Les Rennais first venture without Jimmy Briand can only be called a total disaster as they lost 3-0 to Sochaux. For les Rouge et Noir with the loss the painful realization that hopes for European Football have been lost is now true.
Tactically Asamoah Gyan took Briand's place with Mickaël Pagis in support. The start of the match provided little insight into outside as Asamoah Gyan dealt Mickaël Pagis a perfect chance to score but his attempt in front of an open goal was high. Without fail les Lionceaux roared back against the Bretons as Stéphane Dalmat and Mevlüt Erdinç applied pressure and were unfortunate not to take the lead as Romain Pitau goal was erased for being offside. However the hosts finally took the lead after referee Ruddy Buquet called a penalty on Stéphane Mbia for grasping Jacques Faty's shirt. Just or not, Rennais was done by one as Ryad Boudebouz, a name for the future, drove the ball in. The goal invigorated stade Bonal and four minutes later Erdinç out maneuvered Rod Fanni and Petter Hansson before fooling Nicolas Douchez and making it 2-0.
At the half Guy Lacombe substitutes Moussa Sow for Mickaël Pagis with Bojan Jokić and Marvin Martin entering for Sochaux. Early into the half Rod Fanni puts Jérôme Leroy in perfect position to score but his drives stings the hands of goalkeeper Teddy Richert for a easy save. Just past the hour Julian Esteban enters for Carlos Bocanegra and ten minutes later Romain Danzé for Stéphane Mbia but Sochaux is sensing a way out of relegation and is in tight defensive net. With less then ten minutes remaining Václav Svěrkoš and before the match was over the Czech striker sends in Ryad Boudebouz's well timed cross.
It was a difficult match to lose but in many ways expected given the loss without Jimmy Briand and Kader Mangane. While there is no replacing of Briand in particular, les Rouge et Noir must find confidence for the remaining matches, starting with Saint-Étienne on Saturday.