Thomas Brandon scored a Ligue 1 Conforama debut goal as Stade Rennais FC secured a second successive top-flight win with a 1-0 triumph at Montpellier Hérault SC on Saturday.
Montpellier Hérault SC 0-1 Stade Rennais FC
Unbeaten in six games in all competitions, Montpellier might have sucked the wind from the visitors’ fragile sails within 60 seconds of kick-off. As so often, it was a former player who nearly did the damage, but Giovanni Sio lost his one-on-one duel with Tomas Koubek (1′).
Former Montpellier defender Ramy Bensebaini then saw the back of Sio’s shirt as the Ivory Coast international blasted past him to fire just wide (12′) before Faitout Maouassa did the same at the opposite end for Christian Gourcuff’s men (18′).
After beating LOSC Lille last weekend and Djion FCO in the Coupe de la Ligue in midweek, Rennes had given their self-belief a major boost, and after a Koubek save to halt Stéphane Sessegnon’s low drive (56′), the visitors struck.
Making his Ligue 1 Conforama debut, summer signing Brandon raced onto a Benjamin Bourigeaud ball in behind the Montpellier back four. The former Mallorca man’s shot took a cruel deflection off Vitorino Hilton, wrongfooting Benjamin Lecomte (59′) en route to the net.
Lecomte, who used to play his football for Rennes’ Breton neighbours FC Lorient until last summer, produced a brilliant stop to deny Brandon a second (61′) before Koubek had to move smartly to snap up a loose ball in front of the lurking Souleymane Camara (76′) to ensure his side claimed the points.
THE PLAYER: Thomas Brandon
The son of an English father and Spanish mother, the 22-year-old forward could be just the man Rennes have been praying for. With great movement and an eye for goal, he has made a positive start to life in a red-and-black shirt.
THE STAT: 7
This was Rennes’ first win in Montpellier in seven visits having last triumphed there in March 2011