France: Saint-Etienne ends Rennes' win streak
PARIS (AP) -- Saint-Etienne beat Rennes 2-0 in Ligue 1 on Friday to end its opponent's run of three successive league victories.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang opened the scoring in the 22nd minute and Renaud Cohade doubled Saint-Etienne's lead four minutes into the second half.
Rennes striker Mevlut Erding was sent off in stoppage time for a foul on Jean-Pascal Mignot.
Saint-Etienne had not lost in in its previous four matches heading into the game but had only picked up one win in that run.
Rennes was without midfielder Yann M'Vila and center half Chris Mavinga, who have both been suspended until further notice after going to a nightclub while on international duty with the France under-21 squad earlier this month.
Saint-Etienne dominated and took the lead shortly after Rennes' best chance of the game, when Stephane Ruffier tipped Julien Feret's shot onto the crossbar.
Two minutes later Max Gradel sent a low through-ball to Aubameyang who controlled well before firing an unstoppable shot across goal into the far left corner.
Rennes could have leveled immediately but Ruffier did brilliantly to keep out Jonathan Pitroipa's fierce effort.
The home side extended its advantage shortly after the break when Brandao headed on for Cohade to lash into the left corner from 20 meters.
Aubameyang could have doubled his tally shortly after the hour mark but Rennes goalkeeper Benoit Costil reacted smartly.
Rennes strove to get back in the game and would have done so were it not for two solid saves from Ruffier to deny Romain Alessandrini and Erding.
Saint-Etienne also hit the crossbar through Romain Hamouma five minutes from time.
Saint-Etienne moves level on points with fifth-placed Valenciennes, while Rennes slips to 10th ahead of the rest of the weekend's fixtures.