Lazio are out of the Europa League after their fourth defeat in six group games, losing 2-0 away to already-eliminated Stade Rennais.
The Biancocelesti could still qualify for the Round of 32, but would need to beat Rennes and hope guaranteed group winners Celtic got the better of Cluj in the other match. Adam Marusic, Patric and Thomas Strakosha were out of action, but Ciro Immobile and Luis Alberto received rare Europa League starts.
It was a bright start from Rennes, who had only one point in five Europa League games, as Joris Gnagnon tested Silvio Proto from distance, while Marco Parolo’s effort was deflected over the bar.
Proto’s first genuine save came on 25 minutes, flying to palm an impressive James Lea-Siliki curler out of the far bottom corner.
Rennes seemed more motivated than Lazio and took the lead when a corner was knocked down and Gnagnon escaped poor Francesco Acerbi marking to turn in from 10 yards.
Parolo and Ciro Immobile had efforts charged down, but the tension escalated and a brawl broke out between Luis Alberto and goalkeeper Romain Salin, leading to yellow cards for both.
Acerbi should’ve made up for his earlier error on the Rennes goal, but turned a free header over the bar on a corner from seven yards.
With news filtering through of Cluj leading Celtic 2-0, all remaining hope drained away and Proto kept the scoreline down by parrying Flavien Tait’s strike at the near post.
Proto did well to get his hand to another powerful Tait angled drive, but Gnagnon pounced on the rebound to double their lead and his tally.
Rennes 2-0 Lazio
Gnagnon 31, 87 (R)
Rennes: Salin; Boey, Gnagnon, Nyamsi, Doumbia; Da Cunha (Del Castillo 77), Grenier, Lea-Siliki (Camavinga 74), Tait; Gboho, Siebatcheu (Niang 70)
Lazio: Proto; Bastos, Vavro (Falbo 74), Acerbi; Lazzari, Parolo, Cataldi, Luis Alberto (Berisha 59), Jony; Caicedo, Immobile (Adekanye 68)
Ref: Jovanovic (SRB)
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