Full Time: Red Star Belgrade 0-1 Arsenal
Arsenal managed to notch up a 1-0 win against Red Star Belgrade in their Europa League encounter even though Arsene Wenger fielded a very inexperienced side for the away clash. He named several youth academy products in the starting XI – a move which came as a shock to many.
Although the game was edging towards a stalemate, a late goal from Olivier Giroud saw the Gunners secure a last-gasp victory. Mathieu Debuchy also made his first appearance for Arsenal in 11 months after prolonged injury trouble, and he completed the full 90 minutes.
Besides the youngsters, senior players Jack Wilshere, Theo Walcott and Olivier Giroud combined for the moment which sealed all three points for the Gunners. Arsenal may have sealed 3 points, but which player was the best and the worst on field? Here’s how the Arsenal players fared on the night.
Arsenal Player Ratings
Petr Cech – 8/10
Cech’s presence in the goal was much-needed since most of the Arsenal players were short of experience. He was on his toes throughout the match and made an an excellent stop to keep out Radonjic’s close range effort.
Mathieu Debuchy – 7.5/10
Despite returning after almost a year, Debuchy was quite impressive and was a solid presence at the back for Arsenal.
Mohamed Elneny – 6/10
Elneny nearly cost Arsenal a goal. He was sloppy and gave the ball away far too many times than he would have intended. He can do a lot better.
Rob Holding – 5.5/10
Srnic and Boaci posed several troubles to Arsenal and Holding did his best to keep them at bay. Unfortunately, that was not enough.
Reiss Nelson – 8/10
Yet another impressive performance from the youngster. Nelson did not shy away from going forward and also defended really well when he needed to.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles – 6.5/10
Left-wing back is not his natural position and that was extremely apparent throughout the game. He just did not seem comfortable and was over-run occasionally.
Francis Coquelin – 4/10
Coquelin was rusty and caused more problems to Arsenal. His touch was way off and he almost looked sluggish while going forward. He also picked up an unnecessary booking in the second half. Was taken off injured.
Joe Willock – 7/10
The youngster seemed unfazed by the hostile environment and he put in a composed performance. He provided much-needed bursts of energy to keep the momentum going.
Theo Walcott – 6.5/10
The only positive takeaway for Walcott from tonight’s game was his assist for Giroud’s winner. Besides that, the player failed to do much and was average.
Jack Wilshere – 9/10
Wilshere was easily the best player on the field for the Gunners. He has to get a chance in the Premier League after this. Wilshere also played a magnificent part in Giroud’s goal.
Olivier Giroud – 6/10
Giroud put up a really poor display, yet he won the game for Arsenal with quite a stunning goal. Up to that spectacular strike, his touch was poor and he made no impact at all.
Marcus McGuane – N/A
The young academy product came on in the 89th minute in the place of Joe Willock and saw the game off.
Ben Sheaf – N/A
Another academy product, Sheaf came on in the 90th minute for Francis Coquelin, who seemed to have suffered an injury.