December 3, 2021

Rennes 1-2 Chelsea: Giroud books last-16 spot for Blues with late header

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That is all from this Champions League fixture, until next time!

Up next, Chelsea will travel to local rivals Tottenham in the Premier League as they look to get one over their old boss, Jose Mourinho. In terms of Europe, the Blues will next go to Sevilla, however, they will have the comfort of knowing they have already escaped Group E. For Rennes, their Champions League campaign is virtually over but they do face Strasbourg next in Ligue 1.

It looked like Rennes had stolen a late point and equaliser through the head of Guirassy, however, Giroud had other ideas as he climbed the highest to nod home Werner’s rebound from inside the hosts’ area. Lampard’s side look set to confirm their qualification out of Group E any minute now, dependent on Sevilla’s game, as they travel back home 2-1 victors in France.


B. Bourigeaud

Yellow Card


90′ + 3′ Bourigeaud’s frustrations are clear to be seen as he flies into a needlessly aggressive tackle on Zouma, which earns him a spot in Kuipers’ book.

90′ + 2′ Giroud is the fourth player to score for both Arsenal and Chelsea in the Champions League after William Gallas, Cesc Fabregas and Nicolas Anelka.

R. James

T. Werner


90′ + 2′ James comes on for Werner, who could have had two goals in this game, as Lampard looks to see out the rest of additional time.

O. Giroud



90′ + 1′ GOALLL!!! 2-1 CHELSEA! Werner’s initial effort is saved expertly by the feet of Gomis after the German was slotted in by Ziyech. However, out of seemingly nowhere, Giroud towers above Nyamsi to head the rebound into the top of the net from close range.

89′ Grenier finds Del Castillo with a diagonal pass but the Rennes substitute cannot find Niang in the middle as Mendy dives on the loose ball.

C. Grenier

Yellow Card


87′ Grenier’s tackle on Kante is poorly timed and he is rightfully booked for his efforts.

Y. Gboho

J. Doku


86′ Doku, who has caused Chilwell a few problems here, is replaced by Gboho.

F. Maouassa

A. Truffert


86′ Full-back Truffert comes off for Maouassa.

M. Niang

S. Guirassy


86′ Despite just equalising a minute ago, Guirassy is substituted off for Niang.

B. Bourigeaud



85′ Bourigeaud assists Guirassy with an outswinging set-piece from the right-hand side.

S. Guirassy



85′ GOALLL!! 1-1! Bourigeaud delivers another outswinging corner towards the front post which is met by the head of the unmarked Guirassy. The striker’s headed effort leaves Mendy with no chance from close range as it hits the back of the net before the goalkeeper can react.

85′ Truffert makes a run inside before Guirassy ruins the move with a laboured first touch. Doku then attempts to make progress down the right before Silva and Jorginho combine to give away another corner to Rennes.

83′ Ziyech dispossesses Bourigeaud before running at Truffert but the left full-back does well to tackle the former Ajax man. Azpilicueta then seems to have done himself a bit of pain as he takes a Bourigeaud pass straight into his stomach.

81′ Grenier feels he should have a free-kick for a high foot by Jorginho but referee Kuipers disagrees as Havertz looks to break down the left-hand side.

80′ Giroud and Da Sliva tussle but it is Truffert who brings down Mendy’s long clearance before looking to play out from the back. Kante reads the full-back’s intentions well before playing an overhit pass towards Giroud, which runs out for a goal-kick to Rennes.

C. Grenier

E. Camavinga


78′ Camavinga is Stephan’s next change as the youngster is replaced by Grenier.

78′ Camavinga thinks he has stepped in and intercepted but the assistant has a different idea as he flags for a throw-in. It looks like that could be the last of the youngster’s involvement as Stephan looks to chase the game.

K. Havertz

M. Kovačić


76′ Croatian Kovacic is replaced in midfield by Havertz as Chelsea look to see out the rest of this game.

H. Ziyech

C. Hudson-Odoi


75′ Hudson-Odoi, who opened the scoring, is substituted off for Ziyech on the right-hand side.

74′ OFF THE LINE! Bourigeaud’s corner is met powerfully by the head of Nyamsi, who climbs the highest to challenge Mendy. The former Rennes goalkeeper does well to save the first effort low to his right before Nzonzi comes steaming in for the rebound, which the goalkeeper again claws off of the line.

73′ SAVE! Guirassy’s first touch takes him wide of the six-yard area and with Silva closing in, the striker opts to poke a right-footed effort with the outside of his boot towards Mendy’s near post. However, the Chelsea goalkeeper does well to parry it round the post for another corner.

73′ Chilwell has two or three attempts at clearing from inside his own area but the furthest he can reach is Camavinga, who intercepts in midfield before looking to build an attack through Guirassy.

72′ The visitors now appear content to work possession from side to side, in no rush to attack, as they look to maintain their 1-0 lead which would be enough to see them through to the next stages of this season’s Champions League campaign.

70′ Mendy and Zouma do incredibly well to avoid one another as the goalkeeper manages to clear Rennes’ attempted long ball over the top.

O. Giroud

T. Abraham


69′ Frenchman Giroud replaces Abraham up top for the visitors as Lampard makes his second change of the game.

N. Kanté

M. Mount


68′ Mount is replaced by Kante as Lampard opts for a more defensive midfield option while also perhaps considering Mount’s recent workload, both domestically and for England.

67′ Truffert is flying in support to meet Del Castillo but the Rennes forward takes his eye off of the ball as it trickles out for a throw-in to Chelsea wide on the left.

65′ Only Marseille (0 goals from 19 shots) have a worse shot conversion rate than Rennes (1 goal from 29 shots, 3.5%) in the Champions League this season. None of Rennes’ players have attempted more than five shots so far (Guirassy).

R. Del Castillo

J. Lea Siliki


63′ Del Castillo comes on for Lea Siliki in a like-for-like change up top for Rennes.

63′ Mount sends in an outswinging corner which ends up on the edge of the area with Jorginho, who instead of attacking opts to play backwards and sensibly retain possession.

62′ Chelsea’s Brazillian centre-back intercepts high up the pitch for the second time in as many minutes before attempting to find Werner at the back post. However, Rennes deal with the centre-back’s attempts and knock it out for a corner to the visitors.

60′ Silva finds himself unusually far up the pitch before attempting to release Abraham with a throughball, which Da Silva reads and intercepts before losing possession once more.

59′ Doku shows a burst of pace but Chilwell matches the winger’s skill before producing a superb sliding tackle to stop the Rennes man from crossing towards the danger area.

58′ Zouma and Mendy invite a bit of needless pressure as they insist on playing out from the back, which ultimately results in the visitors conceding a throw-in deep inside their own half.

57′ Abraham comes crashing towards the near post but Werner’s driven right-footed cross doesn’t arrive there as Nyamsi manages to intervene and hoof down the pitch.

56′ After a barrage of three corners, Abraham chucks himself in front of Guirassy’s stinging effort and finally manages to earn his side a goal-kick and some well deserved respite.

55′ Abraham, not for the first time in this match, is happy to do his defensive duties as he touches Bourigeaud’s corner behind for another corner on the left. The Rennes midfielder then doesn’t beat Chilwell at the front post but wins a third consecutive corner.

54′ Traore and Doku combine with the right full-back then cutting in on his left foot, before his shot is deflected behind for a corner via the chest of Silva.

53′ Doku’s cross from wide on the right is weak and Chilwell duly deals with it by clearing towards Hudson-Odoi, who chases round in circles as the Rennes defenders play out comfortably from the back.

51′ Mount attempts to collect his second assist of the game with a pinpoint pass towards Werner. Nzonzi is more than aware of the danger and looks to launch a counter-attack through Lea Siliki, whose touch lets him down, which allows the visitors to step in and nick possession back.

50′ Azpilicueta buys a foul on the right-hand touchline as he sends himself flying after the slightest of touches by Guirassy. The Chelsea captain showed every ounce of his experience there as he did just enough to convince Kuipers to blow his whistle.

50′ All three of Werner’s Champions League goals for Chelsea have been penalties – indeed, the German’s last five goals in the competition have been from the penalty spot, the joint-longest run of consecutive goals as penalties by a player along with former Sparta Prague defender Vladimir Labant (five in a row between 1999 and 2001).

49′ Werner tries to race Da Silva but the centre-back just about manages to intervene before the German can close in on Gomis’ goal.

47′ Werner has the ball in the back of the net after flicking on Azpiliceuta’s right-footed cross but it will not stand as the assistant referee has his flag up on the touchline.

46′ The visitors are unbeaten in their last 47 games in all competitions when ahead at the break.

46′ Both sides are back out and referee Kuipers gets the next 45 minutes of this Champions League game underway!

Chelsea will be looking to start the next 45 just as they did the first but with the added emphasis on being more clinical. If chances, such as the ones Werner and Mount missed, are passed up again, it could offer Stephan and Rennes a glimmer of hope of getting some thing out of this Champions League fixture.

After a fast start, Lampard’s men took the lead through Hudson-Odoi’s calm, slotted finish under Gomis, courtesy of Mount’s wonderful initial throughball to the winger. Despite Rennes growing into the game, their only real chance so far came through Lea Siliki, who blazed his right-footed effort over the bar, meaning the hosts go in 1-0 down at the break.


45′ + 1′ Bourigeaud wanders up to the free-kick before whipping a right-footed into the wall and the ball deflects out for another corner to the French side.

45′ Guirassy turns Silva as the striker looks to latch onto Da Silva’s throughball and the Brazillian centre-back is forced to concede a foul in a great position, just outside of the visitors’ area.

43′ Rennes threaten from another corner as the hosts look the most likely of the sides to score next. This time, however, Bourigeaud is unfortunately caught offside from the second phase of play which offers the visitors a chance to regain possession and slow things down from their free-kick near the byline.

42′ Bourigeaud’s corner is met firmly by Da Silva, who climbs the highest at the back post, but the centre-back’s powerful header is comfortably beaten away by goalkeeper Mendy.

41′ Chilwell releases Guirassy with a poor pass backwards to Mendy. Luckily for the left-back, Silva shows his class and manages to deal with the danger as he gets back before hoofing towards the left-hand corner to offer the hosts another set-piece opportunity.

40′ CHANCE! Chilwell gets far too tight to Doku, who beats the English left-back for pace comfortably before playing towards Bourigeaud. The move eventually finds Guirassy, who on the turn scuffs a right-footed effort towards the left-hand corner, however, Mendy is alert to the danger and saves with relative ease.

38′ The visitors look to have broken Rennes’ press until Nzonzi steps in, wins possession back for his side and plays towards Lea Siliki. However, none of this matters, as Lea Siliki’s touch is lazy at best, which allows Azpilicueta to intervene.

36′ Doku shows his speed as he races onto a flicked header, with Lea Siliki and Guirassy queuing up in the box, the right winger’s cross is then poor and dealt with by Silva.

35′ Mount and Werner exchange quick passes before looking to launch a counter-attack, however, the former’s pass towards the German is weak and allows Nyamsi to intervene.

34′ The hosts are screaming with their arms in the air once again as they disagree with another of Kuipers’ decision, which all seems incredibly needless for a throw-in near the halfway line.

33′ Abraham ducks down to win a header and manages to catch the tip of Traore’s boot, winning a free-kick for the visitors in the process. Referee Kuipers has a quick word to explain his decision to the right-back before play resumes.

32′ MISS! Doku beats Chilwell and Jorginho before crossing towards Bourigeaud, whose shot is deflected by Zouma into the path of Lea Siliki. The Rennes forward has just Mendy to beat but manages to blaze his right-footed effort over the bar from inside the area.

30′ GREAT SAVE! Chilwell has two attempts at crossing from the byline with the second finding Mount in the six-yard area. Goalkeeper Gomis looks well out of position but remarkably manages to claw his right hand around Mount’s poked right-footed effort and turn the shot away for a Chelsea corner.

28′ The hosts’ second corner comes again down the left and the same result comes as Mendy and Abraham combine to avert the danger, clearing long down the pitch.

27′ Nzonzi releases Truffert with a diagonal pass before the full-back plays inwards towards Lea Siliki. Rennes then stall in possession, which allows the visitors to regroup and defend in numbers.

25′ Hudson-Odoi’s two Champions League goals have come in his last three appearances in the competition (9 appearances in total).

24′ If results stay this way in Group E then Lampard’s side will qualify for the next stage of the Champions League with two games to spare, which means he could rest players in the upcoming European games in order to protect his side from the hectic Premier League schedule.

M. Mount



22′ Mount wins possession off of Doku before playing a perfectly weighted right-footed pass through to Hudson-Odoi, who finishes past Gomis.

C. Hudson-Odoi



22′ GOALLL!! 1-0 CHELSEA! Mount dispossesses Doku inside the visitors’ half before playing a curling right-footed pass in between Rennes’ centre-back and left-back. Hudson-Odoi races onto the long ball before tucking a right-footed shot under the incoming Gomis to open the scoring.

20′ Hudson-Odoi is far too enthusiastic as he looks to dispossess Truffert and referee Kuipers rightly awards the hosts a free-kick on the left-hand touchline.

19′ Mount plays a lovely flick to himself but then his pass to Kovacic is poor as the Croatian looks to burst from midfield into the Rennes box.

17′ Camavinga drops deep and attempts to orcherstrate the play, however, Gomis is then forced to go long and lose possession. The game has calmed down slightly after a frantic opening 10 minutes.

15′ Rennes get their first corner of the game which Bourigeaud will take. The midfielder’s right-footed set-piece evades all the players in the box as Mendy comes out to claim the ball.

14′ Chelsea are looking to win three consecutive Champions League matches for the first time since December 2015, while they haven’t won three in a row without conceding since November 2013.

12′ Chilwell is swamped by three Rennes shirts but remains calm, playing out from the back around the press until Abraham’s poor touch allows the French team to regain possession.

10′ Werner has acres of space down the left and is released by Jorginho but the German’s touch is poor, which allows Traore to recover and eventually win a throw-in for the hosts.

9′ A sharp start by Chelsea is halted as Kovacic slams into Lea Siliki near the centre circle, which offers the hosts both a free-kick and some form of respite.

8′ The French side have hosted English teams twice previously in European competition and won both games, beating Aston Villa in July 2001 in the Intertoto Cup and Arsenal in March 2019 in the Europa League.

6′ Hudson-Odoi again looks to make some thing happen down the right-hand side, this time winning a corner off of full-back Truffert. Rennes deal with the corner well and then look to break through Nzonzi.

5′ OVER THE BAR! Hudson-Odoi puts it on a plate for Werner with a low, driven cross into the area with his right foot from near the right-hand touchline. However, with just the goalkeeper to beat inside the six-yard area, Werner somehow manages to sky his right-footed effort well over the bar. The German will not get a better chance than that all game.

4′ Rennes immediately look set-up to be more 4-5-1 than 4-3-3 with Doku and Lea Siliki tucking in to negate the threat of Chelsea’s full-backs.

3′ Chilwell latches onto Werner’s flighted pass over the right of the Rennes defence but the left full-back’s volley is blocked before it can trouble Gomis’ goal.

2′ Mendy miscues his clearance but Bourigeaud cannot capitalise as the ball trickles out for a throw-in on the far side.

1′ Referee Bjorn Kuipers blows his whistle to get this Champions League fixture started!

The players are making their way onto the pitch and shortly kick-off will be upon us.

The visitors have won just two of their nine Champions League matches away in France (D2 L5), though they did win their last visit there last season, beating Lille 2-1 in the group stage.

Frank Lampard makes four changes from his side at Newcastle. In defence, Silva and Azpilicueta come in for James and Rudiger. Kante and Ziyech also drop out of midfield for Hudson-Odoi and Jorginho.

Julien Stephan opts for five changes to the side that lost to Bordeaux. Former Stoke midfielder Nzonzi returns to the side, while Traore and Nyamsi are preferred in defence.

SUBS: Kai Havertz, N’Golo Kante, Kepa Arrizabalaga, Olivier Giroud, Fikayo Tomori, Hakim Ziyech, Marcos Alonso, Emerson, Reece James, Antonio Rudiger, Andreas Christensen, Willy Caballero.

CHELSEA (4-3-3): Edouard Mendy; Ben Chilwell, Thiago Silva, Kurt Zouma, Cesar Azpilicueta (c); Mason Mount, Jorginho, Mateo Kovacic; Callum Hudson-Odoi, Timo Werner, Tammy Abraham.

SUBS: Brandon Soppy, Clement Grenier, Faitout Maouassa, Warmed Omari, Georginio Rutter, Romain Salin, Adrien Hunou, Yann Gboho, M’Baye Niang, Flavien Tait, Lorenz Assignon, Romain Del Castillo.

RENNES (4-3-3): Alfred Gomis; Gerzino Nyamsi, Damien Da Silva (c), Adrien Truffert, Hamari Traore; Eduardo Camavinga, Steven Nzonzi, Benjamin Bourigeaud; Jeremy Doku, James Lea Siliki, Serhou Guirassy.

After defeating Newcastle United 2-0 at the weekend, the Blues travel to Rennes, who they defeated 3-0 last time out. Most recently in Ligue 1, the French side were 1-0 losers against Bordeaux.

Hello and welcome to live coverage of the Champions League Group E fixture between Rennes and Chelsea.