After the long international break, We were back in the premier league hoping to finish the season on a high. There were some surprise exclusions from the squad which included our captain Koscielny, Mkhitaryan along with our main defensive midfielder Xhaka who I believe were rested for Thursday which is an important game.
We started Very slowly & the game lacked quality from both sides in the first half. Only thing which i can admire was our defending which was solid thanks to Mustafi & Chambers who were protected well by Elneny. Rest whole of the team lacked ideas and there was no real service for Auba. Shaqiri from stoke looked the most dangerous player in the first half.
Then we started the second half in similar fashion where we looked stale. Change in our fortune came after 61 minutes when we made our first substitution and sent Lacazette to replace Welbeck who had a torrid game. Lacazette was coming back from a lengthy injury and looked very sharp as he combined well with everyone. After the sub we started to look dangerous and created numerous opportunities. We scored at the 75th minute mark when Özil after some impressive play was tripped inside the box as he attempted to take the shot. I thought it was a penalty while some will say otherwise. Aubameyang slotted home from the spot kick in style and we lead by a goal. That goal filled us with confidence & we started to play our usual sharp football. Then around 86th minute we doubled our lead from an Özil corner which was expertly finished by Auba again. Then after 3 minutes Laca was pushed inside the box which saw us get another penalty, which gave us a glimpse of team spirit in the team where Auba being the designated penalty taker could have easily completed his first hattrick for us but chose to gave the penalty to Laca to build his confidence(who seemingly had a dip in form).
This was really nice to see specially between two strikers who are competing for the same spot. It is really nice for the togetherness of the team. The game was won in the last 15 minutes before that we really didn’t look motivated. We have to be consistent from the start in future games mainly in Europe which looks like our last hope for this season.
FIRST TEAM :
Ospina – 6
Didn’t had much to do but made smart decisions & saves. Handling still doesn’t look impressive though.
Bellerin – 6
Went up & down well throughout the game. Wasn’t troubled defensively but could have done more in attacking.
Chambers – 7
Looked solid in the game as he defended well. Could be our mainstay in defence if he keeps up the consistency.
Mustafi – 7.5
Really good defensive performance by him yet again. Looked comfortable & took the responsibility. Only flaw in his game is being over ambitious at times like we saw with his passing in the first half.
Monreal – 6
Nothing fancy but a good usual display by him. Wasn’t troubled defensively at all.
Wilshere – 5
Could have done better in his preferred no 10 position but didn’t really impress. Improved when he switched positions with Ramsey & came deeper.
Elneny – 8
Protected the defence well & kept it simple. Was one of the few players who looked good in the first half. He has shown massive improvement since the turn of the year & has earned his new contract.
Didn’t start the game well along with the team but grew as the game went on. Kept running and made some clever runs. Was named the PL man of the Match for his all round display.
Welbeck – 4
Had no impact whatsoever in the game & doesn’t deserve to start. Needs to be benched & find his form back.
Özil – 7
Had good last 30 minutes after he struggled in the first 60 minutes with the team. Won us the first penalty & created the second with a good corner. Made some Dangerous runs towards the end & combined well up the pitch.
Man of the Match.
Scored two smart goals, first with a cool penalty & second with an excellent finish. Combined well with Lacazette towards the end and looked sharp even on the left. Could have easily completed his hattrick but chose to give the penalty to laca to build his confidence.
Had a very good runout. Combined so well with everyone after coming on. Team improved after he was subbed on. Looked very sharp & won us the second penalty which he converted brilliantly . Hope he will get his confidence back and show his quality in future games.
Thats all from my ratings. Thank you for reading & try interacting with us at Arsenal-ClockEndTalk on Facebook & Twitter. All your comments are welcomed and we appreciate them.
UP THE ARSENAL♥️
Tejasvi Bhandari ( @SaviAfc on Twitter )