Rennes 3-1 Arsenal: Ten-man Gunners punished in Europa League
Rennes capitalised on Sokratis Papastathopoulos’ first-half dismissal to take control of their Europa League last-16 tie with a 3-1 first-leg victory over Arsenal at Roazhon Park.
Alex Iwobi’s third-minute strike laid the foundations for a positive start from the Gunners, but that was undone on 41 minutes when Sokratis was sent off for a second bookable offence.
Rennes took full advantage instantly as Benjamin Bourigeaud’s thunderous volley from the resulting free-kick hauled the Ligue 1 side level before half-time.
A Nacho Monreal own goal on 64 minutes was compounded two minutes from time when Ismaila Sarr powered home a header to leave Unai Emery’s side with a mountain to climb in next week’s return leg at the Emirates.
Applications for tickets could have sold out Roazhon Park three times over and the home support made a cauldron of noise which only intensified as the game got underway.
But Arsenal silenced to crowd with an away goal inside three minutes as Iwobi’s low cross from the left caught goalkeeper Tomas Koubek out and nestled in the far corner.
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