Arsenal scored an away goal before a red card and three goals conceded left them with a lot of work to do in the second leg once again.
Playing in Roazhon Park in Rennes, Arsenal started fast with a goal from Alex Iwobi. They were in complete control of the tie until a Sokratis Papastathopoulos red card and an immediate goal following the sending off led to everything falling apart.
Let’s have a look at our individual player ratings for the clash.
Petr Čech 6
Čech’s distribution was poor in the first half, kicking the ball straight out of play on multiple occasions. He did make a number good saves though, but with the number of shots he ended up having to face after Arsenal went down to 10-men it wasn’t enough to stop Rennes scoring three.
Shkodran Mustafi 3
At first playing at right-back, then moving to centre-back after the red card, Mustafi didn’t have a good game in either position. His passing was inaccurate, Rennes got in behind him too easily and he only made a combined one tackle/interception in the entire 90 minutes.
Sokratis Papastathopoulos 3
The second yellow card was extremely harsh, with Sarr arguably making more contact with the Arsenal defender than the other way around.
Nonetheless, Sokratis giving the referee the opportunity to make the decision against him left Arsenal with an impossible task for the rest of the match. He has to take much of the blame for that. Before that, he was looking pretty solid, which makes it even more of a shame.
Laurent Koscielny 6
Koscielny was Arsenal’s best defender, even if that’s not saying much. He completed all but one of his passes throughout the 90 minutes, and made a few important tackles and interceptions.
Nacho Monreal 4
Monreal had a very busy game, having to deal with a constant threat from the wide positions. As a result, he made seven tackles and five interceptions, far more than any other Arsenal defender.
Nonetheless, he ended up putting the ball into his own net for the second goal and was caught out too far upfield for the third. In the end, all his good work was undone by those moments.
Lucas Torreira 6
Torreira was solid, working hard for the team and making fewer mistakes than many of his teammates. Unfortunately, he couldn’t help create a vital second away goal and will now sit out Arsenal’s clash with Manchester United through suspension.
Granit Xhaka 4
Xhaka misplaced a couple of passes, which fuelled the usual arguments against his inclusion in the team. More importantly though, he couldn’t control the game as well as he usually does. That was largely thanks to Arsenal being down to 10 men, but it was still disappointing.
Mesut Özil 5
It took until right before he was substituted for Özil to create a chance or have a shot, so it’s fair to say he was kept unusually quiet. He did some good work in the build-up play though.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan 6.5
Mkhitaryan was probably most hard done by after the red card. He had to cover at right-back for the remainder of the match, and he actually did a very good job, making four tackles and keeping up an 89% pass accuracy rate.
It’s a shame he was left completely alone on that side of the pitch through no fault of his own.
Alex Iwobi 6
Iwobi got the early goal that should’ve put Arsenal in control of the tie. He played well and provided a good outlet for the team until the red card, then he ended up being sacrificed just 12 minutes later so Unai Emery could try and take control of the midfield with Matteo Guendouzi.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang 3
Aubameyang had a disappointing performance considering the expectations on him to deliver in Alexandre Lacazette’s absence. He wasn’t up to the physicality of the game, and should’ve done better with one or two chances.
Substitute 1 – Matteo Guendouzi 3
Almost immediately after coming on, Guendouzi was far too easily dispossessed twice, setting the tone for a pretty ineffective performance. The midfielder did make a fair few tackles, but despite playing less than a half of football he still didn’t seem interested in tracking back on counters, which is how Rennes scored their third goal.
Substitute 2 – Aaron Ramsey 6.5
Unlike Guendouzi, Ramsey came in willing to put in a shift for the team, and his energy improved things at both ends, if only marginally. By the end of the game he was playing up front by himself, which wasn’t exactly ideal.
Substitute 3 – Sead Kolašinac 3
Kolašinac may as well have not come on, as he barely did anything at all. In 11 minutes he only attempted three passes and completed one of those.