Arsenal seemed to be in control in the first half at Rennes, although after taking a very early lead we seemed to sit back and try to soak up the pressure rather than go in for the kill. We paid for that when Sokratis got his second yellow and we had to play over half the game with ten men. Petr Cech, who was many fans Man Of The Match, pinpointed that as the crucial moment in the game. “The turning point was the red card because they managed to score from the resulting free-kick.” Petr told Arsenal.com. “When we went down to 10 men in the first half, it became a lot more difficult. We were unlucky with the second goal because it was an own goal from a deflection, but I thought we were still in the game. I think the biggest disappointment is the third goal because at 2-1, you go home and you know that there’s a result where you’ve scored away at home and you can overcome it. We can still overcome a two-goal deficit because in the end the goal we scored might play a big part, but we made it a little bit harder for ourselves.”
Cech also thinks that the French side had the other benefit of a weeks preparation, as he went on to say:”… They had the advantage because they were fresher as they didn’t have any games over the weekend. We had to dig deep and with the unlucky second goal, you go and think we’ll take 2-1 because maybe there will be an opportunity to score to make it 2-2. Then we lost 3-1, which is a bit of a complication.”
But the big Number One still thinks we have a good chance to turn it around, as we have many times previously. “Of course. At home we can win. We created some chances today as well so we have to be positive. We’ve done it in the past where we’ve been 2-0 down and have overcome the deficit. One positive is that we can give it a go in the week to overcome it.”
It is definitely a fact that we are a much better team in front of our own supporters, and if we play with our usual confidence at home I am sure we can still progress as well. But it won’t be easy!