Arsenal vs Stade Rennais report: Arsenal match report
Arsenal went into the second leg of their Europa League tie against Rennais after losing 3-1 in the reverse fixture last week. Unai Emery’s side weren’t messing around this time around as they comfortably brushed off their opponents with a 3-0 win on the night and 4-3 on aggregate.
The Gunners wasted no time and were on the front foot in less than 5 minutes. Ainsley Maitland-Niles, after some clever work on the right wing passed it to Aaron Ramsey, whose cross was tapped in by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to give Arsenal a 1-0 lead.
Arsenal dominated the ball in the first quarter of the game and did not allow the visitors to settle into the game.
The comeback was complete in the 15th minute as Aubameyang’s left-footed cross was headed home brilliantly by Ainsley Maitland-Niles. The Gunners were cruising at this point with Rennais not getting a touch.
The visitors got back into the game gradually as Arsenal took a bit of pace off the game. Hatem Ben Arfa’s attempt to spark some magic failed, thanks to some brilliant defending by Maitland-Niles. The Gunners went in to the break with a comfortable 2-0 lead on the night and up by away goals on aggregate.
The visitors started the second half brightly as Niang’s shot from outside the box hit the post. Clement Grenier was booked for repeated protests in order to get Alexandre Lacazette sent off.
Sarr was sent through on goal by Niang but his shot was brilliantly blocked by Sead Kolasinac. Rennais continued to put the pressure on the Gunners but Unai Emery’s side remained solid.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Alex Iwobi came on in the 69th minute in place of Mesut Ozil and Alexandre Lacazette as Unai Emery looked for more width in the game.
The change almost proved to be a masterstroke as Iwobi’s left-footed strike narrowly missed the goal. However, the Gunners took the lead on aggregate as Aubameyang tapped in his second of the game.
The visitors started to commit men forward which provided a lot of space for the Gunners in the Rennais half. Mkhitaryan was the next Arsenal player to go into the book after a cynical foul.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang missed two chances in two minutes as Arsenal piled the pressure on the Ligue 1 side. Lucas Torreira came on for the last three minutes as Unai Emery looked to finish the game off.
Alex Iwobi was lucky to stay on the pitch in the dying minutes of the game after an angry kick on a Rennais player.
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The victory meant that the Gunners are through to the next phase of the Europa League and here’s how some Gooners on Twitter reacted to the win: