Europa League: Rennes concedes a draw against AEK Larnaca (1-0) but will go through the play-offs

Rennes wanted to believe in a great European evening to thrill Roazhon Park, it will finally be an evening without. Forced to a draw on their lawn by AEK Larnaca (1-1), the SRFC did not achieve the objective of finishing first in group B and avoiding a round of 16 in this Europa League 2022-2023. Result of the races: Bruno Génésio’s men completed this group stage in second place, Fenerbahçe having won at the same time against Dynamo kyiv (2-0). The Bretons will have to play two more games against a Champions League club donated to C3 in an already busy season for the organizations…

Bruno Génésio had warned: before believing in an avalanche of goals for the Rennais in this meeting against an adversary a priori affordable, it was first necessary to put in mind to win. In fact, the mission was not accomplished. What’s fault ? To a lack of realism in front of goal (15 shots for … only one on target), but above all to an inability to bring danger into the Cypriot area. Finally, the opener from Matthis Abline thanks to a hard shot from a reduced angle (1-0, 17th) was the only bright spot in a meeting that was very poor in terms of spectacle. Winner of seven of their last eight games, the Breton team appeared too messy when approaching the cage of Kenan Pirić, yet not very waterproof on the only shot on target from the locals…

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Confident by his goal, Abline lacked lucidity on his next chances (30th, 32nd) and Lorenz Assignon missed the ball in a favorable position at the penalty spot (42nd). Not creative enough, the red and black collective sensed the danger gradually approaching Doğan Alemdar’s goals. If the head of Pere Pons did not find the target (60th), the incoming Rafael Lopes deceived the Turkish goalkeeper, already author of a first parade on the action leading to the equalizer (1-1, 76th ). Undoubtedly aware of the turn of events between Fenerbahçe and Dynamo kyiv, Génésio understood that Rennes were not going to finish leader of the group. Undoubtedly, there will be something to brood about when we think back to that three-goal advantage in Istanbul before conceding the draw. Small consolation: the Rennais can dream of a draw against Barça, Juventus or even Ajax Amsterdam. And this time, it will shine in Europe.

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