Emery’s Arsenal look to overturn Europa deficit after first leg Rennes defeat


The Gunners have a job on their hands to reverse the 3-1 defeat suffered at the hands of Rennes a week ago.

Unai Emery, a master of winning the Europa League, needs his Arsenal team to wipe out a first-leg defeat for the second time in a row after their comeback against BATE Borisov in the round of 32.

Rennes are enjoying their first ever European campaign with goals from Benjamin Bourigeaud, Ismaïla Sarr and a Nacho Monreal own-goal cancelled out an Alex Iwobi early opener after Sokratis Papastathopoulos saw red during the first half.

They claimed the runners-up spot in Group K after three successive defeats before then impressive dispatching Group G winners Real Betis in the round of 32.

Rennes had only ever faced only other English opponent before Arsenal’s visit to the Roazhon Park last Thursday, losing to Aston Villa over two legs in the Intertoto Cup in 2001.

This will be Arsenal’s 26th fixture against French opposition, winning five of the last 12 and losing three. They have won four out of their five two-legged UEFA ties against French sides, although their most recent clash saw them lose on away goals to Monaco in the 2014/15 Champions League round of 16.

The north London club will be desperate to make it further than the semi-final achieved last season in this competitions as the Gunners embark on their second successive Europa League campaign after 19 seasons in Europe’s elite competition.

The English club will need top scorer Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang firing should they stand a chance of reaching the quarter-finals. The Gabonese international has a history with Rennes from his St Etienne days, assisting the winner against Rennes in the 2013 French League Cup final.

Emery is unlikely to make many rotations to the side that lost out in France despite being the manager to use the most players in the competition (30).

The Spaniard has taken charge of more Europa League games than any other coach (69), the 47-year-old needing to use all of his nouse in order to inspire Arsenal to overturning the first-leg deficit and reaching the Europa League quarter-finals.


About Author

Comments are closed.