Veteran Balmont shines as Dijon beats Rennes 2-1 in Ligue 1


PARIS (AP) – Veteran midfielder Florent Balmont scored a rare goal and then set up the winner as Dijon beat Rennes 2-1 in the French league on Friday.

The 37-year-old Frenchman, who made his league debut with Lyon 16 years ago, started and finished a move with a shot into the bottom right corner in the 30th minute. It was only his 13th league goal in 476 appearances.

Rennes leveled shortly before halftime when 19-year-old forward Ismaila Sarr stretched to meet Benjamin Bourigeaud’s dipping cross with a volley.

But Balmont was not finished. He burst into the penalty area and whipped over a curling cross for striker Julio Tavares to head in off the post in the 65th.

The win moved Dijon up to 10th place while Rennes is eighth ahead of this weekend’s matches.

League leader Paris Saint-Germain is at home to Montpellier on Saturday, a match pitting the best attack against the tightest defense. PSG has scored 68 goals in 22 games while Montpellier has conceded 15.

PSG is eight points ahead of second-place Lyon, which plays Bordeaux on Sunday when third-place Marseille hosts fourth-place Monaco.