PARIS (AP) — Rennes beat Lille 2-0 in the French league on Friday to climb out of the relegation zone and ease the pressure on coach Frederic Antonetti.
Rennes took the lead in the 64th minute when forward Jonathan Pitroipa's fiercely-struck shot from 30 yards (meters) out was only parried by Mickael Landreau, and winger Julien Feret clipped the loose ball over the Lille keeper.
Landreau had no chance with the second goal when midfielder Romain Alessandrini picked up the ball near the edge of the penalty area and hit a superb shot into the top left corner.
"It feels like we're cursed at the moment. We hit the post in the first half, the crossbar in the second half, two chances were we could have taken the lead," Lille coach Rudi Garcia said. "It's obviously not a good night for us. We played well but we didn't take our chances and when you don't score you become vulnerable."
To make matters worse for Lille, captain Rio Mavuba limped off with a knee injury early in the second half, and Garcia was sent to the stands late on by referee Nicolas Rainville.
Rennes is in 13th place, one spot above Lille, ahead of the weekend action.
Lille has not won any of its past five matches in all competitions and faces a tough match away to Spanish club Valencia in the Champions League on Tuesday.