Hatem Ben Arfa explains why he laughed at Unai Emery as Rennes beat Arsenal
By Husmukh Kerai
Last Updated: 08/03/19 10:35am
Rennes forward Hatem Ben Arfa has revealed why he laughed at Arsenal manager Unai Emery during Thursday's Europa League win.
Ben Arfa has a strained relationship with the Gunners boss after the Spaniard froze him out during his spell in charge of Paris Saint-Germain.
The Frenchman helped Rennes capitalise on Sokratis Papastathopoulos' first-half dismissal to take control of their Europa League last-16 tie with a 3-1 first-leg victory over Arsenal at Roazhon Park.
During the win, Ben Arfa seemed to revel in the fact that his former boss was losing his composure on the touchline.
"My motivation was to play a solid match, to win and get ourselves into a good position to go through," Ben Arfa told reporters after the game.
"That's what was in my head. But I did see the same Emery, as agitated as ever. I looked over at him a few times and that made me laugh a little. He hasn't changed.
"I told some friends before the match that my prediction was that we would win 3-1 or 4-1. We didn't manage to get the fourth but my prediction was right."
Despite the positive result, the former Marseille and Newcastle attacker maintains Arsenal are the favourites for the tie ahead of next week's return leg at the Emirates Stadium.
"Arsenal are still the favourites," he claimed. "We will have to score at least one, maybe two goals.
"To be the first team to beat Arsenal in France [means] we are making our own history. I'm happy and proud to make people happy [but there] is a return match."