Alexandre Lacazette

Arsenal boost: Alexandre Lacazette eligible for 2nd-leg Rennes clash

Premier League giants Arsenal have this evening confirmed that Alexandre Lacazette’s European ban has been reduced.

Rennes 3-1 Arsenal

Arsenal travelled to France last week for the first-leg of their Europa League last-16 tie with Rennes.

The Gunners no doubt headed into proceedings at Roazhon Park confident of securing a positive result, with their hosts’ form to this point in the campaign (8th in the Ligue 1 table) having left a lot to be desired.

And the hopes of Unai Emery’s men were buoyed by an early go-ahead goal, as Alex Iwobi notched his 5th of the season to set up what many assumed would be a comfortable evening for the visitors.

However, what unfolded over the subsequent 85 minutes in France saw Arsenal self-destruct, to dig themselves into a hole ahead of this week’s return-leg in North London.

After Sokratis Papastathopoulos was given his marching orders for a second bookable offence 5 minutes shy of half-time, Rennes immediately took advantage to pull level through Benjamin Bourigeaud.

Arsenal Europa League

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and team-mates during the UEFA Europa League Round-of-16 First-Leg match between Stade Rennais and Arsenal. Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images.

Things got worse for the English giants just past the hour-mark, when Nacho Monreal put through his own net.

And a thoroughly-miserable night for all involved with Arsenal was capped off 2 minutes from time, when Ismaila Sarr netted a 3rd for Rennes, to send the hosts into the tie’s second-leg in firm control.

Lacazette returns

But, as per the aforementioned update, Unai Emery’s Gunners have this evening been handed a boost in their uphill battle to keep the club’s European season alive.

Thursday’s matchup at the Emirates will see Alexandre Lacazette available for selection.

French hitman Lacazette had originally been due to sit out the clash through suspension, on the back of the straight red card he picked up during Arsenal’s Europa League last-32 first-leg meeting with BATE Borisov.

However, the North Londoners have since confirmed that, following an appeal, UEFA’s Ethics and Disciplinary committee have decided to reduce Lacazette’s ban to 2 matches, rather than the original 3.

As such, with the former Lyon man having already missed Arsenal’s last 2 Europa League outings as a result of his suspension, Lacazette will be available for selection for Unai Emery in 2 nights’ time:

‘The appeal lodged by Arsenal FC has been partially upheld. To suspend the Arsenal FC player Alexandre Lacazette for two (2) Uefa competition matches for which he would be otherwise eligible for serious rough play.’

‘Note: Lacazette has already served the two-match suspension following Arsenal FC’s Uefa Europa League matches – round of 32 second-leg match against BATE Borisov on February 21, and round of 16 first-leg match against Rennes on March 7.’

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