Normally I wouldn’t be too happy with a goalless draw but going back to The Emirates all square is fair enough.
The game didn’t offer too much in terms of attacking prowess, which is reflected in the options for last night’s man of the match.
The first option is Rob Holding. All of the back three played well as they kept Alvaro Morata and Eden Hazard quiet for large parts of the game, but, bouncing back from Sunday’s F.A. Cup embarrassment, Holding did very well.
Looking more comfortable playing in the back three, Holding was very calm on the ball and without being as isolated as Sunday was very calm defensively.
Next is Jack Wilshere, who excelled in his role as captain last night. Taking the armband, Wilshere was very commanding in midfield, keeping everyone in check in what was a very disciplined defensive performance.
Wilshere was also quite impressive on the ball. Whether it was those cute intricate passes, evading challenges with great special awareness or that nicely weighted over the top ball which Lacazette should have finished, it was a very accomplished display until he was subbed off.
However, as Wilshere didn’t contribute to a win or goal like last week, there’s only one other option for yesterday’s man of the match. That is Shkodran Mustafi. Playing in the middle of the back three, the German continued his great form for us this season.
In a game where we couldn’t afford to concede he kept tabs on Hazard and Morata extremely well, even if that meant conceding the odd foul. Being the most senior centre back of the three, Mustafi also took charge well and led by example winning numerous headers to settle us down as we go into the second leg.