Arsenal renaissance at the right time to cruise into EL last 8

Arsenal have cemented their place in the last 8 of the Europa League tonight, demolishing Rennes 3-0 at the Emirates Stadium.

We didn’t have to wait very long to get ourselves right back into the tie, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang opening the scoring in the fifth minute of the match.

Only 10 minutes later we scored with only our second shot of the game when Ashley Maitland-Niles headed into the net. This goal was slightly controversial to be honest… Aubameyang was offside before running onto the loose ball, before crossing across the box to find the young full-back at the back post. As simple as that we have overturned the deficit and would be be hot favourites to go through.

Our opponents did try to get themselves back into the tie after the break, and almost did just that as their main striker gained some space on the edge of the box, only to beat the goalkeeper and be denied by the post…

I feel like the second half was pretty even on reflection, but we were all the more clinical in front of goal. Aubameyang was found by Kolasinac in the box to put the game safe with around 20 minutes remaining, but our opponents best chances came in the final 10 minutes.

Thanks to some offside calls, we escaped some rough looking times in the dying moments of the game, with their players being caught by the flag as they look scarily close to breaking through to a one-on-one with Petr Cech on more than one occasion, but thankfully the decisions were on our side, or extra time may have ensued…

Was the performance as flattering as the scoreline? Do Rennes have anything to feel hard done-by about? Who was your man of the match?

Pat J


  1. Niles scoring at exactly His shirt Number ?… Another awesome performance from Niles today… Keep it up bro… Sweet Victory

  2. Good to see a bit of bite and heart at last. Great win against Unishited and a hearty display this evening. Brilliant! A kitty about the French tactics but it was what they deserve. Again well done lads up and onwards!!

  3. Those Rennes players were moving like used-up toilet rolls – rolling around on the floor at the slightest touch and they ran to the referee for EVERYTHING. Well done Arsenal.

  4. For those of you criticizing Emery, you are all short sighted if you can’t recognize a world class coach when you see one.

    1. Five tough away games ahead

      Emery Out Brigade will come in full force if Arsenal gain bad results from those games

    2. Its not exactly alone the likes of keuon helped telling who to play he was deviding the players morinyo way

  5. Job done and form continues. Maybe Emery found the best lineup. AMN if he can add consistency to his game the lad could sparkle.

    Happy with advancing, happy with moving up to 4th over Utd, now above Spuds into 3rd.

    Question is, finish 3rd does it buy Emery extra funds in the Summer? How about adding Europa league champs; does that get him extra funds to build a team that can challenge now?

    Heat is on the Kronkes’ now; Emery is delivering, now time for Kronkes’ to back up their big speeches with big funds.

    Are Kronkes’ full of ambition, or full of $hit?

    Stay tuned until this Summer

    1. Winning the Euro league would see us wrack up 150 million which would add about 3 top-class players for that price.

      1. @killamch89
        where you get those figures from mate? for winning the europa, somehow i very much doubt it. Although we’d all welcome the trophy but im not sure that much money is involved here in europa league winnings.

        1. Based on stated prize money, Arsenal have earned €8,560,000 for performance so far. Additional payments for performance are as follows: Quarter-finals: €1,500,000, Semi-finals: €2,400,000, Losing finalist: €4,500,000, and Winners: €8,500,000. Assuming that we win it all, we will total €20,960,000.

          Separately, you earn money based on the market pool distribution which is dependent on your tv market. We could reasonably expect to get an additional ~€30,000,000 for that if we won it. So total of about €50M in direct revenue this year.

          The real kick is being able to complete in the Champions League next year and the additional revenue from sponsors, which I would assume is worth a lot.

          1. I agree, hoping used for transfer funds and not collecting cobwebs in Kronke’s padlocked wallet.

          2. Thanks Gooner Abroad for the clarificatiin. I think making the Champions League is worth approximately £50 million.

            1. GoonerAbroad, would you believe that winning the FA cup actually earns a club more money?
              When I last checked, it was £30,000,000 plus.

              The real draw with the europa cup is, of course, the winners enter the CL.

              The really interesting question, if we do win the europa cup, is will UE see the extra money earnt?
              After all, we’re still trying to find where the money from previous cup wins etc have gone.

              1. According to the FA website, total winner’s purse is only for Third Round Proper entrants, which is where the big teams like Arsenal enter, is only £6,795,000. I can’t find any information on tv money allocation, so I’m not sure if there is a pot of money divided for that too (I would assume that tv money stays with the FA).

                1. Ken, I’m with you; the big question remains unanswered – with all the revenue (tv rights, Champions League etc), where did the money go?

        2. @waal my bad I was looking at the champions league winners prize money lol. We’d get something like 30m for being in and winning the entire competition.

      2. When you say 150 mill does it include the fact we,d be playing CL next season?cause the winner of europea gets only few millions no more than 6/7 millions.

  6. Overall it was a great performance by the team, despite it was not Ozil’s and Aubameyang’s best game. Ozil looked devoid of vision and Aubameyang missed two sitters again, despite scored two

    Excellent tactical decision again by Emery, using 3-4-1-2 at the beginning and switched to 4-2-3-1 with some spot-on substitutions. Lacazette could not get off his markers, but both wingbacks were superb in penetrating Rennes’ defense

    The CBs, especially Monreal, were excellent in anticipating Rennes’ attacks. Xhaka and Ramsey also had good understanding with their teammates and defended/ attacked well

    1. What is wrong with you fellow Gunner? Again you are on Aubameyang for missing when he scored two goals! Take heart we won the game partly because of Aubameyang’s goals. We should learn to look at positives than than dwelling on negatives all the time. It is a miserable way to live. We live in an imperfect world not a perfect one. Be happy that we have won the game against all odds.

        1. Thank you, David. Neil and I predicted 3-0. I hoped for clinical finishing and strong sound defense. Arsenal delivered with a clean sheet and the scorers took enough chances to score 3
          I would have loved to be wrong, if Arsenal won 5-0 and Aubameyang scored 4!

      1. I’m glad with the win, but I wish Aubameyang can improve his composure and accuracy next time

        Missing golden chances like that could be costly in EPL

      2. I keep saying it we have some of the worst fans,I ,m ashamed when I read some comments,criticising manager,players even after a good win,clueless a lot are,COYG!!!

  7. Into the last 8, great comeback after losing so badly in the 1st leg. After beating Utd on Sunday it seems we have abit if fight for EL & Top4, Emery has done well to get us here. With our fixture list in the league not that bad bar Wolves away we have as good a chance as the other clubs. Well done gooners

    1. Under Emery, Arsenal are very strong in home games, including beating the big teams. Yet the away forms are miserable

      I believe those mid-table teams would not fight as hard as they did at the beginning of this season, but Arsenal should stay focused. Especially when they are still involved in EL

      1. gotanidea, FOCUS is the operative word. The goal of top four is achievable as is the Europa League title. The players now know what they have to do; turn up ready to play for each and every game home and away until the end of the sesson and follow the coaches instructions. COYG.

            1. Oh sorry Sue, I didn’t see it ? I think deep down you knew we were through as well ? gunners looking great we put utd to the sword and you have 5 days off, can’t ask for more than that ?

              1. Very deep down ? we did play well tonight.. AMN – what a player! What a header!
                I bet you want one of those masks ?

                1. Oh yeah just ordered mine on eBay ? great talent, I’ve said that for ages Sue.. when everyone was drooling over Reiss Nelson, I said Maitland-Niles is miles ahead of him and got laughed at. Also got laughed at for saying Arsenal should sign De Ligt from Ajax And was told on here I don’t know what I’m talking about we don’t need another young Mustafi he’s been tracked by all top clubs now! Haha your gonna listen next time ??

                  1. ?? well I think it’s clear to say you know what you’re on about!
                    Of course John ? looking forward to the draw now! See big Oil had a hat trick ?

                    1. Haha thanks Sue there’s some young kids on here playing too much FIFA on their game consoles who think they know it all but I’m not easily offended so it doesn’t bother me. Oh yes who do want ? I’ll take Slavia Prague ? haha yes Kiev are pitiful aren’t they ? Harry Kane standing on a crossbar promoting Harry’s razors crap Razor and crap advertising ?

                    2. I haven’t looked to see who else is left in it ? that’ll be time to turn over whenever that advert comes on then ???

                    3. Slavia Prague, Benfica, Chelsea, Napoli, Valencia, Eintract Frankfurt, Villarreal ? haha aren’t you curious to see it ? ?

                    4. After seeing that I don’t really mind John ? I’ll have a look only if you tell me he falls off the crossbar?!! See enough of him ?

                    5. We owe Valencia one after that John Carew goal in the champions League quarter final 2001 and 2003 3rd time lucky ? ? Haha no such luck Sue he was perched on that crossbar tighter than a budgie ?

                    6. Damn it… thought you might have said he slipped – one leg either side of the bar ouch!! ?
                      I’m all for 3rd time lucky John!! Both draws are going to be good!
                      Tighter than a budgie?? love it!

                    7. Haha when Harry Kane can grow an adult beard then he can do shaving ads ? haha that is a Ouch moment ? I’ll have some of that Sue ? still annoyed about them 2 games ?

                    8. Haha the razor companies will get any old rif raf to advertise their products!!
                      What’s the betting we draw Valencia now then? So we can have revenge (Just so you can put those memories to bed!) & what’s the betting on Mustafi having a stormer of a game just to show them what they let go?? Hahaha

                    9. Mustafi to send Arsenal into the Semi’s and a new contract ? Yeah but Harry Kane has the personality of a sloth ? we’ll Sue enjoy the draw, I’m sure I’ll pop on sometime later to make a prediction ? I’ll have to start charging at this rate ?

                    10. I saw an article earlier saying 3 of Napoli’s players are out injured for 3 weeks, so a major doubt for our game Chiriches, Diawara & Insigne. Wasn’t that Chiriches a spud? ?
                      Should be a good game… wonder if we’ll see another mask ?

                    11. Yes I think he was Sue ? I don’t know I just think we’ll beat Napoli, Serie A is inferior to the premier League we shouldn’t fear any Italian team other than Juventus let’s not forget a terrible utd team went to Italy and beat Juve and also AC Milan beat Napoli Quite easily a few weeks ago ? you might see a couple masks coming out ?

        1. I want us to analyse Arsenal’s shaky away form. Is it psychological or was it brought about by poor team selection and mounting injuries? I am tempted to believe it was a combination of all the three. Once the team starts losing games due to the latter two the former (psychological) sets in. This now becomes a bigger issue because it takes long to restore the players’ confidence. Similarly when the players have confidence it no longer matters whether they are playing at home or away. The loss of confidence could be brought about by injuries or suspensions to key players. When some players realise that the people filling certain positions are not good enough they become despondent and lose the fighting spirit. It takes a motivational coach to lift them up like Emery has done. Once the confidence is restored the team will be unstoppable. This is a kind of vicious cycle. Thus I am convinced that with our current confidence level we can beat any team regardless of whether we are at home or away.

    1. Finally some positivity!do you have some more?a lot of people could do with some always complaining even after like you this week!!!

  8. anyone else tryna work it to Unai Emery is an utter an complete dullard – no matter what angle we choose to look at it – he’s doing fantastically well, yes?

    1. I always said it,all people have to do is compare our;transition” to man utd, man utd 4/5 years,few managers,about 400 millions if not more,arsenal few months,one manager and look where man u are behind us,if only our fans behaved like theirs towards our players,manager!

  9. I am curious about AMN’s best position. I thought his best position was in the midfield but lately he has shown that he can deliver goods as a wing back. What a gem!!! I rate him higher than all our youngsters including Guendouzi

    1. Great run to the far post by AMN to meet the cross from Kolasinac with a powerful downward header.
      Strong in defense as well.

  10. Man of the match Ainsley Maitland Niles. The last few games he has come of age. He has overcome a somewhat lackadaisical attitude and had real urgency tonight. I’ve said in the past he may not be good enough but the last few games have shown he’s got it. Well done AMN.

  11. Cech had nothing much to save and the defence was superb. AM-N DEFINITELY MOTM for me. A nervy evening but really there was no reason to be. Our defence at long last looks looks it contains defenders who can actually defend. How long since that can have truthfully been said? Eh Wenger? AS POSSIBLY THE SINGLE FAN ON HERE WHO HAS MOST SLAUGHTERED OUR DEFENCE FOR MANY YEARS PAST AND CORRECTLY TOO, tonight was, for me anyway, a landmark performance. Bless you and thank you SO MUCH Unai!

    1. jon, watching over again I think Cech got a finger tip to the strike which hit his right post.
      Great to see some mongrel in our defense. The boys are not being intimidated.

  12. The pass of Arsenal’s attack is faster then how psilocybin wants to play, but him laca and auba is currently our best top 3.

    Credit to unai for seeing the change was needed. He brought on composure and energy in Mhkit and Iwobi. Also allowing a line of 5 with 2 up top. This allowed us to control the middle better and mhikt was allowed to run infield.

    I was let’s see before the game. Defineatly during it I was high

  13. Brilliant performance, the second in five days.
    Congratulations to UE and all of his squad, we couldn’t ask for more.
    AMN and Kolasinac are simply improving with every game and they both had wonderful performances tonight.

    Ramsey was a man possessed, just how are we going to find such a professional player?

    Keep this going and who knows what we can achieve?
    As Martin Keown has just said “a perfect performance really”, what more can we ask for?

  14. Keep faith in Unai

    Some fans forget that Emery won this competition 3 times and 3 years in a row, so that experience is helpful in trying to get us to go far in this competition

    Anyway, fantastic comeback

    Onwards and Upwards

    1. ForeverGooner, Unai Emery keeping Arsenal still in the fight for the Champions League places in March, as a new coach, is also impressive.

  15. Someone send my greetings to that jackass called Ben Arfa… who’s laughing now mate… it’s Unai and Arsenal

      1. I don’t think Unai gives a flying fig what Ben Arfa thinks; he will already be analysing where Arsenal can improve and thinking of the preparation over the three week break for the next match against Newcastle. Consumate professional.

        1. Absolutely Ozziegunner ? Unai showed class when asked about his thoughts on Ben Arfa laughing at him.. he praised the player! Maybe Ben Arfa should learn some professionalism from “The Man” Unai Emery.

  16. I said straight after the 1st leg we will definitely go through, I have faith in the team, and in the manager ! Still absolutely delighted, this Arsenal team are showing steel something that we’ve lacked for so long! Nice break now and we go again against Newcastle. COYG

  17. A very good performance from the guy
    our defenders really worked their foot off today .
    i hope AMN continues this way , and Auba need to be more ruthless in front of goal .
    love thank black panther celebration .

  18. Start believing folks. I said it was possible.
    Emery’s got this. When was the last time time Arsenal has turned up exactly when needed in multiple big games???

  19. OT:paul scholes has resigned as oldham mananager,how did he do it?he sent a whattsapp message to the owner!he tslked to no one(board,directors….)he knew he was not up to it,7 games,one win first game,3 draws,3 losses,like neville he learnt that criticising as a pundit is easy,he could give it but couldn,t take it,he now blames the club what a muppet!!!

  20. I’m glad with the win… Impressed a lot by Emery’s selections and the performances of the players.
    I knew Ozil needed to be subbed and we needed Mhki to come in just to balance our attack once again. I applauded when Emery made the change, it paid off.
    I’m hoping we get Frankfurt or Villarreal.
    I wanna see Santi come back home once more, even though it’ll break his heart because we’ll kick em out

  21. Auba worked his socks off and took his goals well but missed two absolute sitters immediately after the 3rd goal.
    First he was put through by the irrepressible Iwobi (bring on the haters), then he was also put through by Ramsey and he somehow contrived to miss when it was easier to score on both occasions.
    We could have been punished if not for lucky offside calls twice after some mazy runs by Ben Arfa.
    Big shout out to the defence who handled the Rennes attackers well especially Mbaiye Niang who has scored against us previously while playing for Watford.
    Niles was the brightest light in defence. Not by number of interceptions or tackles won but by his sheer composure on and off the ball with a maturity that belies his age.
    On the other end of the scale, Mustafi hard one of his usual brain farts and inexplicably presented the ball to a Rennes attacker who subsequently hit the post. Phew!
    Lacazette was lucky not to be sent off for his lunge and follow through especially after the way the Rennes player yelped and rolled on the floor thereafter.
    Finally kudos to Emery for tactical nous and making the players focus on the pressure week a match at a time.
    The difference between us and the top teams is efficiency and ruthlessness. The likes of City and Barcelona displayed the above characteristics and ended up with score-lines of 7-0 and 5-1 respectively, Wednesday night!

      1. He did get the ball but was booked for intent as he did lunge in and also caught the Rennes player with his trailing leg. The play-acting by the Rennes player could have earned him an early shower cos he gave the referee a decision to make.
        I agree that the Rennes players were an absolute disgrace and I wouldn’t be surprised if they were told to do so by their coaching crew to get another numerical advantage in the tie.

  22. It’s nice to be in the Final 8
    Slavia Praha

    1. Sevilla got knocked out last night,inter also!!I,d love Chelsea to get napoli next round !!!who would you want chelsea to get next round??

  23. Good game, we won, nothing to get hyper excited about, it was only Rennes
    ManU dispatched PSG
    Pool dispatched Bayern
    City dispatched Shalke
    Tots dispatched BVB
    Ronaldo dispatched Atletico, Ozil disappeared again.

    1. Oh yeah and we dispatched United at the weekend and I bet that was nothing to get hyper excited about either….. jeez ??

        1. How could I forget? We are the first to team to beat OGS in the PL…. ? come on mate, be happy – what a week we’ve had ?

          1. Sue, from his post history, red and white never wants to see Arsenal under Unai Emery achieve any success.

        2. It was only Schalke 14th in the bundesliga! Hardly European powerhouses! We once beat Inter Milan away 5-1 but of course beating Schalke is a better result because they’re called Manchester city and everyone has an erection over pep Guardiola

            1. Haha the mighty Pep goes where the money is let him take charge of Burnley see how magical he is ?

                1. In fairness to mourinho he won the champions League with Porto no 50 million quid superstars, what has pep done that was extraordinary? Won the champions League with Barcelona I could of done the same with that team! He won the league in Germany with Bayern who completely dominate German football, Unai wins the French league and people say PSG are dominant no big deal, hypocrisy at its finest. Haha yes Sue and no cashmere sweaters at turf moor ??

  24. I thought Kocielney and Ramsay were top class and our wing backs were excellent.Sadly , Ozil disappointed on the big stage yet again.

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