Benjamin Mendy makes return to action with Lorient in Ligue 1 after rape acquittal

Benjamin Mendy in action for Lorient against Monaco in Ligue 1 in September 2023.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Former Manchester City defender Benjamin Mendy finally returned to action with Lorient in Ligue 1 on Saturday after more than two years on the sidelines.

The World Cup winner has been out of action since August 2021, when allegations of rape and sexual assault first surfaced.

Following a lengthy trial and a retrial, the Frenchman was eventually acquitted of the charges in July and signed a two-year deal with Lorient in his homeland shortly afterwards.

Mendy's contract at City had expired at the end of June and the ongoing case against him meant he made only two appearances in his final two seasons at the Manchester club.

In total, the former Monaco left-back played 85 times in all competitions for City, scoring two goals. He left the Manchester club as a three-time Premier League winner.

On Sunday, the 29-year-old came off the bench for the final 20 minutes in a wing-back role for Lorient against his former club.

And Lorient earned a point as Romain Faivre volleyed home in the eighth minute of added time to upset the Ligue 1 leaders in a 2-2 draw.

Monaco stay top of Ligue 1 with 11 points from five games. Lorient are down in 12th place with six points.

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Weekend editor

Ben Hayward is Weekend Editor for FourFourTwo. A European football writer with over 15 years’ experience, he has covered games all over the world - including three World Cups, several Champions League finals, Euros, Copa América - and has spent much of that time in Spain. He currently divides his time between Barcelona and London.