Rennes-Vitesse Arnhem: Stade Rennais must be satisfied with a draw but ensures its qualification in the knockout stages of the Europa League Conference

The party could have been total, it almost ended with a huge taste of waste for Stade Rennais. For a long time dominating and carried by a hat-trick from Gaëtan Laborde, the Bretons scuttled themselves against Vitesse Arnhem (3-3) during the 5th day of the Europa League Conference, Thursday, November 25, and must be content with a draw. A result of no impact for the Bretons who, thanks to Mura’s victory against Tottenham (2-1), are sure to finish first in their group.

The Rennes fans were first stunned at the end of the meeting, overwhelmed in terms of decibels by the 500 or so Dutch fans who made the trip. Before suddenly changing his state of mind. The reason ? Thousands of kilometers from the banks of the Vilaine, Mura had just scored the winning goal against Tottenham, ensuring Rennes first place in the group, synonymous with direct qualification in the round of 16. They will move to London for prestige on December 9.

At Roazhon Park, Rennes weren’t brilliant for 90 minutes. They had, however, put in the necessary ingredients for a majority of the game. “The best way not to be disillusioned is to play the game to win it and not to calculate in advance “, warned coach Bruno Genesio at a press conference on Wednesday. Its players first compensated for their unusual technical waste by a desire to put rhythm and intensity. Even the speed of the ball collectors illustrated the instructions of the Breton coach. They were finally silenced by the goal, in the last moments, of Lois Openda (90th).

The SRFC first ignited the game thanks to its high-level striker, Gaëtan Laborde. Top scorer of the club, the former Montpellier simply offered a hat-trick to guide his team. Author of his 11th, 12th and 13th goals this season in all competitions (including three with Montpellier), he allowed Stade Rennais to come out of the group stage of a European competition for the second time in its history. Roazhon Park returned him well by offering him a memorable standing ovation on his exit (73rd).

His three achievements sum up his range as a complete scorer. His hook followed by a cross strike with the left foot after a service from Martin Terrier allowed the scoring to be quickly opened to prevent his team from procrastinating (1-0, 9th). His second goal is a delight: flat right foot which clears the window after a high recovery from Birger Meling (39th). To conclude, Laborde was helped by the post on a pivotal strike not obvious (69th). “It is surely the goal that I prefer, a goal of instinct”, he replayed after the match.

His work could have been even more complete if he had been served in the right tempo by Benjamin Bourigeaud (11th) or especially if he had pushed the ball into the cages when he was alone within six meters (41st).

But, despite its recital, Stade Rennais has never managed to shelter definitively from the Dutch, before receiving a cruel equalizer. He even sometimes seemed to want to project himself too much at the risk of discovering himself dangerously. Vitesse Arnhem’s three goals are a stain for a Rennes team which had conceded only six in their last eleven games. However, they are perfectly logical and could have arrived more quickly without a very good Nayef Aguerd, while his friend from the axis Warmed Omari suffered a lot.

The goalkeeper Alfred Gomis could not do anything on the three Dutch achievements: a long end from Daan Huisman (2-1, 43rd), a goal alone in six meters from Thomas Buitink (3-2, 75th) then a shot perfectly placed by Lois Openda (90th). Gomis had previously saved his people on several occasions (12th, 20th, 38th, 57th) and without him, Rennes would certainly not be qualified tonight.

Whatever, Stade Rennais will remember the essential: it brings its unbeaten streak to twelve games and is sure to relive two additional European evenings in March on the occasion of the knockout stages of the Europa Conference Conference.

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