RECAP: WEEKEND FRENCH ACTION
Rennes spoiled the return Charlie Davies to the Sochaux line-up in the Stade de la Route de Lorient, needing only a quarter hour to take the lead thanks to a splendid header from Mevlut Erding.
Stade Rennais FC 1 - 0 Sochaux-Montbéliard
The 25-year-old Davies entered for the final dozen minutes, but more importantly saw his first Ligue 1 action since last suiting up in the blue and gold on Oct. 3, 2009.
The hosts out-shot the Sochaliens 13 to 3, and opened the scoring after sixteen minutes, when from the midfield Julien Feret fed over to Jonathan Pitroipa sprinting down the left edge of the area. The Burkinabe caught up with the delivery in time to dish up a perfect cross for Mevlut Erding, who neatly nodded from ten yards out towards the right upper ninety of Pierrick Cros's net for the eventual game-winner.
The Bretons came knocking again another quarter hour later when Jires Kembo-Ekoko hit the dirt in the penalty area after contact with Sochaux striker Abdoul Razzagui Camara. After referee Nicolas Rainville signaled to play on, Rennes regrouped and went forward again with Kembo redirecting a Romain Danzé cross for Vincent Pajot, whose one-timer from the penalty spot smacked the crossbar.
Sochaux coach Mecha Bazdarevic made his second substitution of the evening in the 78th minute, bringing on Davies for Camara.
Just a minute later Sochaux were denied an equalizer after Sloan Privat raced ahead of the Rennes backline to catch up to a feed, and chipped successfully over keeper Benoit Costil, but under the raised yellow flag of the linesman.
Although in dead last after the loss, Sochaux remain only three points and a trio of goals out of relegation, and host their only neighbor in the standings AJ Auxerre on Saturday evening.
Evian keeper Quentin Westberg, who has seen only bench action since last August, saw his team's home match against Olympique de Marseille postponed due to the icy field conditions.