The team selection saw Ozil picked to play with Auba. Some have been suggesting this is a decent pairing, complementing each other, as do Rambo and Laca.
Iwobi got us off to the perfect start with his curler towards the far post which sneaked in past the unsuspecting keeper.
There seemed to be an awful lot of French players pretending that they’d been cracked on the head. Ben Arfa was the worst culprit, the disgusting little maggot.
Arsenal’s attacking play was very slack. Auba couldn’t trap a blind rabbit and Mesut didn’t seem to want to repay any of the manager’s faith in him.
We seemed to be lacking that link between Xhaka/Torreira and the front 4, a scenario we’ve seen several times already this season. Micki should be realising this and stepping into the breach but instead was fairly anonymous. Iwobi also seems a luxury away from home when his other three attacking partners are under-performing.
Having said that, both Torreira and Mustafi should both have done better with very respectable chances within the Rennes penalty area. We seemed to be in control on the whole, barring some sort of outside intervention. Cue the ref.
Sokratis had received his first yellow when the cheating Ben Arfa fell over him which was to prove costly 5 minutes from half time when the referee was conned by another French dive as Big Sok barely touched the onrushing striker who went down as if he been felled in the forest.
So, down to 10 men and made worse when the lad taking the resultant free kick hit a pearler as the ball bounced back to him off the wall. Cech had no chance as the ball flew past.
Iwobi was subbed shortly after half time with Guendouzi coming on in his place. We really needed 3 or 4 additional subs at that moment but that’s not allowed.
Nothing stupid, lads, see if we can salvage a draw with a man down. Oh dear, what followed was a flashing near post finish from Nacho, while Auba was debating with the ref whether it was a corner or not, putting paid to any notion of salvaging parity.
Other chances followed but it did seem as though we might take a 2-1 defeat back to the Emirates and finish the job there. But then to be caught with so many men forward in the 88th minute though, was unforgivable. How stupid can a team collectively be?
Rennes deserved to win despite their transparent cheating, diving and all-round shit-housing. If I never see Ben Arfa’s piggy-like face again, I’ll be happy. Oh no, just remembered, he’ll be at the Emirates next week.
On this showing, we stand virtually nil chance of winning the tiddly winks cup let alone the Europa. Complacent, lazy, idiotic, gutless – all words which could be applied to our team’s performance in this first leg.
Originally the thought of 17 days without a game for the second half of March seemed a terrible prospect; now it doesn’t seem so bad. Then again, a decent result on Sunday might make me think differently.
Cech – made some good saves – not much he could do about any of the goals … 7
Mustafi – persistently requiring treatment in the first half but none of his injuries forced him off … 5
Koscielny – as captain he leads by example – Arsenal required someone to scream at them in tonight’s game, lifting them up to perform at a higher level, didn’t happen … 6
Sokratis – unlucky to be sent off as the first yellow was soft and second was an obvious dive as far as I could see – Ben Arfa pleaded for the ref to send him off and then winked at Big Sok as the ref produced the red – it was almost as if it had been a deliberate tactic from Rennes … 6
Monreal – not his best game – didn’t have the legs or cover ahead of him to cope with the winger’s pace – great OG … 5
Xhaka – he’s ok if he’s looking at the game in front of him but on the turn he’s pretty redundant – some really sloppy passing when we needed sharpness … 5
Torreira – I still don’t understand why Emery wants him to play so far forward sometimes – miles out of position for the third, no idea why he would think that was sensible … 5
Ozil – really poor all night – earn your money, man, put in a shift – slack … 4
Mkhitaryan – he seemed to be in good form coming into the game – shame he didn’t bring it to France – did ok as a makeshift right back though … 5
Aubameyang – absolutely dreadful – worse first touch than Adebayor – clueless … 3
Iwobi – not a game for him, unfortunately, but gets an extra point for scoring a majestic curler … 5
Guendouzi – where was he meant to be playing? – I’m not sure he knew – all over the place is probably the best description … 5
Ramsey – showed more spirit in 20 minutes than Mesut had shown in 70 … 6
Kolasinac – on for the ineffectual Aubameyang … 6
Emery – Wenger was always berated for not being able to motivate players – this performance fell into the same category – he must be so angry … 6
Le Wagner – better team on the night … 7