Rennes' Champions League hopes fade with Nantes defeat

Stade Rennais's hopes of securing a Champions League spot for next season suffered a blow when they slumped to a 2-1 defeat at Nantes in Ligue 1 on Wednesday.

The result left Rennes, who had started the night knowing a win would put them in third, which secures a place in the third qualifying round of Europe's elite club competition, but ended the evening in fifth.

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They have 62 points with two games left and trail third-placed Monaco by three points. They were even leapfrogged by Nice (63) into fourth after they beat strugglers St Etienne 4-2 after trailing 2-0.

Flavien Tait put Rennes ahead after 32 minutes with a low shot from the penalty spot after being set up by Benjamin Bourigeaud.

Nantes equalised on the stroke of halftime through Kalifa Coulibaly, who deflected Osman Bukari's cross into the net with his knee.

The Canaries, who beat Nice in the French Cup final on Saturday, wrapped it up 19 minutes from time when defender Nicolas Pallois volleyed home at the far post.