In a game which should’ve seen us grab our fourth win of the group stages, instead we were forced to watch a very frustrating draw. Not many players looked at their best but we still got the job done in qualifying for the round of 32. Here’s how we played.
Matt Macey – 7.5
Backing up his impressive debut performance from last week, Macey justified his place in the team with multiple saves, including tipping a header onto the crossbar which secured our qualification.
Mathieu Debuchy – 7.0
Easing his way back into the first team picture, Debuchy had another assured game on the right of the back three. He was comfortable making his tackles and winning headers throughout the game.
Mohamed Elneny – 6.9
Playing in the middle of the back three again, Elneny got by well last night. His timing at the back seemed to be excellent as he made interception after interception, but he was sometimes guilty of roaming to far forward and leaving just the two centre backs alone.
Rob Holding – 6.7
Holding had a quiet game, but went about his business well. Making winning tackles and headers, the only place he went wrong was leading with an elbow for one header which saw him yellow carded.
Reiss Nelson – 6.9
Playing at right wing back yesterday was a tough ask for the youngster. With Belgrade shutting down spaces quickly in numbers it was hard for Nelson to bomb down the right, however, he still managed to create avenues for himself to drive the team forward. He also put in a good shift defensively to keep Belgrade quiet.
Francis Coquelin – 7.0
Starts have been hard to come by for Coquelin this season and yesterday showed why. In the same game you can get the brilliant defensive work for Coquelin as well as the ability to move the ball well in close quarters but there is that risk that he might not make the right decisions in the final third.
Joe Willock – 7.0
In his appearances so far Willock has shown himself to be an all-action centre midfielder. Last night we got the same from him as he was able to regain possession for Arsenal as well as break forward, however, his youth did show as he began to run out of steam.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles – 6.8
Still playing at left wing back, Maitland-Niles didn’t have a bad game as hen managed to get down the left wing on a couple of occasions but it’s clear that he’d perform much better in his natural position of central midfield, where he stepped into at one point and played a great pass to release Joe Willock.
Theo Walcott – 6.6
Walcott didn’t have the best of games as captain last night. With Belgrade cutting off all spaces in behind as well as in front of the defence it was increasingly difficult for Walcott to operate but he should have done better with the one chance he got deep inside the box which saw him miss the ball completely.
Jack Wilshere – 7.5
When we had our spells of pressure in the Belgrade area, there was one man controlling it all. Grabbing the game by the scruff of the neck, Wilshere pushed us forward uncounted times in the space of a few minutes. In that time he could’ve had a penalty, he had a shot cleared off the line and was our only real bright spark going forward.
Olivier Giroud – 6.7
Unfortunately, Giroud didn’t offer much going forward last night. In a game which probably should have seen him act as a target to hit that wasn’t really the case as we struggled to break a disciplined Belgrade defence down.
Eddie Nketiah – 6.8
Not even last week’s saviour could chance our fortunes last night. Given another Emirates cameo on the left of the front three, Nketiah was heavily marked and had at least two men on him after his first touch, a very difficult introduction for the youngster.