Europa League Expert Emery Explains Why Iwobi Replaced Lacazette 20 Minutes From Time
Arsenal made light work of French opposition, Rennes at the Emirates Stadium on Thursday evening, completing an impressive second leg turnaround in the process to land themselves a Europa League quarterfinal berth.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang needed only five minutes to open the scoring, followed by Ainsley Maitland-Niles’s header on 15 minutes which leveled the tie before the Gabon star decided the match with his second goal of the night with 18 minutes left on the clock.
With Arsenal chasing a third goal to kill off the game, manager Unai Emery brought on Alex Iwobi for Alexandre Lacazette in the 70th minute while Henrikh Mkhitaryan replaced Mesut Ozil.
Explaining the reason behind the substitutions, the Spanish football tactician, who won the Europa League for three successive seasons with Sevilla, told arsenal.com : ”I think Iwobi and Micki, they deserved before the match to play today, and when they support us for 30 minutes, changing with a good work from Mesut and good work from Lacazette, they helped us a lot.
”These 10 minutes after this change, their impact was a good impact with the goal and creating two chances. I think we need every player. Today the first 11 were important but also the other players.”
Iwobi almost scored with his first touch in the game when he went close with a spectacular shot from the edge of the box but saw the effort go inches wide of the far post.
Arsenal join Slavia Prague, Chelsea, Eintracht Frankfurt, Napoli, Benfica, Napoli, Valencia and Villarreal in the draw for the next round as the tussle for the Europa League hots up.
Photo Credit : arsenal.com