Arsenal 3-0 Rennes (agg: 4-3): Europa League last 16, second leg – as it happened

By The Guardian | Thu, 14 Mar 2019 22:05:38 +0000 | 15

Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang scored twice as Arsenal overcame a 3-1 first-leg deficit to beat Rennes and reach the Europa League quarter-finals 10.05pm GMT Amy Lawrence’s match report from the Emirates has landed, so I’ll leave you with that. Thanks for your company, congratulations to Arsenal. Bye! Related: Aubameyang the hero as Arsenal beat Rennes and reach quarter-finals 10.04pm GMT Post-match reactionPierre-Emerick Aubameyang “I missed two chances to close the game, but okay. Everyone is happy that we are through. Arsenal have to be proud to have young players like Ainsley. We are all happy. Rennes were a bit nervous and angry, but that’s football. I needed a mask to represent me, so I chose the Black Panther, because in Gabon we call the national team the Panthers.” 9.59pm GMT The line-up for the quarter-final of the Europa League is Arsenal, Benfica or Dinamo Zagreb, Chelsea, Frankfurt, Napoli, Slavia Prague or Sevilla, Valencia, Villarreal. 9.58pm GMT Arsenal started the second leg 3-1 down, yet they were ahead in the tie on away goals by the 15th minute thanks to Aubameyang and Maitland-Niles. It was nervy and scrappy after that, but Aubameyang’s second goal gave Arsenal a safety net and they held on despite a couple of exhilarating late runs from Hatim Ben Arfa. 9.56pm GMT Peep peep! Arsenal become the sixth English side through to this season’s European quarter-finals. 9.54pm GMT 90+4 min Iwobi gets away with kicking Traore off the ball. He could have been sent off for that. 9.53pm GMT 90+3 min Kolasinac is booked for timewasting. 9.53pm GMT 90+2 min A long cross from the left is headed to the edge of the area, where Niang cracks a left-foot volley that is desperately blocked. For the first time in the match, Arsenal are hanging on. 9.51pm GMT 90+1 min Hunou, flagged offside, shoots wide from eight yards anyway. The chance was created by another exhilarating surge from Ben Arfa. 9.50pm GMT 90 min Arsenal are five added minutes away from the quarter-finals. 9.49pm GMT 88 min An electric burst from Ben Arfa, who beats three players and slides the ball through to Hunou, whose close-range shot is smothered superbly by Cech. It wouldn’t have counted as Hunou had rightly been flagged offside. 9.47pm GMT 87 min Arsenal make their third substitution, with Lucas Torreira replacing the excellent Aaron Ramsey. 9.44pm GMT 83 min Aubameyang misses an even better chance, dragging miserablywide from eight yards after some fleet-footed brilliance from Ramsey. It was beautiful play from Ramsey - a kind of two-footed elastico pass, if that isn’t a complete contradiction. It is a complete contradiction. Just watch it on YouTube. 9.42pm GMT 83 min “Ozil has off days, like any player, but he’s far better than the English media are willing to admit,” says Petr Fremont. “For all the silly noises that get spoken and printed, name another player in that side who makes the players around him better when he plays. The more pertinent question is how does the team respond to him and the usual answer is quite well.”Have you been secretly filming the English football media’s Agenda Meetings? 9.42pm GMT 82 min Aubameyang misses a great chance for his hat-trick, stabbing wide from close range after a nice through pass from Iwobi. 9.41pm GMT 81 min Bourigeaud is booked for dissent. Rennes have their sulk on. 9.40pm GMT 80 min “Interesting take on ‘both sides trying it on’,” says Francis Peppett. “I count Aubameyang going down once, to at least 7-8 examples of theatrics from Rennes. Kudos to the ref for not rising to it so far.”I’d argue there’s more than one way to try it on. 9.39pm GMT 79 min Another Rennes change: James Lea Siliki replace Andre. 9.38pm GMT 77 min Mkhitaryan is booked for something or other. Rennes are starting to look resigned to defeat, even though they are only one goal away from taking it to extra-time. 9.36pm GMT 74 min Rennes had to score a goal anyway, so their task hasn’t really changed. The only difference is that a 2-1 scoreline would have put them through, whereas 3-1 would take it to extra time. 9.34pm GMT 73 min Aubameyang was booked for putting a mask on while celebrating the goal. Don’t. 9.33pm GMT Another simple goal for Aubameyang. Mkhitaryan bides his time before easing a pass down the left to Kolasinac, who fizzes a superb low cross into the area. It beats everyone at the near post and is tapped into an empty net by Aubameyang at the far. He might have been offside then, too, though I suspect he was just okay. 9.31pm GMT 71 min Iwobi almost scores straight away. He controlled Mkhitaryan’s lofted pass nicely on the edge of the area before dragging a left-footed shot just wide. 9.31pm GMT 70 min Rennes also make a change, with Adrien Hunou replacing Clement Grenier. 9.30pm GMT 69 min Unai Emery changes two things, in fact. Alex Iwobi and Henrikh Mkhitaryan replace Alex Lacazette and Mesut Ozil. 9.28pm GMT 68 min It’s all Rennes at the moment. Arsenal need to change something. 9.27pm GMT 67 min Arsenal were so good until they went 2-0 up, and then they stopped playing. It’s human nature, I know, but it could come back to bite them because they are a bag of nerves now. 9.26pm GMT 65 min Traore surges forward to win a corner for Rennes. It’s curled towards Bensebaini, who mistimes a flying header onto Koscielny and behind for another corner. That was a chance. Moments later, Bensebaini cracked a fine volley onto the outside of the far post, though he was miles offside. 9.23pm GMT 61 min: Brilliant tackle from Kolasinac! Rennes worked the ball nicely to release Sarr on the right side of the area. His first touch was slightly heavy and that allowed Kolasinac to get back and make a vital sliding block. 9.20pm GMT 60 min The brattish nonsense is so overbearing that it’s easy to forget how close Arsenal are to going out. One Rennes goal is all it would take, unless Arsenal score again. 9.19pm GMT 59 min “I’ve come in late to this game, which seems to be a mix of some football and a lot of something else, perhaps a falling-down contest,” says Charles Antaki. “Have Arsenal scored two very good tumbles? That’s fine with me, but presumably in future rounds the football will become more important.” 9.18pm GMT 58 min Now Arsenal are at it, demanding a custodial sentence for Andre after a foul on Kolasinac. The referee doesn’t show a yellow card this time. I’m not even sure it was a foul. 9.17pm GMT 57 min Sarr drives a cross straight into the hands of Cech. He’s had a very poor game so far. 9.16pm GMT 55 min Lacazette, who has been booked, is penalised for a challenge on Bensebaini. Rennes demand a yellow card, and the referee agrees: he shows it to Grenier. 9.14pm GMT 53 min Both sides are still trying it on with the referee every time there’s a challenge. It’s so boring. 9.11pm GMT 50 min A great long pass down the right from Ramsey releases Aubameyang, who goes around the outrushing keeper Koubek on the edge of the area. The angle becomes too tight, however, and he can only loft the ball into the arms of the recovering Koubek. 9.09pm GMT 48 min Niang’s shot took a deflection off Koscielny, in fact, though I’m not sure whether it would have bothered Cech without that touch. At the other end, Lacazette heads a set piece over the bar from 15 yards. 9.08pm GMT 47 min: Niang hits the post! Mustafi was faffy and lost the ball in a dangerous area to Grenier, who moved it square to Niang on the edge of the area. He took a touch and drove a low shot that beat Cech and rattled off the outside of the near post. 9.07pm GMT 47 min Evening Rob,” says Matt Emerson. “Fancy seeing a picture of Charlie George playing in a charity cricket match? Of course you do – looks like he could have been the next Denis Compton...”Simon Pegg alongside him has aged well. 9.05pm GMT 46 min Peep peep! Rennes begin the second half. 9.04pm GMT “Dear Rob,” says Malte Zumbansen. “Just rushed through an exam to be able to watch as much of the match as possible... didn’t see much of that half but oh what a relief it is to see the Arsenal in the classic kit again. Last week in Rennes was shambolic, but perhaps the most embarrassing thing was the way those mint green kits emphasised the players’ sweat. A fright to the eyes, truly.”You need to play for Brazil in 1982 to get away with that. 9.01pm GMT “Hi Rob,” says Graham O’Reilly. “Anyone noticed how much better Arsenal suddenly are with Ozil back in the team?” I don’t watch Arsenal enough to comment, but I suspect some people would answer your question with a question: anyone noticed how much better Ozil is playing since he was dropped? 8.59pm GMT Offside update Aubameyang was well offside - and in line with the assistant referee - for the second goal. I assume the assistant was distracted by Kolasinac, but it was still a clear and obvious error. 8.51pm GMT Half-time reading Related: Ronaldo’s defining display shows ‘fino alla fine’ spirit is alive at Juventus | Eni Aluko 8.50pm GMT Peep peep! Arsenal are ahead on away goals after early goals from Aubameyang and Maitland-Niles. At that stage it looked like they could run away with the tie, but Rennes dominated possession after that, albeit without giving Petr Cech anything to do. 8.46pm GMT 45+1 min Four minutes of added time. 8.45pm GMT 45 min “Bonsoir Rob,” says James Lewis. “I studied at Rennes Uni back in the day (2000-2001) and regularly attended Stade Rennais games. Decent fans and you could stand, sing and drink with relatively no bother (unless Nantes were in town). My guess is that the fans Tekin Sahan heard shouting (ref: 6 min) were singing: ‘Nous sommes Stade Rennais, nous allons gagner!’ Which of course they won’t now...” 8.45pm GMT 44 min Both teams are trying it on all the time with the referee. It’s getting very tedious. 8.43pm GMT 42 min Ramsey is receiving treatment. He slipped when trying to foul Andre and is limping to the touchline. I think he’ll be okay to continue. The Rennes corner is eventually played short to Ben Arfa, who hits a feeble shot through to Cech. 8.42pm GMT 41 min Traore wins a corner for Rennes. Arsenal are starting to look a bit frazzled in defence, and the mood of the game has changed significantly in the last 15 minutes. 8.40pm GMT 39 min A good move from Arsenal. Ozil ghosts infield from the right and slides a pass to Lacazette, who lays it off first time to Ramsey. He opens his body to sweep a rising shot from 20 yards that is too close to Koubek. 8.39pm GMT 37 min “Rob,” says Simon Xu, “just wanted to point out his name is Bourigeaud, not Boungeaud! Talented young player.”Ach! Thanks. I blame my inadequate eyesight. 8.38pm GMT 36 min Ben Arfa, playing in a free role, is looking increasingly dangerous. He beats Xhaka and Maitland-Niles with ease on the left and whips another dangerous cross that skims off the head of Mustafi and away to safety. 8.36pm GMT 35 min “Just waiting for the away team to get more frustrated and start squaring up to Arsenal players,” says Matt Dony, “so the ref can advise them to ‘Walk away, Rennes.’ I’m here all week. Try the horse.” 8.35pm GMT 34 min Ozil’s flat, curling cross is scissor-kicked well wide by Aubameyang. He shinned it. 8.34pm GMT 34 min Rennes are getting increasingly radged off with the referee, and the game is heating up nicely as a result. 8.33pm GMT 33 min “Hoping Arsenal keep going and win tonight,” writes Peter Tuhill. “We have family watching it from UK, Canada and New Zealand so there will be a global meltdown if they blow it!” 8.32pm GMT 32 min Lacazette is booked for a clumsy scissor tackle on Andre. 8.31pm GMT 30 min A superb, dipping cross from the left by Boungeaud is lumped away a little awkwardly by Kolasinac. Rennes have been excellent in the last few minutes. 8.29pm GMT 28 min Aubameyang accidentally studs Da Silva in the chest as he jumps for a high ball. The Rennes players, already hacked off with the second goal, are fuming that Aubameyang has not received at least a yellow card. 8.26pm GMT 26 min Traore tries a snapshot from 20 yards with his left foot. Throw in to Arsenal. 8.26pm GMT 25 min Rennes suddenly look much more sprightly going forward. The second goal has probably reinforced their clarity - they know that if they don’t score, they are out. 8.24pm GMT 23 min Boungeaud’s corner is a stinker, straight out of play on the other side of the field. 8.23pm GMT 23 min Ben Arfa has come alive. First he flips a fine pass over the defence that just evades the stretching Boungeaud, and moments later he wins a corner down the left. 8.21pm GMT 21 min If Rennes aren’t careful, this could be over by half-time. They look a bit shell-shocked. 8.19pm GMT 18 min Moments after Monreal is not booked for taking a shortcut through the back of Grenier, Mexer is booked for an aerial challenge on Lacazette. That seems a bit harsh. 8.18pm GMT Rennes are not happy with this goal. It was made by Aubameyang, who came infield from the left and played a square pass to Ramsey. He zipped it first-time towards Kolasinac, who realised he was miles offside and ignored the ball. Aubameyang ran onto it and stood up a lovely left-footed cross that was headed in decisively at the far post by Maitland-Niles. At first I thought it was a good goal, and clever play from Kolasinac to ignore the ball. But replays suggest Aubameyang was probably also offside. There’s no VAR in the Europa League. 8.16pm GMT Arsenal double their lead! 8.14pm GMT 13 min Arsenal have been excellent so far, both with and without the ball. Rennes look slightly shocked by the speed and intensity of the game. THEY DON’T LIKE IT UP ’EM. 8.12pm GMT 11 min Lacazette and Aubameyang combine to release Kolasinac, whose dangerous low cross is booted clear by Mexer. 8.10pm GMT 9 min Maitland-Niles leads an Arsenal counter-attack, shoving the ball down the right for the speedy Aubameyang. He wins a corner, which is headed away decisively by Mexer. 8.07pm GMT 6 min “Hi Rob,” says Tekin Sahan. “I heard some chanting outside my house this afternoon and went outside to see what it was and saw a march by several hundred Rennes fans under a police cordon marching through Camden Street presumably towards the Emirates. They seemed like a jolly bunch. I waited till they were out of sight and screamed ARSENAL! behind them as any hard man would do.”I know you won’t believe it, but English football fans used to behave like that. 8.06pm GMT It was a good team goal from Arsenal. They moved the ball nicely from left to right, where the overlapping Maitland-Niles had a bit of space. He waited for support and then played a short pass infield to Ramsey, whose low cross on the turn was sidefooted into the net from four yards by Aubameyang. 8.05pm GMT That didn’t take long. 8.04pm GMT 4 min It’s been a lively start from both sides, with no suggestion that Rennes have a bus to park. 8.03pm GMT 3 min In other news, here’s Dom Fifield’s match report on Chelsea’s 5-0 win in Kyiv. Related: Olivier Giroud’s perfect hat-trick fires Chelsea into Europa League last eight 8.02pm GMT 2 min “I wonder how this Arsenal side would fare against their greatest team,” says Duncan Edwards. “You know, Wilson, Rice, McNab, Storey, McLintock, Simpson, Armstrong, Graham, Radford, Kennedy, George.”Textbook stuff. 8.01pm GMT 1 min Peep peep! Arsenal kick off from right to left. They are in red and white; Rennes are wearing their black change strip. 7.54pm GMT The player are in the tunnel, ready for another night’s work. Prediction: Arsenal 5-1 Rennes (AET). 7.49pm GMT The early games have finished, with Chelsea, Napoli and Valencia going through to the last eight. Valencia were going out to FC Krasnodar until Goncalo Guedes scored in the 93rd minute. Related: Dynamo Kyiv v Chelsea: Europa League last 16, second leg – live! 7.28pm GMT On today of all days #OnThisDay in 1998...Marc Overmars silenced Old Trafford pic.twitter.com/v2uDZljF0Q 7.27pm GMT Some pre-match reading Related: Aubameyang and Lacazette pals’ act drives Arsenal towards bigger things | Amy Lawrence Related: Rennes admit surprise at Uefa reprieve for Arsenal’s Alexandre Lacazette 7.10pm GMT In other Europa League news, Chelsea went to Kyiv with a 3-0 lead from the first leg. You will not believe the score! Related: Dynamo Kyiv v Chelsea: Europa League last 16, second leg – live! 6.57pm GMT Arsenal (3-4-1-2) Cech; Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal; Maitland-Niles, Ramsey, Xhaka, Kolasinac; Ozil; Lacazette, Aubameyang.Substitutes: Leno, Mkhitaryan, Torreira, Iwobi, Denis Suarez, Guendouzi, Nketiah.Rennes (4-4-2) Koubek; Traore, Da Silva, Mexer, Bensebaini; Sarr, Andre, Grenier, Bourigeaud; Ben Arfa, Niang.Substitutes: Badiashile, Zeffane, Doumbia, Lea Silki, Del Castillo, Hunou, Gelin. 6.32pm GMT A main course of shallot and chicory tatin, young vegetables, new potatoes with chestnut dressing never hurt nobody. But despite the almost parodic gastronomic options at the Emirates Stadium, and the nu-footy reputation, it has become an intimidating place for away sides. Only Manchester City have picked up more league points at home than Arsenal in each of the last two seasons, and they were again impressive in beating Manchester United at the weekend.Arsenal’s home form – and the bonus availability of Alexandre Lacazette – means they are most people’s favourites to go through to the last eight of Europa League despite their 3-1 defeat in France a week ago. Even the Rennes manager Julian Stephan thinks so. “Arsenal remain favourites given their past and their experience,” he sniffed. “The only thing I think is that we will need to score there, at least once, if not twice.” Continue reading...

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