Arsenal: Cech, Maitland-Niles, Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal, Kolasinac, Xhaka, Ramsey, Ozil, Aubameyang, Lacazette

Subs: Leno, Guendouzi, Mkhitaryan, Suarez, Iwobi, Torreira, Nketiah

Arsenal overturned a 3-1 defeat in the first leg to beat Rennes 3-0 in the Europa League tonight thanks to goals from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (2) and Ainsley Maitland-Niles.

Unai Emery kept the same system that worked well in the 2-0 win over Man Utd on Sunday, but made two changes to the side as Petr Cech came in for Bernd Leno while Shkodran Mustafi replaced the suspended Sokratis in the back three.

As in the first leg, the Gunners got off to a great start, opening the scoring in the 5th minute. Arsenal worked the ball over to the right hand side, Maitland-Niles did well in the box, found Ramsey and his low cross to near post was tucked away first time by Aubameyang. 1-0.

A dangerous low cross from the overlapping Kolasinac needed last ditch defending from the visitors to prevent a second goal, but it wasn’t long coming. The ball came down the left, Aubameyang played a one-two with Ramsey, there was a hint of offside, but he stood up a cross to the back post and Maitland-Niles met it perfectly with a thumping downward header into the net. 2-0.

Rennes centre-half Mexer picked up a booking for a foul on Lacazette, the Frenchman also went into the box for a foul on Andre, and the visitors got a bit more organised, pressing well and giving Arsenal much less time on the ball.

Aubameyang shinned an Ozil cross wide as he tried an acrobatic effort in the 35th minute, and a Ramsey effort failed to trouble the keeper after lovely Arsenal build-up down the left hand side involving Ozil and Lacazette. Ben Arfa dribbled a shot at Cech, and things got a bit tetchy as the referee’s decisions frustrated the Arsenal players.

Ramsey needed some treatment for a knock to his knee, but despite not maintaining the level they started the game with, the Gunners were under little pressure and took the two goal lead into the break.

There were no changes from either manager at half-time, but there was danger from the visitors when Mustafi gave the ball away. Grenier fed Niang and his low shot came back off the upright with Cech stretching. A series of niggly fouls tested the patience of the home fans and players, and when some twatbasket went down to try and get Lacazette sent off the referee did well, ignoring the theatrics and eventually booking Grenier for dissent.

Rennes had hardly had a sight of goal, but when Sarr got in behind in the 61st minute it took a brilliant Kolasinac block to prevent him testing Cech from inside the Arsenal area. Traore drove into the box, Koscielny defended well to cut out his cross, and Rennes hit the post once more but the offside flag was up.

Emery made changes in the 69th minute, bringing on Alex Iwobi and Henrikh Mkhitaryan for Ozil and Lacazette, and the Nigerian international almost made an immediate impact dragging a left-footed shot wide after Xhaka set him. But a third goal came just moments later after a lovely move. Ramsey played it to Mkhitaryan, he took it on, waited, fed Kolasinac down the left and his low cross found Aubameyang at the back post for his second of the night. 3-0.

The striker donned a Black Panther mask in celebration which earned him a booking from the referee, before Rennes brought on Siliki for Andre. The Gabon international could have had a hat-trick after good work from Iwobi but poked his close-range effort just wide, and a minute later should have scored again after Iwobi and Ramsey combined to present him a glorious chance at the back post but he miskicked.

Lucas Torreira came on to replace Ramsey with three minutes of normal time remaining, and Rennes pushed for a goal which would take the game to extra-time. Twice the offside flag denied them with a clear sight of goal, Mustafi blocked a shot from Niang, there were some late yellow cards but in the end the Gunners went through to the quarter-finals.

The draw is tomorrow. Well done lads.

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Rennes players screaming louder than teenage girls at a Justin Bieber concert. Glad we spanked them.

Crash Fistfight

Yep, totally deserving. What a load of cheats, the lot of them.

Plus their fans seem to get away with murder: chucking stuff at our players the whole of the second half in the first leg, setting off flares and then chucking stuff at our players when they got pissed off at the end tonight – here’s the sanctions against them?


Ref must’ve been glad when it was over


What a fitting description.
It was extraordinary really.
I was at home thinking “So that’s your plan for victory , really?”

N7 gooner

Couldn’t agree more having been at the game. Not sure if it came across on TV but the rotational fouls, diving and theatrics really were embarrassing. Good riddance!

Viva la Prof

I didn’t like the mask, am I old now?
Great result though

Bob's Mexican Cousin

Surely not both! 😉


Looks like some kind of gimp mask

Dial Square Charity XI

I dunno – I’m old and I prefer the mask to Mesut sucking his thumb. Each to their own…

Viva la Prof

Ha true, didn’t think of that

Ordnance Dave

Your a DC fan?

Crash Fistfight

Anyone know why that constitutes a booking? (Serious question)


Apparently FIFA consider it unsporting behaviour to wear a mask in celebration of a goal, hence the booking.


The actual offense is “excessive celebration”, which is sanctioned as unsporting behaviour.

Viva la Prof

No just poorly executed, I would have been impressed if he did a flip then mid flip put the suit on like black panther does with a button on face. Otherwise like anonomarse says just a gimp mask


Would like to play Valencia or Villarreal. With Coquelin and Gabriel at Valencia and Santi at Villareal that would add some extra emotions to the tie. After having already played against Hleb and maybe we’ll even face Oli and that blue lot in the final. Would be a nice way to the title. #OneCanDream


Sorry, completely unrelated. Wanted to post that as a separate comment.

Jordan Tan

We did it! Now, please, play fully focused one game at a time!

Lord Bendnter

That linesman really got his shit together pretty well after that AMN goal ?


Linesman for MOTM. Holy shit they got all this super tights offside right.


I think he missed one, though… Hahaha


Except ours- but who’s going to complain about an offside error going our way for once?


Get him in the PL


Aubameyang was different level tonight. He missed two chances at the end but he was an absolute beast throughout

Honestly though those BT sport commentators are horrific – we could score from a penalty and they’d still say we were offside

Naked cygan

Totally agree. The co commentator is a bastard. You could tell from the start that he is a spuds can. Anyone know his name? He pissed me off more than the cheating count Rennes players.

Sheffield Goon

Stuart Robson. Ex Gooner. Tosser.


it was all Auba tonight! i think the penalty last week really boosted his confidence so credit to Lacazette for his foresight and selflessness

Crash Fistfight

I had Russian commentary, so I was quite happy 😀


Yeah, I normally turn the commentary off. It’s quite therapeutic!


Well done lads


Fuck Rennes bunch of fairies.


lol…the other day, I literally wrote “f*&% Rennes,” and listed some things about them that I thought were BS (8 days of rest before first leg, very partial refs, home game swapped for first leg, etc) and my comment was denied by the moderators. I figured it was for the swearing, but then this comment is approved? lol…


in this place it’s all about the timing.


All I kept thinking throughout the game was how badly this match needed someone like Santi or Mikel to bring some calmness on the ball.

So glad this tie is over & we’re through!

Crash Fistfight

I was screaming out for the double substitution that eventually came, so I was delighted when it happened.

I was doubly delighted at how much of an impact Mkhitaryan and Iwobi had – we were instantly more dangerous in comparison to the whole of the second half up to that point.

Wasn’t sure about Torreira for Ramsey, but it worked!


Ramseys legs had gone, I was torn between Guendouzi for the attacking and pressing threat vs torreria for the solidarity.
Glad unai chose lucas.


I saw a bit of that in Mkhi today when he came on. On current form, he pips Ozil to the first team I’d say.


Rode our luck at times but overall a professional job


Get in! ??

The team hitting form at the right moment. ?


Exactly, bring on Al-Nasr Dubai FC!


Dont underestimate them. It is a one off ge…. no home game to make a comeback!


Notice how Mustafi nearly undid a fantastic display from himself right at the death.


He had a few moment when he was caught on the ball but mostly because he didn’t have an option to pass


He did two Mustafis, one about 30 minutes in and one right at the end.

Reality check

Every player does one or two Mustafis per game. Mustafi gets highlighted more because he’s Mustafi


Mustafis Mustafis are always the worst Mustafis.


Not true…

Torreira does a better Mustafi.

Lost the ball against BHA which led directly to a goal.

Again got robbed against Soton away and ended in a goal

Then failed to clear against Liverpool which ended in a goal.

That cost 8 points.

But some people prefer to Torreirate their own fantasies.


He also made a couple of very important clearances.




Totally worth staying up till 3:30 AM!!

The only sp*rs i like is san antonio

Yeah, i woke up at 4 am and can only manage to watch the 2nd half. But it was worth


Rubbish game but solid Arsenal performance.

Rennes got their tactics all wrong, pressing high up in the first half. They left us with plenty of space to counter-attack. Then they shithoused in the second half instead of trying to get a goal.

The best thing about this game was the way we defended: we were very disciplined. We got through because we didn’t concede.

Let’s hope for a good draw tomorrow,

Crash Fistfight

Frankfurt, please!


Villareal – to give Santi a send off please.


Inwas surprised they left it so late to put real effort into scoring. If they’d hid us hard early on they could have kept control

Ordnance Dave

Rubbish game? FG take your insulin, your hallucinating again.

Paul Roberts

Are you sharing your analysis with the Rennes manager?


Back to negativity again.

Tony Adams Nose

Well is wasn’t a crap game, it was a very good job done. Well defended clean sheet and 3 goals as required by the fuck up in the first leg. Any coach would have been very proud of that performance. The team delivered everything they were asked to. Mustafi tried to cock it all up but we even survived that! They were diving cheating bastards that never deserved to go through, the ref was out of control falling for their acting, thank God the Lino got it right even though they never converted any of the chances that were off… Read more »


I agree, sort of. After the first 20 minutes we didn’t play forward properly. It felt like they were there for a spanking. After that though, we played really well defensively. No one got roasted.


classic you XD

JJs Bender

Try going to a game fats, then you might enjoy one

Der Kaiser

A clean sheet!

Two genuine ” must win” games in a week to keep season alive. Unai Emery and players deliver!

Only sour note is the importance of a fit and perfoming Ramsey – perhaps the ” boo boys” will now stop and support our players ( at least those who always give 100 per cent.


I don’t think there is a lack of effort, I think we have an honest group of players, some of them just aren’t at the level needed, and some of the clubs in front of us are playing at a very high level.
I also think there’s one or two players who don’t fit into the way Emery wants, they’re good players, just don’t have the right characteristics.


My MOTM was AMN really grown over the weeks.
Auba man made me age 5 years in the last 10 minutes. Just tuck them in. Superb Display overall though ??
Hope Iwobi isn’t suspended.
Also Laca brings so much to the table. Showed today why he’d be the perfect Simeone forward. Glad we have him.


Intensity, intensity , intensity……were fuckin back… a family…..well done Unai.
And welcome to the world AMN…….COOL, CLEAN HERO

Crash Fistfight

I’m gonna be a Debbie downer and make a negative comment.

Why was the stadium emptying at 3-0 with 5 minutes to go?!? If it had gone to extra time, I don’t think playing in front of a half-empty stadium would have been beneficial for our players!


Never understand it. At any point a goal would have suited Rennes. So many late goals these days too.

I stayed but had to run all the way to the station?

Teryima Adi



I can understand that transport can be an issue around the stadium, but when there is a lot riding on the game like you say, then it’s very poor. Fair enough (to a certain extent) if the tie was over.


The facts are that a lot of session richer ghosts live pretty far from the stadium. Some 2-3 hours from London. The 8pm ko doesn’t suit them. I live in Tottenham. Still want home til gone 10.45pm. It’s a real issue at end of matches. I sit right up the back but about 10 minutes before the end i can grab a seat by the exit and watch til final whistle and shoot off quickly.


Not sure if I qualify as a “session richer ghost” but I got home home 2 hours later than you – as always! Good job it wasn’t extra time.

Tony Adams Nose

Yeah Crash, you obviously don’t go much. It’s a freaking nightmare getting home on a week night unless you live close. I was there last season and they (for no apparent reason) closed the station. so we had to line up in the rain for an hour to just ENTER the next station. I got back to my hotel in west London about 4 or 5 miles as the crow flies 2 hours after the match finished. (I could have walked faster). If you live in the suburbs, God help you. I don’t think it’s a choice to leave early,… Read more »

SB Still

Phew, that was a nervy finish. We seemed to have a slight rub of the green. We are through and relived.

I thought it was a good come back…by the ref! At the start of the 2nd half us and them were rolling around for everything, the ref said bullshit to one of the Rennes players and then the teams started playing again.


Comeback masters!


That was a relief. Was hoping for more goals but this will do. Never felt like there was much threat from them anyway.

And what a bunch of diving cheats Rennes are.


You couldn’t dislike Aubameyang, but there’s a lot going on there…………
Leave the mask alone and concentrate on the tap ins!


Wakanda forever! Up the Arsenal!


Bye bye Ben Arfa ?


One of the reasons for the shower of fouls and yellow cards was Arsenal dropping the tempo after the 2-0 goal. With Arsenal going full throttle offensively, they cannot get near. With what I assume was an attempt to play responsible, careful and hold the ball, Rennes were invited back in. They were not good at all, but they nearly got us.

Teryima Adi

A good day at the office. Bring on the draw.


Serious question on away goal rules. The Prague-Seviila match that ended at 2-2 at full time and went into AET with 4-4 on aggregate. Sevilla scored first to make it 4-5 before Prague scored 2 to make it 6-5 and go through. Question – if Prague would have scored only 1 AET and aggregate ended up as 5-5, would Sevilla go through on away goals? Does away goals AET count as decider? Would seem unfair to me.


Yes away goals count in extra time.


I don’t think they do count AET


I don’t think they count AET.

*wtf was I smoking before!

Red Arrow

Really think Kolasinac is playing really well right now. Great assist for third goal and some crucial tackles too. Never stops running for the team. Looking forward to the draw tomorrow. Would be happy with any opposition that doesn’t lead to lengthy travel for the team.


if we win this comp & finish in top 4 would the team that finished 5th be eligible for CL ?

Crash Fistfight

No. The Premier League would retain 4 spots in the CL. If we (or Chelsea) won it and finished outside of the top 4, the Premier League would get 5 spots in the CL (top 4 plus Europa League winner).


For someone with so much pace Auba is the Fox in the box we have been crying out for since Eduardo.


Yes Yes Yes Fuck Yeeeeeees Fockeeeers! I didn’t want to jinx any shit so kept quiet but for me that was not an easy task! great work lads! i love you! FOCK YES!


Black Panther is a gooner


1. I am still a bit worried about Cech.
2. MVP Auba …but boy those chances
3. I was never into that “Rambo is a legend” staff but the way he is saying goodbye is pretty lege…wait for it.