Benjamin Mendy has made a return to professional football after being cleared of rape allegations that halted his career for over two years.
The French international was accused of attacking two women during the lockdown-busting parties at his Cheshire mansion while playing for Premier League champions Manchester City.
In July, Mendy, 29, was acquitted, with a jury clearing him of one count of rape and one count of attempted rape after deliberating for three hours.
The verdicts paved the way for his return to football, and was signed by Ligue 1 club FC Lorient, shortly after his acquittal.
Mendy’s return to the pitch took place on Sunday afternoon in a match against his former club, Monaco, at the Stade du Moustoir.
Coming on as a second-half substitute to replace Vincent Le Goff, Mendy marked his comeback after 25 months away from the round leather game.
Lorient was winning 2-1 at the time of his introduction, but they managed to salvage a point with a 98th-minute equalizer from Romain Faivre, who is on loan from Bournemouth.
Meanwhile, the last time Mendy played professionally was in Manchester City’s 1-0 defeat to Tottenham in North London in August 2021.
Just 11 days later, he was suspended by the club following the rape charges and an investigation.