It was a brilliant team performance under the lights at the Emirates, yes TEAM performance, no Alexis no problem. Arsenal won 2-1 in a thrilling semi-final against Chelsea. After a sloppy start Arsenal fell behind; but, with grit, hard work and fight we clawed our way back into the tie and went in at half time 1-1. In the second half the Arsenal we love came out. I’m not sure what Wenger said but credit is due, a complete turn around in performance and we deserved the win with a convincing second half. The score finished 2-1 after Granit Xhaka poked a deflected Lacazette cross home.
Onto the ratings:
Ospina – 5.5
He had little to do in the match but what he did, he did well. His handling was solid and in the air he was sound. However, I do feel like he should’ve done better for the Chelsea goal and that Petr Cech would have saved it.
Nacho Monreal – 9 MOTM
Monreal was energetic, strong and was key in our first goal. He was firm defensively and dangerous going forwards, he often drove Arsenal up the pitch and provided the spark with hard tackles and a resolute defensive display.
Mustafi – 8
Shkodran Mustafi once again exhibited a top defensive performance. He is a leader and a great defender, he made multiple tackles and blocks. However, in our slow start he often gave the ball away with needless lob passes. Overall he had another top performance, he is starting to show why we payed all that money.
Koscielny – 7
Laurent Koscielny has often been Arsenal’s rock in defence. However, recently his form has dropped but he looked back to his old self. Perhaps at fault slightly for the first goal after failing to step up and play Hazard offside, that was his only error and all in all he had an impressive game.
Hector Bellerin – 6.5
Whilst Hector Bellerin was immaculate defensively today, blocking crosses and winning duels, he was poor going forwards. He often misplaced his pass and would rarely offer any threat in the final third. Nonetheless, not a bad performance by any stretch of the imagination by Hector.
Mohammed Elneny – 7.5
Elneny was the anchor in midfield. He broke up play and covered holes in our defence. He was strong and resolute and had an impressive performance today earning him plaudits, rightly so. He also provided something going forwards, he made some excellent long passes, one of which went through to Lacazette who couldn’t quite get it under control to shoot.
Granit Xhaka – 6.5
This was a tough one. Xhaka was having a sloppy game, misplacing passes and not really helping out much defensively. However, once he grabbed his goal he turned into a different player. He passed the ball quicker and better, he looked a new man. He only got a 6.5 because he only really started playing well once he scored.
Jack Wilshere – 7.5
Jack is back. He’s now found some form after a run of games in the team consistently showing he is top level material. Jack had another impressive display. He rolled away Chelsea players and moved through the midfield with speed, and was often our driving force in midfield.
Mesut Özil – 8
Another top performance from the man who “doesn’t turn up in big games”. I think it’s safe to say he’s put that myth to bed and what a player he is. One of the greatest to play for this club and I hope we get him tied down to a new contract. His hold up play is unrivalled and is often uncredited, he flows past players, draws fouls and creates chances for fun, the big one being his excellent pass to Iwobi in the last 10 minutes to give Iwobi a 1 on 1.
Alex Iwobi – 7
Iwobi had a good game. Some fans will likely get on his back for the big chance he missed. But, let’s look at the bigger picture: he was fast, ran in behind, strong, had an excellent work rate and contributed massively to the defence helping Nacho Monreal out by doubling up on Moses. Iwobi possesses all the abilities and his natural quality is rare to come by, all that is missing is his composure in front of goal. Keep the faith in him, he’s young and improving game by game, finishing is an art that can be mastered, there’s no end to his potential.
Alexandre Lacazette – 7
All in all Lacazette was moderately quiet. He had no chances to put away and he made some good runs, 2/3 that were given offside wrongly. Lacazette held the ball up well and used his strength and skill to link up with teammates. The one thing I feel lacking in his game is his movement when we have the ball in wide areas. He doesn’t move for crosses, he stands still or drops off towards the edge of the box. I would much rather him make runs in front of defenders and to the front post, I feel he would score more goals and make himself a bigger nuisance to defenders, what he currently does for crosses is too easy to mark. However, another solid performance from our record signing as he provided a deflected assist for the second goal with a good bit of play.
Aaron Ramsey – 5
Had little time (8 minutes) to make an impact and this showed, rarely got a touch of the ball, did nothing wrong but doesn’t warrant more than a 5.
Sead Kolasinac – 3
Also coming in with just 8 minutes to go some may say this is a harsh rating but every time he got the ball I think he lost it. In the 8 minutes he was on he was poor and did not make an impact in a positive way.
Thanks for reading, please comment if you have anything to say about them and comment what your ratings would have been.