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Monaco down Rennes to move back into top two
Second-half strikes from Vanderson and Youssouf Fofana gave Monaco a 2-1 win away to Rennes on Saturday with the principality side moving above Nice into second place.
Despite a late penalty from Benjamin Bourigeaud and Vanderson's red card, Monaco held out at Roazhon Park to take themselves within three points of Paris Saint-Germain at the top of Ligue 1.
Monaco started the week in third place, having somewhat fallen out of the title race in recent weeks but back-to-back wins have them firmly back in the conversation as their direct rivals prepare for action later in the weekend.
An uneventful first half, spiced only by a VAR intervention that spared the visiting side's Mohamed Camara on 14 minutes, seemed to be heading towards the second 0-0 of the weekend, after Friday's draw between Montpellier and Lens.
However, six minutes after the break Folarin Balogun profited from a lucky break to tee up Vanderson and the Brazilian defender's strike glanced off Jeanuel Belocian on its way into the net.
Just three minutes later, the defender was again in the thick of the action as he earned a caution for a foul on Amine Gouiri.
His afternoon was then cut short with 15 minutes remaining when he fouled Mahamadou Nagida and picked up a harsh second yellow card.
A man down, Monaco dug in and managed to double their lead on 85 minutes when captain Fofana slotted a right-footed shot past Steve Mandanda, following a second assist from Balogun.
Bourigeaud converted a penalty on 90 minutes to give the hosts a lifeline, but Adi Huetter's 10 men were able to see it out, aided by a fine save from 'keeper Philipp Koehn three minutes into added time.