Rennes manager Julien Stephan has admitted it’s a surprise that Alex Lacazette will be available to face his team tomorrow night.

The French side come to the Emirates with a 3-1 lead from the first leg, but were expecting the Gunners to be without a key component in their attack – something which would have made their lives a bit easier.

However, this week UEFA reduced the three game suspension to two, meaning he can face the Ligue 1 outfit if selected.

Speaking ahead of the game, Stephan said, “The timing is rather surprising for everyone involved.

“We didn’t think he would be included up until yesterday evening. They have decided to reduce his sanction from three to two games and that is great for him.

“Now we are going to have to prepare with that in mind.”

It’s not the first odd decision surrounding this tie, as Rennes were supposed to play at home in the second leg, but this was changed shortly after the draw was made.

“The first thing that was a bit strange was changing the first and second leg,” continued the 38 year old .

“This is now the second thing that has happened that changes. Hopefully, there will not be any more surprises and the referee tomorrow will be great.”

newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Lord Bendnter

Rennes….the Arsenal of Ligue 1


Lord Bendtner… well I have nothing more to add

Leno me, I’ll be your friend

LB’s been a decent commenter on here for a while, so give him the benefit of the doubt. Pretty sure, especially given the context of the article, all he meant was that Rennes are getting some dodgy decisions go against them – our usual scenario. Laca is ace, and he was bullied into that red card, but you have to admit, if you were a Rennes fan this would all seem suspicious as hell. Even as a lifelong Gooner I do feel like we’ve been given preferential treatment due to our big status in this cup. Don’t get me wrong… Read more »

Leno me, I’ll be your friend

‘dodgy decisions’ as in if you were in their (Rennes) shoes you may feel hard done by, regardless of whether UEFA can justify the action or not.

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

Hope the referee doesn’t try to compensate Rennes with a PK or denying our 2-0 goal.

Teryima Adi

Conspiracy theory


Isn’t that pretty much what we do around here? 🙂


Raul joins us from Barcelona.
UEFA calls start going our way.

Now THAT is a conspiracy theory!

A Different George

Certainly, we always complain about how clubs like Madrid, Barca, and Bayern get special treatment in scheduling and discipline because UEFA doesn’t want the top teams knocked out early. Well, in this competition, we (and Chelsea) are the big clubs.

Lord Bendnter

Hahaha Thank you Leno me, I will definitely be your friend.
I’m no Fatgooner tryna throw in one controversial comment after another ?

Ya gooner

Surprise mother fucker


Now guess who’s coming to dinner!

Teryima Adi



Some fries mother fucker


supplies mother fucker


Sartre lies, Brother Tucker.


Heh not vey subtle in what he is implying.
Dont worry Rennes no more surprises.
And the ref for tomorrow will be great.

This just in tommorows referee is Steve Bould everyone. Could this be an advantage to the team coming to defend, well see.


Rennes already had a big favour handed them by the French FA. They had their game postponed to give them a rest before their home tie. And Sokratis gave them a helping hand by vacating the field early. C’mon! Stop moaning.


If only English FA were that considerate, at least they let Kane, Alli and Son dive away without reprieve the clowns


As a Gooner and a football lover I say he’s got a point…a straight red (right or wrong) is a 3 gamer…it has now been turned into a 2 gamer…i reckon UEFA worked out Arsenal is better box-office (and more revenue) than an obscure team from Brittany…this is the way football is going, I don’t like it and it wont be long now before i get off this particular bandwagon and start tending to my allotment instead.

SB Still

Hmm how about…RVP being sent-off against Barca for kicking the 2 secs after the ref’s whistle to stop play?

Financial Fair Play – Chelsea, ManC buying the titles?

Going back earlier, Fergi, his ‘influence’ and Fergi time.

This time we are benefiting but I don’t think the football world was ever fair – FIFA, UEFA, World Cup venues, the list goes on!

Bob's Mexican Cousin

Why stop at football? The have-nots have less and less, each day.


Trump becoming US President has got be top of the list


Supporting Arsenal is “this particular bandwagon”?? You really should have got off and joined the Man.City bandwagon in 2008.


Football is the bandwagon in question…


Confused you must be. A straight red is a two game ban in EUFA but they added another game because of the severity of the crime (??) – that’s where inconsistency came in and was rightly reversed on appeal.

Fixture reversal was presumably down to conflict with Chelski games and need to maximise TV revenue. We had the early kick off second leg last time, so their turn this time.

All clear now?

Paul Roberts

Well said Sir no conspiracy here move along…?


Clear as mud. Rule 48.1 of the UEFA Regs stipulates 1 match ban for a straight red which can be augmented depending on the perceived severity and mood of the disciplinary committee…hope that helps.

Jack gunner

Why shd he be surprised?Lacazette was goaded into retaliating. Perhaps UEFA and the
FA shd punish the perpetrators who deliberately provoked the victim.
These guys shd perhaps be given a 5 to 10 match ban .Then maybe we will see
an end to this type of incidents.
BTw,Ronaldo scored a penalty against AM for a gentle nudge by Juventus player.
The push by Fred on Lacazette was a 100% penalty. I disagree with some analysts
who said it did not warrant apenalty.

Naked cygan

UEFA just feels bad for us with all the shit we have been through.

Billy Bob

Yeah will be great if the ref sends off one of your players and see how you deal with it!!!

Gudang Bedil

Nah, they were playing dirty in the first leg afterall, fell too easily and looking for a foul everytime. So a well deserved surprise.

Teryima Adi

UEFA are amoeboid in nature.


I’m coming to despise the Europa League. Having to play teams that see the match against you as the “biggest european tie” in their history just gives the opposition (and its fans) something to go nuts about. Please let us get back to playing teams like Lyon and Inter who, while easy fodder the mighty Arsenal, at least have some pedigree in Europe. That’s not a slight on Rennes by the way (or Koln last year), I hope they come to dominate Ligue Un for years to come, just lets have a bad game tonight eh lads. Let the obviously… Read more »


He elbowed a chap in the face due to frustration, 3 game ban seemed reasonable to me. If a ban was overturned like this for the benifit of our rivals we would be outraged and crying conspiracy!


Exactly my point…2 wrongs dont make a right


The elbow wasn’t to the face and the guy was all over him, their players were throwing themselves to the ground holding their faces every time a player came near them, so I’m glad they’re upset, they’re a horrible divey cheatey team. Hopefully we get a strong ref, and if not then maybe the home fans can intimidate him like theirs did. COYG!


We love our own new found ‘shithousing’ but moan about everyone else doing it as ‘horrible divey cheaty’


That’s just part of the shit housing though


I think there’s a big difference between standing up for yourself and being divey and cheaty, which is why I love Kos and Papa, and don’t like Lichtsteiner, who stirs shit for the sake of it. I never want us to stoop to the level of the goblins down the road, who throw themselves on the floor, smash their elbows into everyone’s faces and set out to hurt players, like their cousins the Orcs; but a bit of wind up, like the Mertesacker/Holding job they did to Costa is delicious. There’s a big difference as far as I’m concerned.


Let’s hope, laca surprises them for real, with a hat trick in first half!?