Arsenal took an early lead but a red card for Sokratis Papastathopoulos changed the game as the Gunners slumped to a 3-1 defeat at Rennes.

In all, it was a night of tightly-contested Europa League last 16 first leg ties on Thursday.

Villarreal and Dinamo Zagreb also won and the other two early games, Sevilla versus Slavia Prague and Eintracht Frankfurt versus Inter Milan, ended all square.

Arsenal had never lost to French opposition away from home in 12 previous European games and they took an early lead.

What looked like a cross from Alex Iwobi evaded everyone and sneaked in at the far post early on.

Playing in their change turquoise-green shirts, the English side looked to be in control.

However, the match changed completely four minutes before half-time when Papastathopoulos was sent off for a second bookable offence.

Rennes equalised from the resulting free-kick when Benjamin Bourigeaud rifled home at the second attempt and they came out for the second half looking far more positive than the London side.

The French side went ahead 20 minutes into the second half when Mehdi Zeffane’s shot looped off defender Nacho Monreal into the net.

Ismaila Sarr made it 3-1 two minutes from time when he powered home a header from a lovely curling left-wing cross.

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