Benjamin Mendy makes his return to football two years since last playing after being cleared of rape as he comes off the bench for Lorient in Ligue 1
Benjamin Mendy has made his return to football after two years out of the game.
The former Manchester City and France defender came off the bench for Lorient as a second half substitute against ex-side Monaco in Ligue 1.
Mendy, 29, had been accused of carrying out sex attacks on two women at his £4million mansion.
He was cleared after three hours of deliberation by a jury at Chester Crown Court in July – and broke down in the dock afterwards before saying he was ‘delighted’ with the not guilty verdicts.
He came on as a substitute for Lorient in the 71st minute of their game on Sunday.
Benjamin Mendy has made his return to football as a substitute for Lorient against Monaco
Mendy signed for Lorient five days after being cleared of rape in July as he made his return to football in France
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Mendy signed for Lorient five days after his trial ended in the summer.
He signed a two-year deal with the Ligue 1 side following his release from Manchester City, where he made 75 appearances after joining in 2017 for £52million.
The left-back had been acquitted of six rapes and one sexual assault rating to four women during a first trial, which lasted four months, but faced a retrial on two separate counts.
Mendy wept when he was cleared of all charges. His lawyer, Eleanor Laws KC, had said that the left back’s career in English football was ‘over’ and he sealed a move to Lorient, who finished mid-table last season.
The defender came on in the 71st minute of the game with his new side trailing 2-1 in the game
He was on the field for his side’s 98th minute equaliser against the Ligue 1 table toppers
In the game, Lorient took the lead in the second minute when Tosin Aiyegun netted against the league leaders.
Monaco hit back though and dominated proceedings, with Aleksandr Golovin equalising after 17 minutes for the visitiors.
Lorient held their own until the 69th minute when substitute and former Arsenal forward Folarin Balogun scored following his £38million move this summer.
Mendy came on for Vincent Le Goff with 19 minutes of normal time remaining, and was on the field when his side netted a 98th minute equaliser through Romain Faivre.