Arsenal v Anderlecht
Kick off: November 4, 2014 19.45 PM BST
We could have had a stress-free ending of the Champions’ League Group Stage. We could have secured progress to the next phase with a victory over Anderlecht tonight. But, we decided to over-complicate things by spilling a three-goal-lead against the Belgian side that is light years below us in terms of quality.
Here are the ratings from tonight’s game:
Wojciech Szczesny | 6.5: Hardly at fault for the first two goals and it’s questionable whether he could have done better for Mitrović’s header. Made an excellent save at 0:0 to prevent the visitors.
Calum Chambers | 4.5: Regularly caught out of position by the opponents’ counter-attacks. Made a good block in the first half though.
Per Mertesacker | 4.5: Struggled to deal with Anderlecht’s pacey attacking line and was too slow to close down Mitrović’s header.
Nacho Monreal | 4.5: The Spaniard conceded a penalty and was lucky not to be sent off for that foul. Or for touching the referee for that matter. He is a make-shift central defender after all.
Kieran Gibbs | 6.0: Made a wrong decision when he opted for a pass to Chamberlain despite having a good position to score. Almost scored an own goal. Still, he was the best of our defenders.
Mikel Arteta | 7.0: Our captain scored his first goal in the Champions’ League. A player that took a pay-cut to join a Champions’ League club in 2011 had to wait for three years to score his first goal in the competition but won’t be happy with the result. Our defending wasn’t the best even when he was on the pitch but once he was replaced with Flamini, every glimpse of shape disappeared. Unfortunately, Arteta seemed to be substituted due to injury.
Aaron Ramsey | 6.0: Some poor passing, missed a chance in the first half and a huge question mark over my head when Ramsey lined up a free-kick while both Alexis and Cazorla were on the pitch. Not the best of games for the Welshman.
Alexis Sánchez | 9.0: He made a clever pass to Welbeck before the Englishman earned the penalty, scored a magnificent goal after a free-kick that he had earned and won the ball before Chamberlain’s run and goal. He was our best player by a mile again.
Santi Cazorla | 6.25: The Spaniard left his shooting boots at home again – he had a decent chance to put the game to bed but his left-footed shot was too weak.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain | 7.75: Scored a lovely goal and was constant trouble for the opponents with his pace on both flanks. He could have scored at least another but his shot was blocked. Once he was withdrawn for Rosicky, the visitors attacked with less fear and eventually used our right side of the defence for most of their attacks.
Danny Welbeck | 6.75: Welbeck earned a penalty with a clever run and movement but again failed to take his chances. He took one touch too many on at least one promising attack.
Mathieu Flamini | 4.5: Was lucky to stay on the pitch with his high tackle. Didn’t offer enough protection for our shaky back four and our melt-down started when The Flame replaced Arteta.
Tomas Rosicky | N/A: The Czech maestro failed to impress during his cameo. Looked a bit rusty but to be expected.
Lukas Podolski | N/A: Had a chance to score another winner against Anderlecht but didn’t hit the ball properly.