That was a very mature game of football by Arsenal in which we just lacked the final touch or a bit of luck. A real shame we gave away an unnecessary penalty, more or less the only real chance Benfica had all game. We will analyse the game on the blog but, for now, let’s rate the players.
Leno – 7: noting to do other than trying to stop the penalty.
Soares – 8: half a point extra for his assist. Another committed, professional game by Cedric and excellent in all areas on the pitch. Close to MOTM.
Luiz – 7: not much to do and did not make any mistakes.
Big Gab – 7.5: was allowed to push forward and aid our midfield/attack. Good presence, passing and energy. Couple of good ball over the top too.
Bellerin – 7.5: committed and like Soares effective in all areas. Should have had an assist but Auba fluffed it.
Xhaka – 7: relatively solid but less involved than usually as a result of Benfica not allowing him much space. Looked a bit leggy too.
Ceballos – 8: some great forward balls and defensive interventions. One of his best games. Close to MOTM.
ESR – 7: some intelligent play and he worked hard, but his spark is dimming a bit (and understandably so given his age and number of games he has played recently).
Odegaard – 8: some sublime passes and through-balls but also worked hard in midfield to retain/regain the ball. Great pre-assist. Close to MOTM.
Saka – 8.5 MOTM: good attacking play against a very stubborn and well-drilled Benfica side. Missed a good chance but then took his second one; an extra point for the goal, which makes him move into double figures now!
Auba – 6: Missed too many chances and against a team like Benfica this will be costly. An early goals would have given us wings and Bellerin presented him with an almost unmissable opportunity. But he worked hard to get in the right positions and link up with his fellow attackers.
Tierney – 6.5: offered renewed drive from the left flank and looked relatively sharp.
Elneny, Martinelli, Willian and Pepe: not long enough on the pitch to rate them.
11 thoughts on “Arsenal Player Ratings: Three Almost MOTM But Silky Saka Tops Them All”
Kev, regarding your last post. Key is that we have scored an away goal and a 0-0 will see us through. So now it is up to Benfica to show a bit of adventure and that may suit us. I was very impressed with the team tactically. Benfica looked poor and that was due to the way Arteta had set up the team. Yes we should have scored more and Auba will know that he should have done better but at least we scored that vital away goal, courtesy of a fine move between Ode, Soares and the Silk.
Couldn’t watch the game so pleased to get an idea from the comments in the previous thread and the player ratings. I saw one rating which had Auba at 3; no one of that 11 could be that poor. Just a rating to reflect the frustration of the author of the ratings, I guess.
Arteta probably wanted to make the game sure by half time so as to bring on re-enforcements early in the second half; take off the key men to focus on the game on Sunday. It would seem the plan didn’t go quite as envisaged.
The 2nd leg may be more open so, we keep hope alive.
Fair point Total, I actually thought that Benfica played the offside trap really well and caught us several times, I also think that the Portuguese are a much better team than we may think and we underestimate them at our peril.
They’ll be banking on us going guns ho in Greece and if we’re overconfident we’ll come unstuck, the Portuguese do it all the time, you think you’re on top and then at the final whistle you discover you’ve lost and wonder how that happened.
I’ll go back and see the first half, sounds like it won’t be too much fun, i saw enough missed chances in the 2nd half.
Good summaries by Kev and Pb on the last post. Can’t comment on T’s ratings yet. I look forward to seeing more Ødegaard you described. I think my boy Ceballos had a nice ball over the to Saka that started our goal move.
Still more impressive play from Cedric. We have to find playing time for him, he’s earning it. Besides, Hector doesn’t get enough rest, and he’s not a kid anymore, unlike all of us here.
Cheers guys ⚽⚽
I for one is very nervous about Second leg due to the missed chances and we are one madness away from playing with 10 men in the second leg. I continually find that the footballing intelligence of many of these players are suspect. The pitch looked slow and it needed our passing to be more slick and unfortunately i dint see that enough. If we don’t have Partey, we don’t have anyone in at the base of midfield to carry the ball forward by taking the man nearer to him. That makes the football extremely constipated with backward and sideward movement. Benfica made the pitch very compact as well. So the missed chances of Auba may prove to be very costly.
Second problem is that we dont seem to have anyone as a leader on the pitch to drag the team forward, does the game management with footballing intelligence. Saka is a bright spot, but how many seasons he is going to spend with us is a big question. If a Barca or a RM comes for him i dont blame him if he sees what he can achieve there and move. I don’t think he will move to any premier league club due to respect for his boyhood club, but Barca or RM is a definite possibility.
After a few spotless ratings TA reverted back to his signature 1-1.5 point higher than deserved approach. 🙂
But the proportions are reliable, so if we deduct the bonus point for being Arsenal players the rest is accurate, and shows that most of the team was average (nothing to be ashamed about that), with a few promising – but not truly dominating – displays, and only the captain missed to show his quality. (It should have been Nketiah’s game anyway, who is not in the same ballpark when it comes to creating his own chances as Auba, but has a superior offside awareness and more ruthless when poaching goals.)
In your opinion, PB… Player ratings are subjective and there is no such thing as…. Spotless ratings.
Madhu, your glass is half empty my friend. We created enough chances to win the game by a couple of goals but we did not take them. That is football but at least we gave nothing away other than the unforced error by ESR.
Yes second game could be tight but we are in a good position to go through.
I missed yesterday’s game so thank you all for your comments which gave me an understanding of what happened.
Total your ratings summation was also a big help in helping me know how our individual players performed.
I’ve been preoccupied this week but hopefully I will be able to participate more fully next week.
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