MX23RW : Monday, April 22 04:45:53| >> :600:3856473:3856473:
Mar 7, 2019 at 5.55pm UK at ​Route de Lorient
Attendance: 29,771
Rennes
3-1
Arsenal
Bourigeaud (42'), Monreal (65' og.), Sarr (88')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Iwobi (4')
Sokratis (41')

Live Commentary: Rennes 3-1 Arsenal - as it happened

Relive Sports Mole's live coverage as Rennes come from behind to register a 3-1 win over Arsenal in Thursday's Europa League last-16 game in France.
Live Commentary: Rennes 3-1 Arsenal - as it happened
© Reuters

Rennes have overturned an early deficit to register a 3-1 victory over Arsenal in Thursday's Europa League tie.

Alex Iwobi put Arsenal ahead in the first leg of the last-16 tie, but the Gunners had Sokratis Papastathopoulos sent off for two bookable offences before the break.

Rennes scored through a Benjamin Bourigeaud free kick, before an own goal from Nacho Monreal and a late header from Ismaila Sarr gave the home side control of the tie.

Find out how all of the action unfolded in France courtesy of Sports Mole's minute-by-minute updates below.


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Hello and welcome to Sports Mole's live coverage of the match in the Europa League between Rennes and Arsenal. The Gunners head into the first leg of this last-16 tie unbeaten in four games in all competitions, while Rennes are 10th in Ligue 1 and reached this stage of the competition by beating Real Betis. The two teams are making their way out at Roazhon Park, so let's take a look at the two starting lineups...

RENNES XI: Koubek; Zeffane, Da Silva, Mexer, Bensebiani; Sarr, Andre, Grenier, Bourigeaud; Ben Arfa, Hunou

ARSENAL XI: Cech; Mustafi, Papastathopoulos, Koscielny, Monreal; Torreira, Xhaka; Mkhitaryan, Ozil, Iwobi, Aubameyang

KICKOFF:  We are underway!

GOAL!  Rennes 0-1 Arsenal (Alex Iwobi)

GOAL!  Arsenal take the lead! Iwobi is most definitely attempting a cross, but his low inswinging delivery hits the far post and goes into the net! What a start for the Gunners.

Rennes look shell-shocked. Ironically, they have gone completely into the shell. Arsenal are dominating possession with Rennes deciding to sit a bit deeper than originally planned.

The home side finally put together their first attack, but it comes to an end with Bensebiani failing to get on the ball on the left-hand side of the penalty area.

Rennes have really upped the tempo over the past couple of minutes. Stephan has clearly instructed his side to stop playing within themselves.

CHANCE!  It should be 2-0. Arsenal put together another attractive move down the left and it ends with the ball being played into the path of Aubameyang, but the forward's first-time effort from 12 yards out is superbly kept out by Koubek.

SHOT!  Rennes win a free kick at least 35 yards from goal, but Grenier's strike only just misses Cech's right top corner.

SHOT!  That effort has certainly given Grenier a lot more confidence. The midfielder attempts a volley from a similar distance but on this occasion, the ball goes tamely wide of the post.

SHOT!  It's not necessarily an open game, but chances continue to be created on a regular basis. Aubameyang received the ball on the edge of the penalty area, but the Gabon international's low shot was saved by Koubek at his near post.

SHOT!  INJURY! Arsenal have a problem here. Mustafi picked up an injury shortly after kickoff, and it now appears that the German is struggling to continue.

Looks like Mustafi is going to give it one more go. It's a risk with Sunday's encounter with Manchester United in mind.

The knock sustained by Mustafi has at least resulted in the tempo of the game slowing down. Both teams will benefit from a breather at this stage. It is an even contest.

The main aim for Rennes will undoubtedly be reaching the break without conceding a second. They look a threat when they go forward, but so do Arsenal each time they are given the chance to go on the attack.

Rennes win a free kick in a threatening position, and a cross will be delivered into the box. The ball in is a dangerous one, but Mexer is offside at the back post.

CHANCE!  Arsenal win their own set piece at the other end, and it's almost a masterpiece. Half-a-dozen passes lead to Mustafi being able to get a shot away from 12 yards out, but the defender's low strike goes agonisingly wide of the far post.

YELLOW CARD!  The first yellow card of the game goes to Papastathopoulos, who brings down Ben Arfa on the edge of the area.

SAVE!  Ben Arfa takes responsibility for the set piece and although he is able to direct his effort around the wall, Cech is equal to it and punches the ball clear to his right.

Rennes are starting to have the better of this game as we approach half time. Arsenal need to be careful not to give their hosts too much encouragement.

YELLOW CARD!  Bourigeaud goes into the book for Rennes having fouled Torreira on the touchline.

RED CARD!  Papastathopoulos has been sent off for Arsenal! Sarr got the other side of the defender and went down having clipped the defender's heels. The referee has little choice, but it is debatable who initiated the contact.

GOAL!  Rennes 1-1 Arsenal (Benjamin Bourigeaud)

GOAL!  Rennes equalise from the resulting free kick! Bourigeaud's first effort is poor and into the wall, but the midfielder picks up the rebound and lashes a stunning effort into the far top corner from 25 yards out. Cech had no chance.

There will be three minutes of added-on time.

It's Arsenal who are doing the pressing ahead of the half-time whistle, but a move breaks down in the penalty area after good work down the left.

HALF TIME:  Rennes 1-1 Arsenal

The half-time whistle goes in France and Rennes are back on level terms with Arsenal. Iwobi gave Arsenal an early lead, but Bourigeaud has provided the home side with a deserved equaliser. The Ligue 1 side will fancy their chances after the restart with Papastathopoulos having been sent off for two bookable offences.

Arsenal's goal came in fortuitous circumstances with Iwobi's cross going straight into the net via the back post, but there was nothing lucky about Rennes' leveller with Bourigeaud finding the top corner from 25 yards out.

KICKOFF:  Arsenal get us back underway.

It is all Rennes at the start of this second half. It's going to be a long 45 minutes for the visitors unless they change their tactics.

CHANCE!  Bourigeaud has two chances in the space of as many minutes. His first effort from distance goes wide of the far post, but he should net with his second. The midfielder could only shoot straight at Cech from by the penalty spot with a first-time strike.

SUBSTITUTION! Emery has witnessed enough. Guendouzi has been introduced as a replacement for Iwobi.

That change is a show of faith for Ozil. Iwobi had been offering much more in terms of running and defending. It's still all Rennes.

How has this stayed out? Sarr surges down the right and his low cross is almost turned into his own net by Koscielny. The ball continues on its course across the box, but Bourigeaud can't get a telling touch at the back post.

Arsenal are attempting to play with three central midfielders, but there is so much space down either flank with Mkhitaryan playing at right-back.

CHANCE!  It is surely only a matter of time before Rennes go in front. Sarr tries to find Cech's bottom corner from inside the area, but the Czech stopper palmed the ball away down to his left.

YELLOW CARD!  Xhaka goes into the book for a cynical tug of Ben Arfa's shirt on the edge of the box.

SHOT!  Another Rennes shot. Another Cech save. The veteran goalkeeper - formerly of the home side - tips Ben Arfa's set piece over the bar.

It is difficult to understand why Maitland-Niles has not been introduced for Mkhitaryan. The Armenian is trying his best, but he cannot get near Bourigeaud.

GOAL!  Rennes 2-1 Arsenal (Nacho Monreal own goal)

GOAL!  This goal for Rennes was inevitable. Another cross is delivered from the right - this time from Zeffane - and the ball is deflected into the net by Monreal at the near post.

If Arsenal come away from this game with a 2-1 defeat, it will feel like a win. That's how much Rennes are on top.

CHANCE!  As I say that, Arsenal should be level! The Gunners produce a brilliantly-constructed move which ends with Ozil getting a chance from 12 yards out, but the German's effort is straight at Koubek.

SUBSTITUTION! Emery makes another alteration with Ramsey replacing Ozil.

With all due respect to Rennes, I cannot see them keeping hold of Sarr for much longer. The winger has been sensational this evening.

SUBSTITUTION! The home side make their first switch with Lea Siliki replacing Bourigeaud.

Arsenal have won a couple of corners in the space of as many minutes, but Rennes comfortably deal with the danger.

Rennes would probably be happy enough with a 2-1 lead, but that is not stopping the French outfit pushing for a third. Cech reacts well to deal with a cross from the right.

SUBSTITUTION! Emery is happy to shut up shop. Kolasinac has been introduced for Aubameyang.

Xhaka is fortunate to remain on the pitch. The Swiss has committed two fouls in the space of 60 seconds, and the latter could have easily resulted in a caution.

Xhaka is now being pelted with a number of objects while attempting to take a corner. It seems light-hearted, but I doubt UEFA will agree.

Just the five minutes left. Rennes want a third, but Arsenal would be delighted with a one-goal defeat. It remains in the balance, but Rennes are on the attack.

YELLOW CARD!  Zeffane is booked for a foul on Guendouzi. That will eat some time up for Arsenal.

GOAL!  Rennes 3-1 Arsenal (Ismaila Sarr)

GOAL!  This is an absolute massive goal in the context of this tie. Lea Siliki delivers the perfect cross from the left, and Sarr is on hand at the back post to power a header past Cech from close range.

There will be four minutes of added-on time.

Arsenal manage to get the ball into the area, but Rennes are not budging. If I was Arsenal, I'd settle for a 3-1 defeat.

FULL TIME:  Rennes 3-1 Arsenal

The full-time whistle goes in France and Rennes have registered an emphatic 3-1 win over Arsenal, who simply did not deal with having Sokratis dismissed in the first half. The Gunners have it all to do in next week's second leg!

That will be all from Sports Mole for this match. Thank you for joining us this evening. You can read our on-the-whistle match report by clicking here. Goodbye for now.


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