Following a red card to Sokratis Papastathopoulos, Arsenal manager Unai Emery made a tactical reshuffle as Henrikh Mkhitaryan slotted in at right-back despite Ainsley Maitland-Niles sitting on the bench.A
Mkhitaryan slotted into an unfamiliar role at right-back after Sokratis received his marching orders, with Maitland-Niles, who has filled in at both full-back roles this season, left on the bench. Alex Iwobi opened the scoring for Arsenal before Rennes restored parity through Benjamin Bourigeaud. Nacho Monreal turned the ball onto his own net and a late Ismaila Sarr header secured a 3-1 victory.
Speaking in a press conference after the defeat to Rennes, Emery explained his decision to play Mkhitaryan at right back, “We only had three changes and we needed to decide what were these changes. Micki, I think, is playing well. If he was not playing well then maybe we could think to do this change
“We really didn’t create a lot of chances to score the second goal, but I think Micki worked very well and with a good performance. I think there is no problem with Micki, and for example, his 40 or 50 minutes playing like a right-back, he played well.”