Martin Keown slams Unai Emery for three decisions during Arsenal’s shock defeat to Rennes

Unai Emery’s Arsenal were beaten by Rennes (Picture: Getty)

Martin Keown criticised Unai Emery for three decisions during Arsenal’s shock defeat to Rennes in the Europa League.

The Gunners were expected to comfortably progress to the quarter-finals of the competition after being drawn against Ligue 1 side Rennes in the last-16.

But a 3-1 defeat away from home has put the Premier League side firmly on the back foot ahead of next week’s second leg at the Emirates.

Alex Iwobi put Arsenal in front after only three minutes this evening but Sokratis’ first-half sending off turned the game on its head.

The Greek defender was dismissed after two yellow card offences, the second of which led to Rennes opener as Benjamin Bourigeaud scored from the subsequent free-kick.

An own goal from Nacho Monreal and a late Ismaila Sarr header saw Rennes clinch an impressive 3-1 victory.

Speaking immediately after the defeat, Arsenal legend Martin Keown criticised Emery’s decisions to take off Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alex Iwobi and said Henrikh Mkhitaryan was exposed at right back.

He told BT Sport: ‘Total disappointment.

‘Arsenal were ill-disciplined and that’s cost them. Sokratis being sent off changed the game. They were in complete control before that.

Rennes will take a 3-1 lead into the second leg (Picture: Getty)

‘There was several decisions for the manager to make and he got them all wrong really.

‘Aubameyang going off… He would have been perfect on the counter, Iwobi had more to offer before going off.

‘Mkhitaryan playing at right back [after Sokratis was sent off]… he was completely opened up. But congratulations to Rennes, they deserved that.’

Premier League legend Michael Owen added: ‘It all went wrong in 60 seconds.

‘They were comfortable until the red card and the goal. That last goal is a real killer.’

On Aubameyang’s performance, Owen added: ‘It’s always hard when you go down to ten men.

‘You’re always going to be starved of the ball. I was a little surprised he cam off. You need pace in those situations.’

MORE: 10-man Arsenal suffer humiliating 3-1 defeat to Rennes


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