The Warm-Up: Arsenal do an Arsenal
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.
"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***
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, 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.”
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