Emery admits Arsenal ‘wanted to hold’ slim deficit

Unai Emery has warned French side Rennes that Arsenal will be up to the challenge of overturning their 3-1 deficit when the sides meet again.

Arsenal went ahead after only three minutes in fortuitous circumstances, as Alex Iwobi’s low cross evaded everyone before finding the bottom corner.

But, things would take a turn for the worse when Sokratis was shown a second yellow for pulling down Rennes youngster Ismaïla Sarr who was through on goal.

From the resulting free-kick, Benjamin Bourigeaud would strike into the wall, but his follow up was far more impressive as he rocketed the strike past Petr Cech and into the top corner.

The second-half was one-way traffic, and Rennes finally moved ahead when Nacho Monreal diverted Mehdi Zeffane’s cross beyond Cech.

A rapid counter attack would allow top-scorer Sarr to net a third for the hosts, in what could be a crucial goal in the context of the tie.

Speaking to BT Sport, Emery said: “We controlled the first 40 minutes and scored and this is the first target but after the red card we cannot control it.

“When we were 2-1 down it is difficult to have a better result. We wanted to hold the result but Rennes won the first 90 minutes.”

“Now, we have another 90 minutes at home in front of our supporters and we want to be positive, it will be 11 v 11 again.”