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Europa League 2018/2019 - 3 reasons why Arsenal completed their comeback against Rennes

Elvis Ume O
Modified 20 Dec 2019, 22:05 IST

Arsenal celebrate their win against Stade Rennais in the UEFA Europa League Round of 16: Second Leg
Arsenal celebrate their win against Stade Rennais in the UEFA Europa League Round of 16: Second Leg

After the latest round of Europa League matches, we are now down to the last eight and contrary to what many people believed possible, Arsenal are still in the tournament, very much in the running for a first-ever Europa League crown.

The Gunners had stuttered in the first leg, falling to a 3-1 defeat to Stade Rennes with a lifeless performance, leading many to write off their chances of qualification.

However, the Londoners followed that setback up with arguably their best all-round performance under Emery as they posted a 2-0 victory over Manchester United at the weekend in the EPL to hand Ole Gunner Solskjaer his first Premier League loss as Manchester United boss.

They used the momentum gotten from that morale-boosting victory to post another impressive result on Thursday night, defeating Rennes 3-0 to progress to the quarterfinals.

In the process, Arsenal became only the second club in Europa League history to overturn a first leg 3-1 defeat after fellow Londoners Fulham did so against Juventus during the course of the 2009/2010 season.

With their season having been restored back on track after earlier wobbles, Arsenal can start to believe they can go two better than their semifinal appearance last season. In this piece, we shall be taking a look at three factors which made Arsenal progress at the expense of Rennes.

#3 Their superior firepower

Arsenal has quality in all departments.
Arsenal has quality in all departments.

Even though they might be the subject of online bants and social media jibes by rival fans, the truth is that Arsenal is still among the biggest clubs in Europe, occupying a space reserved for only the upper echelons in world football.

Given - they might be some way off the likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona, Juventus, Manchester City and the likes when it comes to quality, but the bottom line is that there are very few clubs in Europe who can boast of having better players than Arsenal (you can literally count them with both sets of fingers - go ahead, try it).


Players like Mesut Ozil, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alex Lacazette, Petr Cech, Henrikh Mkhitaryan but to name a few are all top class seasoned international players of the highest level who can break into almost any team in Europe.

By contrast, Rennes players are largely unknown quantities (with all due respect) and are nowhere being near the levels of their Arsenal counterparts.

To put this in perspective, Rennes's best player up till his point - Ibrahim Sarr is being linked with a transfer to Arsenal next summer and if the move pulls through is undoubtedly going to be a step up in the Guinean's career trajectory.

Although football might be a beautiful game with lots of upsets, the truth is that such upsets are rarities and more often than not, the team with the higher quality sails through and on the night, Arsenal's superior quality shone bright and aided in their qualification to the quarterfinals.

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Published 15 Mar 2019, 08:42 IST
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