The escape is complete!
Arsenal earned a 3-0 win at The Emirates to overturn a 3-1 deficit and ensure we stay in the Europa League for another stage at least.
Goals from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Ainsley Maitland-Niles saw off a spirited challenge from the robust Rennes side, as we overcame an awful first leg to turn on the style at home.
Unai Emery named a similar lineup to the one that dominated Man United in the weekend. With goals needed, it was again an attacking lineup, with only Petr Cech and Shkodran Mustafi for Leno and the suspended Sokratis the two changes.
We made the dream start too.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles manoeuvred well on the right and evaded his marker, and his low ball found its target at the front post through Ramsey, and it was Aubameyang who got between the ball and the goalkeeper to divert it from close range.
A great start, but we still needed another to nudge us ahead on away goals.
We wouldn’t have to wait long.
Only eleven minutes later, we had the vital second goal. Aaron Ramsey returned the ball to Aubameyang, who hadn’t followed up. He still had the pace to start his run for the ball well after the defender and beat him to it though, and his pullback looped over the remaining defenders and into the path of Maitland-Niles, who headed home past the despairing dive of the goalie.
We were ahead on aggregate and still had well over 70 minutes on the clock. We could put this game to bed and really hush the noisy away crowd.
We didn’t quite manage to snuff out Rennes completely though. A combination of niggly fouls and some improved Rennes play saw us wobble a bit, although if we had taken our own chances, we could have been sitting in our dressing room at half time knowing the tie was over.
Lacazette and Auba both had chances to get the third, and Ramsey also had a chance that the Stade Rennais keeper saved well. The first half was over and the away team had shown some signs of life, but we had control of the game.
We are Arsenal fans though, and this precarious position would cause palpitations for us all - especially with our defensive wobbles at times.this season.
The second half was less dominant than the first, and Ismael Sarr, M’Baye Niang and Hatem Ben Arfa were all starting to come into proceedings.
There were a few moments of worry, but none larger than when Mustafi gave the ball away to Niang, whose shot struck the base of the post.
Inches from disaster, thanks to a single moment of madness.
We again skirted round a tragic exit after Kolasinac made a brilliant last-ditch tackle to deny Sarr, but Aubameyang got the third that would mean a Rennes goal would only send us into extra time rather than an exit from the competition.
Kolasinac again turned provider after doing so on many occasions this season, and his low cross was met in the six yard box by a lurking Auba, who slammed home.
The Gabon man could have easily converted a hat-trick with two late chances that were gilt-edged, but he failed to convert and it left our last minutes somewhat nervy.
We managed to see them through though, and it means we are in the hat for Friday’s Europa League Quarter-Final draw.
We join Chelsea, Napoli, Valencia, Benfica, Eintracht Frankfurt, Slavia Prague and Villareal in the last eight, and from the calibre of the teams aforementioned, we will have a tough time trying to win the tournament.
Last season we came close, and the remaining teams don’t come close to the class of Atletico Madrid, but can we claim to be better than them?
Or more importantly, can we confidently say that we can shut them out and score more than them?
After our comeback, at the very least we can find out.