Gabon striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (pictured) levelled for Saint-Etienne against Rennes on Sunday to deny the Breton club a chance to join Lyon, Paris Saint-Germain and Toulouse at the top of the French League.
AP - Rennes missed a chance to go top of the French league on Sunday, blowing a lead to draw 1-1 at home with Saint-Etienne.
Rennes winger Jonathan Pitroipa played a one-two with Julien Feret to fire a low shot that goalkeeper Stephane Ruffier parried but Morocco forward Youssouf Hadji followed up to bury the ball into the net in the 41st minute.
Rennes nearly added a second goal in the 53rd when Pitroipa beat the offside trap to be clean through on goal, but the Burkina Faso forward sent his lob over the bar.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang leveled for Saint-Etienne in the 56th. The Gabon forward outjumped Jean-Armel Kana-Biyik to head into the top corner a cross from Fabien Lemoine.
Saint-Etienne came close to scoring a winner in the 67th. Substitute Max Gradel beat defender Chris Mavinga to the ball but dragged his shot wide from 15 yards.
“It was a tough match,” Pitroipa told Canal Plus television. “Our level dropped in the second half unfortunately and they equalized. It’s a pity to take only a point tonight.”
Rennes slipped to fifth place, two points behind leaders Paris Saint-Germain, Lyon and Toulouse.
“When you score first, you must be able to protect your lead,” Rennes coach Frederic Antonetti said. “That’s something we are not able of doing. We must work on that."
Meanwhile, Dennis Oliech scored a second-half hat trick to lead Auxerre to a 4-1 win over Sochaux and Ajaccio was held 1-1 at Brest.
Sochaux forward Modibo Maiga collected a pass from Yassin Mikari to beat goalkeeper Olivier Sorin after only two minutes, but Alain Traore converted a low cross from Oliech to get his sixth goal this season and level for Auxerre in the 51st.
Oliech then took advantage of a mistake from goalkeeper Teddy Richert to slot into an empty net in the 52nd. The Kenya forward converted a rebound in the 63rd to make it 3-1 before completing the rout with another goal in the 67th.
“It’s a heavy defeat,” Sochaux coach Mecha Bazdarevic told the club’s website. “We must get back to work quickly and change of mindset. It has more to do with our heads than with our legs.”
Sochaux also lost 6-2 to Rennes on Wednesday, and has conceded 10 goals in its last two games.
In Brest, striker Nolan Roux put the hosts ahead with a close-range header in the 61st. But Ajaccio substitute Richard Socrier equalized with a chip in the 66th.
Brest and Ajaccio both remained in the relegation zone.
Argentine playmaker Javier Pastore scored twice on Saturday as Paris
Saint-Germain thrashed Montpellier 3-0 to go joint top of the league with Lyon.
Lyon, PSG and Toulouse are level on 17 points from eight matches. PSG and Lyon have a better goal difference than Toulouse but PSG is ahead of Lyon in the fair-play standings based on the number of bookings.
Also Saturday, it was: Lyon 3, Bordeaux 1; Lille 1, Lorient 1; Valenciennes 1, Marseille 1; Toulouse 1, Nancy 0; Evian 2, Caen 4; and Nice 1, Dijon 1.
Date created : 2011-09-26