Arsenal have one foot into the Europa League last-16 after a comfortable victory over Ostersunds as Ozil and Mkhitaryan shine for the Gunners on an icy night in Sweden.
On paper, Arsenal had the quality and superiority over Ostersunds, and the Gunners duly showed that on the pitch. Arsenal’s vast, visible gulf in class saw them dispatch Ostersunds on the pitch to put one strong foot into the Europa League last-16.
Mesut Ozil and Henrikh Mkhitaryan made their mark for Arsenal against Ostersunds as Nacho Monreal got another goal to his name. Arsenal’s midfield and defence did have some iffy moments along the way, but in the end, they recovered and made the win count with a clean sheet.
Mesut Ozil pulled all the strings in attack for Arsenal, but Mkhitaryan got his name on two assists during the game, but one of it was an own goal which was not credited to the Armenian. Here’s how Arsenal’s players rated against Ostersunds.
David Ospina – 7/10
A very comfortable afternoon for the Colombian International who, for the most of the game was a mere spectator standing out in the cold. Ghoddos did test Ospina on occasions, but he showed fantastic reflexes to save whatever was thrown his way. The icing on the cake for his performance was the penalty save from Pettersson right at the end after Bellerin gave away the penalty.
Hector Bellerin – 6.5/10
Bellerin was not at his consistent best, more like a hit and a miss performance from the Spaniard. Bellerin’s touches were heavy, sometimes giving the ball away, leading to opposition attacks. Things took a different turn right at the end after he conceded a penalty with a very unusual tackle, but Ospina saved him the blushes with a brilliant stop.
Shkodran Mustafi – 7.5/10
Mustafi had some scary moments, one penalty appeal in particular, but got away with it. Apart from that, the German had a solid game, oozing confidence along the way. Whenever called into action, he sniffed out the danger.
Calum Chambers – 8/10
Very good in defence against Ostersunds, and like Mustafi, had a confident game. There were two wayward passes, which could have gone bad for Arsenal, but a lack of attacking instincts from Ostersunds meant he was bailed out.
Nacho Monreal – 7/10
Not his best performance. The experienced Spaniard who is known so much for his consistent display in defence had a below-par performance there. He did score the opening goal, which covered up his cracks in the defence. That goal was his 3rd goal in six games, excluding the own goal against Chelsea in the Carabao Cup semis.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles – 6/10
Maitland-Niles has been out of the starting XI since the loss to Bournemouth, and his display against Ostersunds showed precisely why. As much as he had performed well at the left-wing back role, he had a disappointing night in central midfield, sloppy in position with a lack of defensive awareness. Needs improvement in his game to get back into the team.
Mohammed Elneny – 7.5/10
Elneny has been in a good vein of form recently. Against Ostersunds, too he was consistent on the ball, in possession and made the midfield tick. His defensive awareness helps the team in many ways and adds a something extra to his game.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan – 8/10
Mkhitaryan had quite an attacking game against Ostersunds. Ozil, Iwobi and Welbeck all took combined 7 shots, while Mkhitaryan took six himself. He got the assist for the Ozil goal, but if an assist is considered for an own goal, then he got that as well. Switched on for the game and it worked for Arsenal pretty well.
Alex Iwobi – 6.5/10
Back into the team after missing out against Tottenham, Iwobi performed well on the night. He created multiple opportunities for teammates but without scoring or assisting. There were still those old problems about decision making and making a viable contribution in the final third, which needs massive improvements.
Mesut Ozil – 8/10
Ran the Arsenal attack and scored a goal on his return to the competition after eight years. Linked well with teammates and created a few crucial opportunities. Scored an excellent goal after Mkhitaryan laid out the assist.
Danny Welbeck – 5/10
A very rusty performance from Welbeck. He has been back in training for some time now and is not exactly a player returning from injury. Taking shots that are impossible to score has become a trait for the English forward, and such was his showing against Ostersunds. This was a game for him to earn back the manager’s trust and he failed to do anything worthwhile.
Sead Kolasinac – 5/10
Did not do much after coming on for Monreal in the second half. It would be a good thing for him to get more game time under his belt.
Eddie Nketiah – 5/10
Not much time on the field to rate his performance, especially when Arsenal had more or less won the game as there was no need for another goalscorer on the pitch.
Riesse Nelson – 5/10
Like Nketiah, did not have much time on the field but got some game time.