As it happened: Arsenal overturn first-leg deficit against Rennes
Photo by Getty Images/Shaun Brooks

As it happened: Arsenal overturn first-leg deficit against Rennes

Follow the live text commentary of Arsenal vs Rennes in the Europa League. Kick-off is set for 20:00 GMT.

jakehorwood
Jake Horwood
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That brings an end to our coverage of the Europa League clash between Arsenal and Rennes. Stay tuned at VAVEL UK for more match coverage including reports, analysis and details from press conferences. I've been Jake Horwood, and until next time, thank you and good night!
Arsenal will now eagerly anticipate the quarter-final draw, which takes place at midday tomorrow.
It's been a fantastic month of European football for English clubs, rounded off by Arsenal's victory here. All four Premier League teams have made it to the quarter-finals of the Champions League, while the Gunners now join Chelsea in the same round of the Europa League.
Aubameyang stole the show tonight. Beyond playing a part in all three goals, scoring twice and assisting the other, his pace and movement terrorised the Rennes defence all game long. The Gabonese hitman was certainly the key component as Arsenal overcame a difficult challenge to reach the next round.
Summary
Arsenal got off to a perfect start with Aubameyang's well-worked 5th-minute opener. Maitland-Niles doubled the home side's advantage with an emphatic header to put the Gunners ahead on the away goals ruling.

After the break, Rennes pressed to earn a vital away goal, but instead it was Arsenal who scored again as Aubameyang notched his second to send the Gunners through to the quarterf-finals.

FULL-TIME
There it is! The final whistle at last for Arsenal. They join their compatriots Chelsea in the quarter-finals.
CHANCE
96' Rennes squander a late opportunity to send the game to extra time. The ball drops kindly for Sarr but he fails to make meaningful contact with the ball. Cech has to stretch, but it may have been heading wide anyway.
YELLOW CARD
94' Traore becomes the fourth Rennes player in the referee's book for an altercation with Iwobi.
91' There will be five minutes of added time.
SUBSTITUTION - ARSENAL
88' Arsenal make their final change of the game as Torreira replaces Ramsey.
CHANCE
83' Another one wasted for Aubameyang. An intricate pass from Ramey sees him through on goal once again, but he can't adjust his body in time to score.
CHANCE
82' A big chance for a hat-trick for Aubameyang. A perfectly-weighted pass saw him unleashed one-on-one with Koubek, but it's first touch was slightly too heavy and the striker was unable to recover the opportunity.
YELLOW CARD
81' Another Rennes player booked for dissent - it's Bourigeaud this time.
SUBSTITUTION - RENNES
79' Siliki comes on for Andre.
YELLOW CARD
Aubameyang shows his delight by celebrating with an extravagant mask. The referee subsequently booked the striker.
GOAL - ARSENAL - AUBAMEYANG - 3-0
72'  There it is! The crucial third goal for the Gunners!

Kolasinac is released down the left flank and whips a sumptuous cross for Aubameyang at the back post. Arsenal's prolific goalscorer was never missing that.

CHANCE
72' Xhaka chips a ball to Iwobi on the edge of the box, who takes a touch to compose himself before firing a left-footed shot inches wide of the post.
SUBSTITUTION - RENNES
71' Grenier comes off and Hunou takes to the field.
SUBSTITUTIONS - ARSENAL
69' Mkhitaryan replaces Özil, while Lacazette makes way for Iwobi.
66' Bourigeaud lofts a ball for Bensebaini, whose spectacular volley crashes against the far post, though the flag had been raised for offside.
65' Traore gets to the byline but Koscielny is able to block the cross. Rennes are making it uncomfortable for Arsenal currently.
61' A vital tackle from Kolasinac. Niang sets Sarr through on goal but his first touch is heavy and the Bosnian is able to slide in and clear the danger.
Rennes really look to be pushing for that crucial goal in this second-half. They are committing more bodies forward and pressing with greater intensity than they had in the first period.
YELLOW CARD
55' Grenier is booked for dissent towards the referee after Rennes appealed for a foul to be given against Lacazette.
CHANCE
49' Down the other end, Arsenal have a free-kick in a dangerous position. Mustafi rises high to meet the ball at the back post and it falls for Lacazette to head home, but the Frenchman fails to react in time.
CHANCE
47' Rennes come agonisingly close to equalising. Grenier dispossesses Mustafi in the attacking third and sets up Niang on the edge of the area, but the striker's driven effort strikes the outside of the post.
KICK-OFF
46' We're back underway at the Emirates.
Well, it's not been the most eventful half of football, but perfect as far as Arsenal are concerned. Goals from Aubameyang and Maitland-Niles put them level in the aggregate score but set to reach the quarter-finals due to the away goals ruling.

Having said that, Rennes are a solitary goal away from making it problematic for their hosts.

HALF-TIME
Latvian referee Andris Treimanis brings the first-half to a close. It's currently Arsenal 2-0 Rennes.
There will be four minutes of added time.
CHANCE
39' Arsenal work it nicely as Özil feeds Lacazette in the box. The Frenchman tees up Ramsey on the edge of the area, but it's an easy save for Koubek.
Goalscoring opportunities have been limited here but Rennes are growing back into the game. This tie is certainly far from over.
YELLOW CARD
31' Lacazette is booked for a poor challenge on Andre. It wasn't pretty and the midfielder looks hurt by the challenge.
27' There's a minor break in play as Da Silva comes off worse from a collision with Aubameyang.
It's not an exaggeration to say Arsenal have been utterly dominant so far. Rennes have restricted them to limited chances but they've scored with each valuable one that they have created. The French side are struggling, but a single goal could make it difficult once again for their hosts.
GOAL - ARSENAL - MAITLAND-NILES - 2-0
15' Arsenal are level on the aggregate scores!

Aubameyang and Ramsey play a one-two in the Rennes box before the Gabonese striker lofts a ball to the back post where Maitland-Niles was lurking. It was a simple yet emphatic header from the Arsenal academy graduate.

11' Arsenal are pushing for the second goal. Kolasinac and Aubameyang exchange down the left flank and the Bosnian whips a dangerous ball across goal, but Rennes are able to clear.
Relief in the Emirates. That's a massive goal for Arsenal. One more is needed and they're set to go through.
GOAL - ARSENAL - AUBAMEYANG - 1-0
5' Exactly the start Arsenal needed!

Maitland-Niles drives down the right and feeds Ramsey, who cuts the ball back for Aubameyang, in the right place at the right time, to prod home.

2' Andre attempts an ambitious shot but it fails to trouble Cech.
KICK-OFF
1' Arsenal get us underway.
The teams are walking out now. Kick-off is imminent.
Rennes line-up
Here is Rennes' squad for tonight:

Koubek; Traore, Da Silva, Sitoe, Bensebaini; Sarr, Andre, Grenier, Bourigeaud; Ben Arfa; Niang.

Subs: Badiashile, Zeffane, Doumbia, Siliki, Del Castillo, Hunou, Gelin.

Arsenal line-up
Here is Arsenal's squad for tonight:

Cech; Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal; Maitland-Niles, Ramsey, Xhaka, Kolasinac; Özil; Aubameyang, Lacazette.

Subs: Leno, Mkhitaryan, Torreira, Iwobi, Suarez, Guendouzi, Nketiah.

That's it for now. Live commentary will resume around an hour before kick-off as we bring you the team news.
Team news
Arsenal midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan faces a late fitness test for a back injury.

Both Alexandre Lacazette and Lucas Torreira return from suspension.

Rennes have no fresh injury concerns.

Julien Stephan quotes
Many sides may see a backs-to-the-wall display as the best option for defending a 3-1 advantage over Arsenal, but Stephan wants his side to compete in this game as they would in any other.

"We are here with the ambition to score at least one goal. If we just want to defend we are going to be in a lot of trouble.

"We are going to go and try and play and show our strength on the pitch and create some problems for Arsenal, who will obviously be much stronger than they were in the first leg.

"It is up to us to put ourselves in the best positions to go and score a goal."

Unai Emery quotes
Though Arsenal fans may be discouraged by the position they find themselves in, Emery insists he is relishing the challenge ahead and is confident that everyone will pull together for the occasion.

"For us, it's one positive issue because we want to play big matches, tough matches against the best teams. Tomorrow is one such match.

"We need to be together and create a big atmosphere in the Emirates with our supporters to help us to do the best performance possible in 90 minutes. We need to play with high emotion with our supporters but taking clever decisions on the pitch."

Emery was also full of praise for his side's opponents, Rennes, but is adamant that he and his players can turn the tie around.

"They are a good team in a good moment and they have quality with different players. They have spirit and have fresh players playing offensively.

"In the first 90 minutes they beat us and tomorrow we want to show it can be different. But we have a big respect for them."

A testing trial for Arsenal
Make no mistake of it, this will be an arduous challenge for Emery and his squad, and a mighty feat should they pull it off.

Since the Europa League was founded in 2009, just one team has overturned a 3-1 deficit from the first leg - that was Fulham against Juventus in the same year.

Arsenal will take encouragement from the fact that they overcame a similar obstacle in the last round. A substandard 1-0 defeat at the hands of BATE Borisov was followed up by an effortless 3-0 victory for the Gunners in the reverse leg at the Emirates.

Last time out
The first leg at Roazhon Park was a night to forget for Arsenal.

Despite getting off to the perfect start with Iwobi's 3rd-minute opener, Sokratis saw red shortly before half-time and the visitors were pegged back by Bourigeaud's equaliser.

Emery's ten men struggled in the second-half as a Monreal own-goal put Rennes ahead, and the misery was compiled on the Gunners further when Sarr added a late third.

Hello and welcome!
Hello and welcome to VAVEL UK's live commentary of the Europa League clash between Arsenal and Rennes. I am Jake Horwood and I will be taking you through all the action.
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