Awful Arsenal bottle it at Old Trafford! Plus player ratings…

Not sure what to make of that one.

Tonight saw two big teams who are in transition and struggling for form, and nether side were prepared to take the initiative to try and win the game.

One of the few positives was that Guendouzi and Saka, two of the youngest players in the team, put in really excellent performances. And Joe Willock again, when he came on, was fantastic.

Calum Chambers did well considering he was out of position, and Kolasinac did well on the other side. Luiz and Sokratis were okay, not brilliant but okay. At least neither made any stupid mistakes tonight.

Apart from that, we were uninspiring, timid and lacked any invention. And worst of all, the quality in the final third was horrendous. If we even showed even a slight bit of quality, we would have won that game.

Pepe was dreadful, overhitting crosses, misplacing passes and worst of all, giving the ball away cheaply, and not even attempting to track back! Aubameyang had no service all night, except for a brilliant pass from Saka, so struggled, and Torriera looked lost.

All night we couldn’t make the final pass or show that bit of quality – Reiss Nelson scuffed a great chance towards the end, Ceballos wasted a great chance to cross from a free kick right at the end, Pepe’s corners were terrible… it was extremely frustrating watching Arsenal tonight. Simply put, Arsenal were scared tonight.

Yet another chance to get 3 points at Old Trafford wasted.

Player Ratings

Bernd Leno: 8/10

Solid and made some good saves, especially towards the end from a Marcus Rashford free kick. Had no chance whatsoever with the goal we conceded.

Calum Chambers: 7/10

Did well tonight considering he was exposed for most of the night by Pepe who didn’t track back. Got forward when he could and tried to make things happen. Another solid performance after a good week in the Arsenal first team and he has stepped up and shown that he can be counted on which is great.

Sokratis Papastathopoulos: 6/10

Didn’t make any stupid mistakes so that’s good right? Overall did okay and did well against Rashford.

David Luiz: 6/10

Didn’t make any stupid mistakes so that’s good right? Linked up well with Sokratis on the whole, but did give away a needless free kick right on the edge of the box right at the end of the game which could have cost us dear. Did make some good and important interceptions.

Sead Kolašinac: 7/10

Did well and was solid all night. Looked comfortable defending and tracking back, and pushed forward well, and gave Aubameyang a great pass which the forward failed to read.

Lucas Torreira: 5/10

Gave everything as usual but struggled to impose himself against Manchester United’s midfield.

Granit Xhaka: 6/10

Didn’t make any stupid mistakes so that’s good right? Did okay, but still not sure what he brings to the team as Guendouzi and Torreria did all the running.

Matteo Guendouzi: 9/10

Excellent performance from Matteo get again. Full of running, full of purpose and tried to drag the team forward. Made some really important tackles and interceptions, and didn’t get involved in any of the silly games that he’s sometimes prone to – a real mature and measured performance, and deserves all the plaudits.

Nicolas Pépé: 3/10

Dreadful. We all know it takes time to get used to the Premier League but it doesn’t mean he should smash the ball into the stands every time. Showing a real lack of quality on the ball which is worrying. Of course he can’t help the price tag but you would think £72 million would get you someone who can kick a ball properly.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang: 7/10

Couldn’t impose himself on the game because of the lack of service from the Arsenal midfield and the poor Nicolas Pépé. Ran for the cause, leading from the front and tried his best. Took his goal with absolute class, something badly missing from the rest of the team tonight.

Bukayo Saka: 8/10

Brilliant performance, one of the best in an Arsenal shirt tonight. Never shied away from a challenge, always willing to receive the ball and take on Manchester United – a really mature and impressive performance from a fantastic prospect. Deserves to feature in more games this season and gives Arsenal something else from an attacking perspective. Gave Ashley Young problems all night.

Dani Ceballos: 4/10

Failed to impose himself on the game, and gave the ball away too many times. Had a great opportunity to deliver a good cross at the end of the game but only managed to hit the first Manchester United player.

Reiss Nelson: 5/10

Tried and had some decent runs forward but again, showed a lack of quality at important times. Scuffed a chance from 12 yards out and should have done much better.

Joe Willock: 7/10

Was only on for 10 minutes but was bright, calm and composed on the ball. Had some good runs forward and always found a pass. Certainly deserves more playing time in the Arsenal first team because he’s currently one of the most talented players in the squad.

 

Full Arsenal Player Ratings For The Manchester City Game

Arsenal lost 2-0 to Manchester City in the opening weekend of the new Premier League season. Here are the full player ratings for the match below:

1. Petr Cech: 8/10

The new captain gave a commanding performance and made 3 important saves in the opening 15 minutes, when Manchester City are irresistible. Was vocal to the players in front of him but with a make-shift back four he had a tough task.

Couldn’t do anything with either goal, both of which were well crafted by Manchester City as they ran our defensive line ragged.

2. Hector Bellerin: 7/10

Supported the attack well whenever we did manage to get forward and probably had our best chance when Maitland-Niles played a sweeping ball across from the left and Bellerin did well to mug off Mendy and smash in a shot from close range. Once of those chances which you hoped went towards the far corner but ended up going straight at the keeper.

Will be interesting to see how much competition Stephan Lichtsteiner can give him this season.

20. Shkodran Mustafi: 7/10

Usually a liability but put in a decent performance today. Not many defenders will cope with the Manchester City attack but was well organise alongside new signing Sokratis and made a couple of important tackles.

Central defensive is a position we’re a bit light so Arsenal need him to have a consistent season.

5. Sokratis Papastathopoulos: 6/10

A tough introduction into Premier League life but he will get better. Tough to really evaluate his performance as he was run ragged like most of the team at times but didn’t seem out of place.

15. Ainsley Maitland-Niles: 6/10

Was given the run around from Riyad Mahrez and Kyle Walker for the first half an hour before going off injured. Despite that, was full of running and never gave up, which is all you can ask for from a central midfielder asked to play as a full back.

34. Granit Xhaka: 5/10

Didn’t impose himself on the game and went missing for large parts of it. He is a player who doesn’t seem to know what his responsibilities are and it shows. Is he a ball winning midfielder or a ball playing one? Well he did neither and was vastly overshadowed by his considerably younger counterpart. Should be the one to make way once Lucas Torreira is fully fit but have a sneaky suspicion he won’t.

29. Matteo Guendouzi: 8/10

Considering his experience (or lack thereof) he put in a really excellent performance in this afternoon. He was composed, committed and won more tackles in central midfield than I’ve seen over the last few seasons. Clearly once Lucas Torreira is fully fit then he will be a guaranteed started but on this evidence Guendouzi will be the man to partner him in midfield, not Granit Xhaka.

7. Henrikh Mkhitaryan: 6/10

Has put in better performances in an Arsenal shirt and was disappointing today. Perhaps asked to play a role he’s not used to, having to track back on the left hand side – and was unable to give the young Ashley Maitland-Niles adequate cover on that side. Although the caveat being most teams would struggle against Kyle Walker and Riyad Marhez / Bernado Silva.

10. Mesut Özil: 4/10

Did Özil have a late night? His passing was off, his vision was off, and his all round performance was off. Seemed to lack concentration and it’s hard to believe he is (by far) our highest paid player. People sometimes lay into Özil for his performances but he’s a superstar signing on superstar wages – he’s treated like a World Class player but doesn’t perform like one.

Badly mis-kicked a golden opportunity when Lichtsteiner cut back from the left, badly mis-controlled a ball when Ederson kicked it out to him (which he should have scored from) and to cap it all he got in the way (and got caught offside) when he should have left it and let the onside Lacazette go through on goal.

A performance which stank out the entire stadium.

8. Aaron Ramsey: 5/10

Not convincing at all and struggled to impose himself on the game. Definitely had the contract situation hanging over his head and you could tell from his performance. Was in the Number 10 role which was strange considering Mesut Özil is better suited to that position so it’s unclear if Unai Emery is appeasing him so he’ll sign a new deal?

14. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang: 6/10

Isolated up front but should have done better with the opportunities he had. The lack of service from Özil, Ramsey and Mkhitaryan didn’t help but with his pace and movement should have given Manchester City a few more problems.

Substitutes:

12. Stephan Lichtsteiner: 7/10
Came on for Maitland-Niles on 35 minutes

Did what was asked of him and looked like a solid player who Arsenal will need over the coming season. Wasn’t afraid to get involved and more importantly get in Manchester City’s faces, which is something we lack considering we’re far too much of a soft touch.

Look forward to him playing more although right back isn’t a position we’re struggle for numbers unfortunately, it’s the other side.

9. Alexandre Lacazette: 7/10
Came on for Ramsey on 54 minutes

Looked lively when he came on and more of a goal threat than Aubameyang. Had a couple of decent half chances which if taken, could have changed the game. Emery will certainly have something to think about come the Chelsea game and he has definitely put himself in the frame to start that match. Played like he has a point to prove.

11. Lucas Torreira: 6/10
Came on for Xhaka on 70 minutes

Did well for his 20 minute cameo and looks a tidy player. Hard to really evaluate his impact considering the number of minutes we played but the sooner he can start instead of Granit Xhaka, the better.