Despite two quick yellows for Atleti’s Vrsaljko, Arsenal couldn’t capitalise more than once, even with over 75% possession and 28 total shots. It only took one mistake by a certain Arsenal defender to bring Atletico level on the scoreline at 1-1, giving them that crucial away goal. Here’s how the players did…
David Ospina – 8
He had some great saves and distribution as well (which is surprising). He did all he could for the goal, saving the first shot. It’s kind of a lot to ask him to save two in a row. More of this in Madrid, please.
Hector Bellerin – 7
Some great crosses sent in by Bellerin early on. Against a weaker defence (and goalkeeper), perhaps one would’ve ended up in the back of the net. Solid defending throughout as well.
Shkodran Mustafi – 6.5
His only mistake can hardly be counted a mistake as it was a slip before Griezmann’s goal. Otherwise, he did well to snuff out any chances from Atletico’s attack.
Laurent Koscielny – 4.5
It sucks to do this, but a mistake THAT big in a game THAT big warrants a huge deduction. He was great throughout, but all he had to do was kick the ball anywhere else besides where he did to keep Griezmann at bay. Just a silly error that overshadowed all the work the Gunners put in today…
Nacho Monreal – 7.5
Just like Bellerin, with one less Atleti defender on the field after just 10 minutes, he had tons of freedom down the side. 2 of his 9 crosses were key passes and he had a close shot as well. 10 ball wins for a team-high.
Jack Wilshere – 7.5
I was nervous about Wilshere starting this game, but he put my nerves to rest. His passing and dribbling were cleaned up and his assist was just what the team needed. Let’s hope his confidence improves in the next game and he pushes the defence even more.
Granit Xhaka – 8
I don’t usually pay attention to this stat, but Xhaka completed 24 out of 26 long balls. The next closest player on the field with a stat like that was Koscielny completing 10 of 13. Those long balls were integral to the attack trying to break down Simeone’s defence, and he was 121/131 passing overall, providing great midfield strength.
Aaron Ramsey – 7.5
If it weren’t for our future goalkeeper ;), we’d be talking about yet ANOTHER Ramsey goal. He gave it his all, but couldn’t get any of his 3 shots on target past Oblak. Still a very promising performance.
Mesut Ozil – 8
I’m convinced that if Ozil were even 15% more confident with his right foot than he is now, we’d be talking about one of the greatest attacking midfielders OF ALL TIME (maybe he still is, I don’t know for sure). His instincts and calm presence on the ball are unmatched. Despite serving up 6 key passes, I noticed him passing up great opportunities that even a somewhat right-footed player would’ve taken a stab at.
Danny Welbeck – 7
He was a workhorse all day long and a menace for the Spanish side’s backline. 5 dribbles might sound great, but that’s from 10 attempted total. One of his ill-advised dribble attempts led to the Griezmann goal. The good thing is he never turns off. The bad thing is sometimes you need to turn off.
Alexandre Lacazette – 9
I don’t think Lacazette would’ve left the Emirates tonight without getting a goal. He was incredible all day long, only being stopped by Oblak, the post, and some stuck out legs on several occasions. It was only a matter of time before he broke the deadlock. That’s now 7 goals in 7 games!