abdoulrazak Boukhari, who retrieved possession before beating his opponent and then flicking the ball towards Ekoko, who took full advantage of his team-mate's efforts as he skipped past Nicolas Seube before side-footing beyond home goalkeeper Alexis Thebaux.
Caen had three openings to draw level before the break but Romain Hamouma and Livio Nabab failed to make the most of their back-to-back opportunities in the 24th minute before Nabab's 42nd-minute shot was deflected away by a defender.
Having survived those chances, Rennes went in search of a second goal after the break and Ekoko sent a first-time shot just wide on the hour.
Four minutes later Rennes did make it 2-0 following a goalmouth scramble, and there was no way back for Caen after that.
Julien Feret's initial shot was blocked by Thebaux but the ball bounced back into the danger zone and Montano was on hand to convert from five yards out.
Caen had two more chances to get on the scoresheet in the closing stages but again they could not make the most of them, with Seube firing wide following a poor defensive clearance and then Faycal Fajr saw his lob over Benoit Costil just clear the crossbar.