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Rennes v Arsenal Live Commentary, 07/03/19

3 - 1
B. Bourigeaud (42)
Nacho Monreal (65 og)
I. Sarr (88)
A. Iwobi (3)
Roazhon Park


Well, that’s all for now. Until next time, thank you and goodbye!
Arsenal now have to rally themselves for a huge test at Emirates Stadium in the second leg, although first there is the small matter of a Premier League clash with Manchester United. Rennes, meanwhile, host Caen on Sunday.
A brilliant result for Rennes, and a wholly deserved one. Iwobi’s goal gave Arsenal an early lead, but once Bourigeaud had cracked in an equaliser following Sokratis’ red card, the hosts never looked back, and Monreal’s own goal and Sarr’s superb late header have seen them claim a famous win.
J. Gelin
C. Grenier
90' + 1' There will be four minutes of stoppage time. As that is announced, Rennes make a change, with Grenier making way for Gelin.
J. Lea Siliki
88' Arsenal were trying to push up and squeeze their hosts back, but instead left plenty of space for Bensebaini to exploit. He picked out Siliki, who did the rest with an exquisite cross into Sarr.
I. Sarr
88' RENNES MAKE IT 3-1! What a goal from the hosts! A swift counter results in Siliki whipping in a sublime first-time cross from the left, and his opposite winger Sarr is there to meet it with a bullet header that soars past Cech and into the back of the net.
M. Zeffane
Yellow Card
87' Good work from Guendouzi, who robs Ben Arfa of possession before driving forward, drawing a hefty challenge from Zeffane, and the Rennes defender picks up a booking for his troubles.
85' The Rennes faithful have been in fantastic voice so far, and their team are on the verge of a famous victory. Five minutes, plus stoppage time, remain.
83' A rare Arsenal venture forward comes to nothing, as Monreal’s corner is easily cleared. Sarr looks to lead a counter, but Mkhitaryan gets back to make a good recovery challenge.
81' It does not look like Arsenal have changed shape, with Kolasinac instead joining Ramsey in an auxiliary strike partnership.
S. Kolašinac
P. Aubameyang
79' A third and final change for Arsenal, and if Emery wasn’t hanging on before, he certainly is looking to now. Aubemeyang has toiled up top today with little service, but he has now been taken off, with Kolasinac coming on.
77' Sarr finds space down the right, and does not hesitate in curling in an early cross. Hunou made a good run to the near post, but was just caught a yard short of the ball, and Cech is able to gather it in.
75' A long pass from deep is punted towards Sarr, who despite clicking up through the gears, can’t quite keep the ball in play. It took the youngster some time to work his way into this fixture, but since then he has been a constant threat.
J. Lea Siliki
B. Bourigeaud
73' A first change for Rennes, as Bourigeaud’s impressive showing is brought to an end. He is replaced by Siliki.
72' Rennes have had eight days to prepare for this clash, while this is Arsenal’s fifth game in 15 days. At the moment, the fatigue is showing, especially with 10 men, and Emery would likely take this result if it was offered to him at full-time.
A. Ramsey
M. Özil
70' That tame effort has proved to be Ozil’s final involvement. He has made way for Ramsey.
69' Another fine stop by Cech, who has kept Arsenal in this contest since the restart. Ben Arfa again found space 25 yards out, and showed no hesitation in getting a shot away that Cech does well to parry wide.
68' Finally, Arsenal manage to forge a decent move. Guendouzi is the instigator, as he drifts wide before slipping a clever pass into Ozil, but the playmaker snatches at his shot, making it easy for Koubek.
67' While it was always going to be difficult with 10 men, Arsenal have never come close to regaining any control since Sokratis’ dismissal. Indeed, Emery’s decision to introduce Guendouzi in place of Iwobi – who was acting as a good outball up front – has not helped, with the Gunners too often camped in their own half.
Nacho Monreal
Own Goal
65' OWN GOAL! RENNES LEAD 2-1! Well, it has been coming, and now the hosts have taken the advantage. A powerful cross was hit in from the right, and Monreal was only able to divert it past Cech at the near post.
64' Arsenal are unable to cope with Ben Arfa at the moment, and the Rennes forward causes havoc with another weaving run. His cutback is rebounded out to Grenier, whose wayward strike almost falls for Hunou, but the striker can’t take the ball under his spell.
63' SAVE! Ben Arfa goes for goal from the free-kick, getting his effort up, down and on target. Cech, though, gets across to tip the ball over and maintain parity.
G. Xhaka
Yellow Card
62' Clever play from Ben Arfa, who gets the better of Xhaka with a neat turn of pace and some quick footwork, drawing a foul from Arsenal’s midfielder.
61' No penalty! Sarr goes up against Koscielny in the area, eventually going down under pressure from Arsenal’s captain. The referee, though, dismisses Rennes’ appeals for a spot kick.
60' More fine work from Cech, who after stooping low to his left to keep out Bourigeaud’s effort, reacts quickly to keep out Sarr’s strike on the rebound.
58' With Guendouzi’s introduction, Arsenal have switched to a three-man midfield, and Ozil has pushed up to play off Aubameyang. Mkhitaryan has remained at right-back, and is sticking to his task well, though Rennes are sure to target the winger whenever they can.
56' Brilliant play from Sarr, who puts on the afterburners to get the better of Monreal before driving in a cross which somehow evades both Hunou, Ben Arfa and Bourigeaud.
M. Guendouzi
A. Iwobi
53' Here is a change from Emery, and it is a defensive one. Iwobi has offered Arsenal’s greatest attacking threat so far, but he has now made way for Guendouzi.
51' CHANCE! That’s a huge save by Cech, who is well placed to keep out a close-range strike from Bourigeaud, who had ghosted in from the left unmarked. Rennes’ winger has been superb so far.
49' In similar fashion to Iwobi, Bourigeaud looks to pick out the bottom-right corner with a low curling strike, but just generates too much swerve on his effort, and Cech is able to watch it wide.
48' It looks as though Mkhitaryan has switched to right-back, with Mustafi moving central to partner Koscielny. The first opening for Rennes, however, comes down the opposite flank, with Zeffane blazing over from a tight angle.
46' We are back underway for the second half. There have been no changes from either side.
Emery must now rally his players for what is sure to be a difficult second half, and it seems likely he may have to sacrifice an attacking player in order to bring on a defender, with Monreal and Mustafi having had to move central in the closing stages of the first half. 
A frantic first half draws to a close, with the scores level, but it is Rennes who will be smelling blood given that Arsenal have been reduced to 10 men. Iwobi gave the visitors the lead early on, but Sokratis’ red card, quickly followed by Bourigeaud’s thunderous equaliser, has handed Rennes the impetus.
45' CHANCE! That should be 2-1 to Rennes! Bensebaini cuts through Arsenal’s line and drills a low pass into the six yard box, where Sarr is on hand to meet it, but the winger slices his effort off target.
44' Arsenal look for a quick response, with Ozil driving into the area before reversing it back to Aubameyang. He tries to get a shot off, but his effort is blocked, and Rennes are quickly back on the attack.
B. Bourigeaud
42' RENNES ARE LEVEL! Arsenal’s misery is swiftly compounded, as after seeing his initial effort from the free-kick saved, Bourigeaud reacts sharply to thump in a venomous strike on the half volley.
S. Papastathopoulos
Yellow 2nd/RC
41' RED CARD! Sokratis has been sent off! Just moments after fouling Ben Arfa, Sokratis fails to keep up with Sarr, and can only pull back the Rennes winger, giving the referee little choice but to give the defender his marching orders.
40' Sarr has been on the fringes of this game so far, but the winger found himself in a great position then at the end of a flowing Rennes move. Monreal, however, is on hand to make a vital intervention.
B. Bourigeaud
Yellow Card
38' Bourigeaud has picked up the second booking of the game, having lunged in late on Torreira.
37' This is the sixteenth successive campaign in which Arsenal have reached the last 16 of a major European competition, a run that began in 2003-04. The Gunners reached this stage of the Champions League 14 times between 2004 and 2017, whilst also appearing in the Europa League last 16 last season.
35' Ben Arfa thumps in a low strike from the set-piece, but Cech is equal to it, diving to his right to parry the ball away from danger. Rennes work another chance, with Hunou spinning clear of his marker in the area, but he gets too much power on his strike and it sails over.
S. Papastathopoulos
Yellow Card
34' Sokratis picks up the first booking of the game, having scythed down Ben Arfa on the edge of the area.
33' Clever play in midfield from Mkhitaryan and Ozil, who work well together in order to play Aubameyang in, but the striker is just caught offside.
31' CLOSE! Almost a second for Arsenal, as a well-worked free-kick results in Monreal finding space down the left. His cross falls to Torreira, who cushions it into Mustafi, but his strike flashes wide across the face of goal.
29' Grenier delivers a decent cross from the resulting free-kick, but Mexer had gone far too early, and is rightly flagged offside. Hunou has been deemed fit to continue, and is now back on.
28' Another stoppage, as Hunou has to receive some treatment following a heavy challenge by Sokratis. 
26' Mkhitaryan is furious, and understandably so. He was in acres of space down Arsenal’s right, but instead of playing what would have been a simple, yet incisive, pass out to the flank, Xhaka chose the easy option of Mustafi, who powered forward before conceding possession back to Rennes.
24' Ozil drops deep to get on the ball, turning away from his marker before threading a superb pass in behind Rennes’ line, with Iwobi chasing it. He looks to drive in a cross, but Koubek gets there ahead of Aubameyang.
22' Well, Mustafi is going to try and soldier on, though it seems reckless to risk himself, especially with the majority of Rennes’ attacks coming down that flank. Emery will surely make a change soon enough.
21' Mustafi has gone down again, and has made his way to the touchline for more treatment.
20' After that glut of Rennes pressure, Arsenal have just managed to get a foot on the ball in recent minutes, taking some of the sting out of their hosts’ play. The Gunners work it patiently down the right, Ozil and Mkhitaryan combining to play Mustafi in, but his cross is blocked, deflecting out off him for a Rennes goal kick.
18' Rennes are hosting an English side for only the second time in their history, and for the first time since July 2001 when they beat Aston Villa 2-1 in the first leg of an Intertoto Cup semi-final encounter.
16' Mustafi has been given the all clear to carry on, and is back on the pitch. His first action is to concede another free-kick, this time down on the left. Ben Arfa swings it in, but Arsenal get it clear, with Grenier then sending a long-range volley wide.
14' CLOSE! Grenier tries his luck, hammering an effort straight at goal. The ball dips and swerves, but soars just over the top of the bar, although Cech would likely have had it covered.
13' A stoppage in play now, as Mustafi has to receive treatment following a collision with Ben Arfa. The Germany defender is back on his feet quickly enough, but is howling to the touchline. In the meantime, Arsenal will have to defend a free-kick, which will be taken by Grenier, without him.
12' CHANCE! That’s an exceptional save by Koubek! Ozil gets the ball out wide to Iwobi, who this time turns provider with a neat cutback to the centre of the area. Torreira is there to meet it, but his powerful first-time strike is kept out by Rennes’ goalkeeper, with Aubameyang unable to convert on the rebound.
9' Rennes look to keep on the pressure, but Arsenal’s defence cope well, with Torreira then playing a long ball over the top for Aubameyang to chase down, relieving some of the strain that had been applied to the visitors’ line.
7' Emery will be delighted with this start, and Rennes must now settle back into some rhythm. Ben Arfa looks to take matters into his own hands with a driving run, and although his following pass is intercepted, Grenier picks up the scraps. He looks to pick out Bensebaini, but the full-back cannot keep the ball in play.
5' Arsenal have never lost an away game against French opposition. Their only two defeats suffered in France in competitive games came in the 1995 Cup Winners Cup final against Real Zaragoza and the 2006 Champions League final against Barcelona.
A. Iwobi
3' GOAL! ARSENAL LEAD 1-0! Well, Rennes had started well, but are now behind. Iwobi picked up the ball down the left, cutting in before curling a cross-shot towards the far corner, with the ball evading a crowd of players before clipping in off the upright.
Nacho Monreal
3' Monreal will get the assist for that, having played a neat pass into Iwobi down the right. But it was nothing more than a speculative effort by the winger. What a start for Emery's side!
2' A positive start by Rennes, as Grenier gets on the ball in midfield and switches the play out to the left. Bourigeaud looks to take on his marker and whip in a cross, with several team-mates waiting in the area, but Mustafi does well to cut out the danger.
1' We are up and running! Rennes have got proceedings underway.
We are almost ready to go at Roazhon Park, where the atmosphere is electric. The teams are out on the pitch, and kick-off is fast approaching!
Four changes from Emery. Up front, the suspended Alexandre Lacazette has made way for Aubameyang, while in midfield, Matteo Guendouzi is replaced by Torreira – who was sent off late on against Tottenham – while Ramsey, the Gunners’ goalscorer at Wembley, also drops to the bench, with Ozil preferred. Cech starts in goal against his former club.
ARSENAL SUBS: Aaron Ramsey, Matteo Guendouzi, Sead Kolasinac, Denis Suarez, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Bernd Leno.
ARSENAL (4-2-3-1): Petr Cech; Shkodran Mustafi, Laurent Koscielny, Sokratis, Nacho Monreal; Lucas Torreira, Granit Xhaka; Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Mesut Oil, Alex Iwobi; Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
The big games have been coming thick and fast for Rennes, but they have had over a week to prepare for this fixture. Stephan has made just two changes to the side that started against Orleans, with Zeffane and Hunou replacing Hamari Traore and Mbaye Niang – previously heavily linked with Arsenal – respectively. Ben Arfa, who had a torrid time at Paris Saint-Germain under Emery, leads the way up front.
RENNES SUBS: Loic Badiashile, Jeremy Gelin, James Lea Siliki, Jakob Johansson, Armand Lauriente, Romain Del Castillo, Souleyman Doumbia.
RENNES (4-4-2): Tomas Koubek; Mehdi Zeffane, Damien Da Silva, Mexer, Ramy Bensebaini; Ismaila Sarr, Clement Grenier, Benjamin Andre, Benjamin Bourigeaud; Hatem Ben Arfa, Adrien Hunou.
Arsenal, meanwhile, were denied a north London derby victory on Saturday, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang missing a late penalty. Unai Emery’s side were impressive at Wembley, and having eased past BATE Borisov to make it to this stage, will be aiming to extend their unbeaten run in all competitions to five games and take at least a draw back to Emirates Stadium.
Ligue 1 side Rennes – currently 10th in France’s top tier – beat Real Betis by a 6-4 aggregate scoreline in the round of 32, and prepared for today’s clash with a 2-0 Coup de France quarter-final win over Orleans last time out.
Hello and welcome to LIVE coverage of the first leg of Arsenal’s Europa League round of 16 clash with Rennes.