Rennes (AFP)

Rennes got off to a decent start in the Europa Conference League by clinching a 2-2 draw against big favorite Tottenham in Thursday's first group match at Roazhon Park.

Seriously battered Sunday in Ligue 1 by the modest Rémois (0-2), the Rennais showed much more enthusiasm, but can blame themselves for having offered the draw on two defensive errors.

Finalist of the Champions League in 2019, Tottenham was indeed deprived of many executives, injured or spared with a shock Sunday against Chelsea.

Even captain Harry Kane came out early in the second half.

When the players entered the field, the mandate of the Rennes supporters was nevertheless clear: "A fight to be waged, a trophy to be won".

- Feverishness -

Without hiding Rennes' ambitions in this new competition, despite the Breton disappointments of recent seasons on the European scene, coach Bruno Genesio was less greedy: ensuring that the result could be played "on details", he had before everything asked his troops to finally show character.

It got off to a bad start ... Feverish, the Rennais let Tottenham take the game on their own from the first minutes, until they were punished for a lack of success in the now classic defense for the Red and Black.

Challenged by Lucas Moura, launched in depth by Harry Kane, Loïc Badé deceived his goalkeeper Romain Salin by deflecting the center of the former Parisian winger (0-1, 11th).

Rennes tried to react but struggled for a long time to approach the goal that Hugo Lloris had ceded for the evening to the Italian Pierluigi Gollini, while seeing himself regularly surprised behind their backs.

Lucas Moura and his captain Harry Kane celebrate the opening scoring for Tottenham in Rennes in the Europa League Conference, September 16, 2021 JEAN-FRANCOIS MONIER AFP

A new awkwardness restarted everything: served back by Serhou Guirassy, ​​Adrien Truffert saw Gollini push back his shot on him but failed to frame his head in the empty goal (20th).

Pushed by more than 21,000 supporters and carried by raging midfielders, Rennes released the brakes.

And quickly, Flavien Tait relied on Guirassy to shoot a right strike after a very nice collective movement (1-1, 23rd).

If the intensity then subsided a little, the debates were balanced for more than half an hour, with several interesting strikes from Rennes but also some new fears in defense.

- Laborde scorer -

On this model, Rennes briefly took the advantage before conceding the equalizer.

First, Gollini repelled a strike from Kamaldeen Sulemana in the feet of Gaëtan Laborde.

The former Montpellier, last offensive touch of a summer transfer window of nearly 80 million euros, only had to push the ball to score his first goal in Red and Black (2-1, 71st) .

Gaëtan Laborde scorer for Stade Rennais against Tottenham at Roazhon Park, September 16, 2021 JEAN-FRANCOIS MONIER AFP

But a few minutes later, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg took advantage of a badly deflected center by Tait to allow his team to bring back a point from this first trip (2-2, 75th).

The Rennais will have to show as much commitment and if possible a little more skill in defense, Sunday in Marseille, not to be left behind in the league, and will not have the right to make mistakes against their next opponents, Vitesse Arnhem, 2-0 winners of Slovenes from Mura.

© 2021 AFP