Arsenal faced off against Rennes in the UEFA Europa League earlier tonight looking to take a lead back to the Emirates from this first leg. The Gunners made an excellent start to the game as they managed to score in the 3rd minute through Alex Iwobi’s goal. However, Sokratis Papastathopoulos received two bookings in the first half which resulted in him being given his marching orders just before half-time. The home side took full advantage of the situation as they managed to grab the equaliser via Benjamin Bourigeaud’s powerful freekick soon after Sokratis’s dismissal.
Nacho Monreal scored an unfortunate own goal in the second half when he deflected the ball into his own net. Rennes kept the pressure on and grabbed another goal courtesy of Ismaila Sarr’s thunderous header in the 88th minute. The match ended with a final scoreline of 3-1 in favour of the French outfit.
Let’s take a look at how each Arsenal player performed during the match against Rennes.
GK: Petr Cech – 7/10
The veteran keeper couldn’t do much about any of Rennes’ three goals during the game. However, he did pull off a few crucial saves to keep this tie alive for the Gunners.
RB: Shkodran Mustafi – 6/10
He battled hard but always had an error in him. It was an average performance from the German defender, but it wasn’t for the lack of trying.
CB: Sokratis Papastathopoulos – 3/10
The Greek defender got cautioned twice in the first half and was sent off in the 41st minute. He let his whole team down and cost them the win on the night.
CB: Laurent Koscielny – 6/10
The French defensive ace did his best to organise a makeshift backline in the second half. He was mainly let down by his centre-back partner but his performance on the night was also quite questionable.
LB: Nacho Monreal – 4/10
The Spanish full-back scored an unfortunate own goal in the second half when he deflected the ball into his own net. He also failed to track back in the lead up to Rennes’ third goal of this contest.
CM: Lucas Torreira – 6/10
The Uruguayan midfielder worked his socks off and tried his best to protect the Arsenal backline in the second half.
CM: Granit Xhaka – 5/10
The Swiss midfielder had a decent first half, but he gave away too many fouls in the second which meant that he ran the risk of being sent off as well.
RM: Henrikh Mkhitaryan – 7/10
The Armenian is enjoying a good run of form, and it showed with his performance on the pitch tonight. He was a constant threat going forward in the first half but had to readjust his game to fill in as a right-back in the second half.
CAM: Mesut Özil – 5.5/10
The German played some neat passes in the opposition half but squandered a glorious opportunity to score during the game which will haunt him for a few days.
LM: Alex Iwobi – 8/10
He was by far Arsenal’s best player on the pitch. Iwobi took his goal well in the 3rd minute to give his team the vital lead. It was unfortunate that he had to be subbed in the second half following Sokratis’ sending off.
ST: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – 4/10
The Gabon international was wasteful with his touches inside the opposition half and never looked like he had a goal in him during the game. His recent form will be concerning for the Gunners fans and tonight’s display wouldn’t help his cause either.
CM: Matteo Guendouzi – 6/10
The French youngster came on to add a bit of protection to the Gunners backline. He was full of energy and running in midfield which was not enough for Arsenal to get a result tonight.
ST: Aaron Ramsey – 4/10
The Welshman mostly played as a makeshift forward during his time on the pitch which didn’t suit him.
LM: Sead Kolasinac – 5/10
He found it hard to make an impact in the dying embers of the encounter.
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