Ten-man Arsenal succumbed to a humbling 3-1 defeat at the hands of Rennes in the first leg of Europa League last-16 tie. Alex Iwobi scored the only goal for the Gunners, while Benjamin Bourigeaud and Ismaila Sarr were on target for the home team.
Nacho Monreal scored an own goal in between and Sokratis got sent off before half-time as a part of the Gunners’ aid to the French side throughout the course of this game.
In a fast Arsenal start, Iwobi scored the opener in the third minute when his cross virtually deceived the Rennes keeper and went into the back of the net.
Unai Emery’s men then had other chances to double their lead up, but the ruthlessness was lacking.
The game took a turn when Sokratis was sent off for a second yellow card offence in the 41st minute. The first one was made seven minutes before that.
Seconds later, the French side equalised with a thunderbolt strike from Bourigeaud. Arsenal had to dig deep in the second half but in the 65th minute, a Mehdi Zeffane cross was turned into the back of his own net by Monreal.
Things got worse when the Spaniard lost the ball way up the field and didn’t track back, leaving the scorer of the third Rennes goal, Sarr, unmarked at the far post on the left-hand side of the Arsenal defence.
James Lea Siliki sussed that situation and delivered a deep cross for Sarr to head the ball past a helpless Petr Cech.
A 3-1 result might be tough but the Gunners have the home advantage for the second leg. They will have to be at their very best to keep a clean sheet, otherwise, the tie may go out of hands.
Here’s how their fans reacted after tonight’s performance:
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