Post-Match Report

Rennes 3-1 Arsenal: How it happened

Arsenal v Rennes

Rennes -

Roazhon Park
Europa League
Europa League
  Rennes
      
              Bourigeaud (42)
               Monreal (65 og)
               Sarr (88)
          
   crest
Rennes
Bourigeaud (42) Monreal (65 og) Sarr (88)
3 1
  Arsenal
      
                  A. Iwobi (4)
            
   crest
Arsenal
A. Iwobi (4)

WHAT HAPPENED

We have it all to do in the second leg of our Europa League last-16 tie with Rennes after Sokratis was sent off as we lost in the opening game in France.

We could not have got off to a better start as, with just four minutes on the clock, we took the lead with a goal that had more than an element of luck about it.

It came as Alex Iwobi collected the ball to the left of the area, dragged the ball back to hold off two defenders and curled it across goal – only to see it evade everyone and fly in off the post.

Lucas Torreira would test Rennes goalkeeper Tomas Koubek almost immediately, while Iwobi continued to threaten down the left and nearly added to his tally with a firm effort.

But the home side, roared on by a vociferous, partizan crowd packed into Roazhon Park, were not about to go down easily despite our dominance and they were offered a way back into the game when Sokratis was sent off for a second bookable offence.

Sokratis

It was a bodyblow, but worse was to follow as, from the resulting free kick, Benjamin Bourigeaud found the top corner after his initial effort had struck the wall.

Unai Emery reshaped his side at the interval, with Shkodran Mustafi moving inside to partner Laurent Koscielny and Henrikh Mkhitaryan moving to right back, and Rennes moved on to the front foot as they tried to make their man advantage count.

Former Rennes goalkeeper Petr Cech was now at the heart of the action, saving twice from Bourigeaud and once from the dangerous Ismaila Sarr as the hosts pushed on.

Hatem Ben Arfa then saw a free kick pushed over by our No 1, but he could do nothing to prevent the hosts taking the lead through a cross that deflected off Nacho Monreal and into the top corner.

Cech continued to impress as we fought to stay in the game, but with just two minutes remaining Sarr headed in at the far post to put us further in trouble.

It leaves us with a mountain to climb in the return leg, as we fight to keep our Europa League campaign alive.

HOW IT HAPPENED

Find out how the match unfolded, and get all the key graphics, in our play-by-play commentary

WHAT’S NEXT

We host Manchester United at Emirates Stadium on Sunday, eager for revenge after losing our previous encounter against them in the FA Cup back in January.

Prior to that, we faced the Red Devils at Old Trafford in December, leading twice through goals from Shkodran Mustafi and a Marcos Rojo own goal, but the game ended 2-2.