How Did Returning Players Get On In Our Europa League Opener?

How Did Returning Players Get On In Our Europa League Opener?

We may have had to wait a bit longer than expected but we’ve finally confirmed our place in the Europa League. After the hour delay to kick off it took us another 45 minutes to settle in before properly getting into the game and heading to a 3-1 win. Here’s how the players got on.
David Ospina – 6.6
Not so big Dave returned to the side for his first start of the season. As you’d expect he didn’t have much to do but other than making a good save at his near post he should’ve done better when clearing in the lead up to Cologne’s goal as he pretty much got himself an assist.
Rob Holding – 6.3
Holding didn’t play too well last night. He didn’t seem as comfortable as he usually does in a three at the back as he sometimes rushed forward, leaving Mertesacker and Monreal open when he lost the ball as well as a couple of defensive mistakes, which saw him substituted at half time for Kolasinac.
Per Mertesacker – 6.7
Another player making a return to the first team, Mertesacker wasn’t too busy last night and didn’t even have to make a tackle as his positioning saw hik successfully win headers and interceptions, but he did his job well enough to see us through.
Nacho Monreal – 6.6
Similar to Mertesacker, Monreal wasn’t too busy as he spent most of his night in possession which he did relatively well.
Hector Bellerin – 7.2
Always looking to get forward I feel Bellerin could have tried a few more crosses to feed Giroud during the game but he did well to finish the scoring to make it 3-1 late on.
Alex Iwobi – 6.9
Playing in central midfield Iwobi had a decent game, however, he did seem to rift off sometimes. He was one of the player’s in the game that tried to move us forward which paid off as he got himself an assist by setting Alexis free for his goal.
Mohamed Elneny – 7.1
Elneny had a pretty solid game as he kept himself and the ball moving in midfield as well as almost getting a goal for himself after seeing his shot fly past the post.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles – 7.4
Starting the game at left wing back, Maitland-Niles had a much better game when he moved more centrally in the second half which was shown in his move with Giroud which got him into the box, however, he couldn’t quite add the finishing touches.
Theo Walcott – 5.8
Again, Walcott failed to impress. He seemed to always either get caught offside or lose the ball when in possession, nothing really went right for him.
Alexis Sanchez – 7.7
In his first start of the season Sanchez showed us what he’s capable. After a quiet first half which saw him dropping deep to get the ball, he was able to be more free in the second half which saw him skip by a couple of challenges before marking his game with a goal to put us ahead on the night.
Olivier Giroud – 6.6
Unfortunately we have to wait a while for Giroud’s 100th Arsenal goal after quite a quiet outing last night. Hopefully we don’t have to wait too long.
Sead Kolasinac – 7.7
Coming on at half time Kolasinac made an instant impact yet again as he bulldozed home a volley just a few minutes after coming on. He also made his presence known in defence which was another positive.
Jack Wilshere – 6.9
Coming on later in the second half for his Emirates return was Super Jack Wilshere. After more than a year out of our squad he put in a very respectable performance, showing his awareness in the build up to Bellerin’s goal as well as creating a great chance for Alexis Sanchez which wasn’t taken. Hopefully he can get some more minutes over the coming weeks.
Reiss Nelson – 6.7
Coming on for his much anticipated Arsenal debut Nelson showed some good touches when on the pitch as looked very sharp and despite being a teenager didn’t look out of place as he showed confidence when on the pitch.

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