Arsenal were dealt a blow in their Europa League Round of 16 first leg tie against French side Rennes, falling to a 3-1 defeat at Roazhon Park.
The Gunners got off to the best start possible, with Alex Iwobi finding the back of the net inside the first five minutes.
Shortly before half-time however, Arsenal were dealt a double blow. Sokratis was given his marching orders after receiving a second yellow card, and Benjamin Bourigeaud scored from the resulting free-kick, firing in a sensational volley after the initial set-piece shot cannoned back to him after failing to clear the wall.
Nacho Monreal compounded Arsenal’s misery just after the hour mark, turning in a wayward shot at a tight angle past Petr Cech in his own net, while Ismaila Sarr scored Rennes’ third shortly before full-time.
Unai Emery will now hope his side can regroup and come out stronger when they host the Ligue 1 side at the Emirates next week.
From this game, here are four things that we learned:
Sokratis will take blunt of blame
With Sokratis receiving a second yellow so early into the game, the Greek defender cost his side a fighting chance to remain in the first leg tie.
Not only did Rennes equalise directly from the resulting free-kick, but Sokratis also left his defensive teammates with far too much to do.
The challenge that earned him his second yellow was clumsy and unneeded, and borne from his poor positioning.
Petr Cech prevented catastrophe
It’s easy to look at the scoreline and criticise the goalkeeper for not having prevented his side from conceded so much, but the fact of the matter is that without Petr Cech in goal, the tie would be over for Arsenal already.
The Czech stopper couldn’t stop Bourigeaud’s well struck equaliser, and blaming him for not keeping out Monreal’s unfortunate own goal wouldn’t be fair. He held his own, and the scoreline doesn’t do him justice.
Mesut Ozil isn't a big game player
It’s easy for people to hammer down on Mesut Ozil, and it does sometimes feel unfair that he often receives the full force of criticism when things aren’t going Arsenal’s way.
But the German simply doesn’t have the mettle to rise to the occasion when his side desperately need him.
With only ten men, and under the cosh, players like Ozil need to take rank and step up, but Ozil simply let the game pass him by.
Iwobi is much improved
Alex Iwobi won’t get the credit he probably deserves from this performance, due to the manner of the defeat Arsenal suffered.
The Nigeria international constantly threatened, and for the better part of an hour, he probably had one of the strongest performances of his career.
While his performance levels did fade, he certainly made his presence felt.