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The Warm-Up: Arsenal do an Arsenal

The Warm-Up: Arsenal do an Arsenal

08/03/2019 at 07:42Updated 08/03/2019 at 08:30

It was a familiar feeling for Arsenal fans as they saw their club self-destruct from a winning position against Rennes on Thursday night.

FRIDAY’S BIG HEADLINES

Arsenal implode (again)

Nacho Monreal then scored an own goal before the pièce de résistance in the final minutes as a slightly hilly incline became a mountain to climb. It truly was a Wenger-esque work of art.

GASP! As Arsenal lose the ball in the final third when trying to push for an equaliser at 2-1 down, and only end up making things much worse (very Monaco 2015 vibes)

SWOON! As Rennes make three simple passes and completely open up Arsenal on the counter.

PALPITATE! As substitute James Siliki is given far too much space by makeshift right-back for the second half (!) Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

BECOME CONSUMED BY FURY! As Matteo Guendouzi calmly jogs back for 80 yards while utterly failing to track the run of Ismaila Sarr, who scores with a thunderous header.

RESIGN YOURSELF TO THE OVERWHELMING ARSENALNESS OF IT ALL! As you realise the only player really busting a gut to get back, from his unlikely station as a makeshift centre-forward, is a player the club decided they wouldn't offer a new contract to, allowing him to join Juventus on a free transfer.

Just to rub it in for Unai Emery, the last word went to Hatem Ben Arfa, the player he fell out with at PSG.

"I saw the same Emery, as agitated as ever," said the winger. "I looked over at him a few times and that made me laugh. He hasn't changed."

Neither, it seems, have Arsenal.

***NB: The Warm-Up reserves the right to quietly delete this column when Arsenal enjoy a trouble-free 2-0 win in the home leg next week***

Chelsea cruise

Callum Hudson-Odoi of Chelsea celebrates after scoring his team's third goal during the UEFA Europa League Round of 16 First Leg match between Chelsea and Dynamo Kyiv at Stamford Bridge on March 07, 2019 in London, England

Callum Hudson-Odoi of Chelsea celebrates after scoring his team's third goal during the UEFA Europa League Round of 16 First Leg match between Chelsea and Dynamo Kyiv at Stamford Bridge on March 07, 2019 in London, EnglandGetty Images

There were no such problems for Chelsea, who cruised to a comfortable 3-0 home win over Dynamo Kiev to virtually assure themselves of a place in the quarter-finals - barring any PSG-style meltdown.

The most notable feature of the game for Maurizio Sarri's side was the quality of the three goals.

Check out, Olivier Giroud's backheeled nutmeg assist for Pedro, Willian's amazing free-kick and a lovely counter finished off when youngsters Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Callum Hudson-Odoi combine.

UEFA launch City investigation

Josep Guardiola, Manager of Manchester City looks on during a Manchester City press conference at Philharmonie Essen prior to the UEFA Champions League game against FC Schalke 04 on February 19, 2019

Josep Guardiola, Manager of Manchester City looks on during a Manchester City press conference at Philharmonie Essen prior to the UEFA Champions League game against FC Schalke 04 on February 19, 2019Getty Images

“The investigatory chamber of the independent UEFA club financial control body has today opened a formal investigation into Manchester City FC for potential breaches of financial fair play regulations,” it read. “The investigation will focus on several alleged violations of FFP that were recently made public in various media outlets. UEFA will make no further comments on the matter while the investigation is ongoing.”

A City statement read: “Manchester City welcomes the opening of a formal UEFA investigation as an opportunity to bring to an end the speculation resulting from the illegal hacking and out of context publication of City emails. The accusation of financial irregularities are entirely false. The club’s published accounts are full and complete and a matter of legal and regulatory record.”

IN OTHER NEWS

Early highlights include claiming he doesn’t know anyone in London (already erased that West Ham spell from the memory?), and revealing he arrived late for the first boardroom meeting as he had just arrived from a holiday to ‘Cans’ - which may or may not have been a mispronunciation.

Next week’s task asks contestants if they can lose their dream job after 67 days - whilst marketing a new pint of wine.

HAT TIP

Atletico Madrid midfielder Koke was asked for his Champions League predictions before the last-16 started - and turns out he absolutely smashed it by predicting all the results correctly so far. Which means more bad news for Manchester City fans...

Yeah, yeah, but who does he think will win Masterchef?

And speaking of decent predictions...

RETRO CORNER

Sunday plays host to one of the great modern fixtures as Manchester United visit Arsenal. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer enjoyed a few of these tussles in his time as a player, including one contentious moment...

COMING UP

Tonight’s Championship fare sees Norwich take on Swansea - remember, you can watch highlights of that game and all the other EFL action on Quest on Saturday evening.

Marcus Foley has asked Koke for the Euromillions numbers this weekend so don't be surprised if he doesn't show up for Monday's Warm-Up...

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