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[Ratings & goals] Rennes 3-1 Arsenal: Sokratis stupidity costs gutless Arsenal

By on March 7, 2019

Arsenal fell apart in France after blowing an early lead and having Sokratis sent off en route to a 3-1 defeat to Rennes in the first leg of our Europa League last-16 tie.

We made a dream start as we broke the deadlock in the 4th minute with Alex Iwobi finding the bottom corner with an attempted cross that evaded the Rennes defence as well as goalkeeper Tomas Koubek.

Arsenal dominated for long periods but failed to score a second goal and it cost us dearly as Rennes levelled things up just before the break. Sokratis was sent off after collecting two quick bookings and Benjamin Bourigeaud smashed home in to the top corner after seeing his free-kick hit the wall.

Rennes took over in the second half as we struggled to cope with being a man down and the home side took the lead when Nacho Monreal put through his own net from a Mehdi Zeffane cross in the 65th minute.

A 2-1 defeat would have been a good result given the circumstances but we left ourselves with a mountain to climb after conceding a late third when Ismaila Sarr headed home at the far post.

Here are my ratings:

Cech  7.5/10 | Could do nothing about the goal as it was a stunning strike and made a number of saves to keep us in the tie. Also solid coming for crosses. Top display against his former side.

Mustafi  6/10 | Had a shaky start but went close to making it 2-0 midway through the first half. Not our worst defender for once.

Sokratis  4/10 | Two silly bookings saw him sent off just before half time and it cost us the game. Very disappointing from the Greek international.

Koscielny  5/10 | Failed to step-up and lead the team when we needed him. We were all over the place at the back once we went down to 10 men.

Monreal  5/10 | The pace of Sarr caused him huge problems all night. Was a little unlucky to score the own goal to give Rennes the lead.

Xhaka  5/10 | Very fortunate not to be sent off. Gave away too many silly fouls and was over-run in midfield.

Torreira  /10 | Should have made it 2-0 but saw his shot saved. Big miss

Mkhitaryan  6/10 | Did reasonably well after being moved to right-back after the sending off. Although their third goal came from a cross down his flank.

Ozil  6/10 | Played some delightful passes in the first half but missed a good opportunity to make it 2-2 just before being subbed off.

Iwobi  7/10 | A little fortunate with the opening goal as it was a cross but was looking dangerous until they equalised. Was surprisingly the man sacrificed early in the second half.

Aubameyang  5/10 | Missed a couple of chances in the first half that he should really have done better with and his touch was off all night. Seems to have lost some confidence in front of goal recently.

Subs:

Guendouzi  5/10 | Added some energy in the second half but was woefully slow at getting back to help out for the third goal.

Ramsey  5/10 | Couldn’t really have any impact. Was asked to lead the line up front after replacing Auba.

Kolasinac  N/A | On too late.

This was another night to forget for Arsenal as we went from totally controlling the game/tie, to capitulating after the sending off and we’ve now left ourselves with a mountain to climb just to get through. In truth, it was a gutless display with 10-men. Man Utd up next on Sunday….

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