Arsenal are through to the last-16 if the Europa League despite losing at home in the second leg at home to Ostersunds FK.
Arsenal had one foot in the last-16 even before their second leg tie of the last-32 at home, courtesy of their 3-0 win away at Ostersunds. It was expected of the Gunners to go through without any hassles into the last-16 of the competition, especially considering it was a home clash, where Arsenal have been strong all season.
But things did not go as planned for Arsene Wenger’s side, as two quick-fire Ostersund goals turned the tie on its head. An own goal from Calum Chambers and another strike from Ostersunds’ forward Sema only had a 62-second gap between them and got Arsene Wenger worried, coupled with a display to forget by Arsenal.
Sead Kolasinac scored in the second half to extend the aggregate lead but in the end Arsenal neither scored any more goals nor concede, to qualify for the last-16 of the Europa League.
Here’s how Arsenal’s players rated against Swedish side Ostersunds in their second leg Last-32 clash at the Emirates:
David Ospina – 6/10
Did not have much to do in one perspective of the game, but wasn’t spectacular either. Collected his quota of crosses and made some decent saves through the night. Ospina could, however, do nothing about the two quick-fire Ostersunds goals.
Hector Bellerin – 5/10
Struggled throughout the game. Sema caused him lots of problems on his side of the pitch. The most worrying part of this match for Bellerin was that he was overpowered and beaten with pace, something the Spaniard is known for in his game.
Calum Chambers – 4/10
Calum Chambers had a mixed bag performance throughout the game. He showed, at times good composure on the ball as well playing from the back. But the highlight of the game were the two Ostersunds goals and Chambers was, in a way, responsible for both. First the own goal, which was unfortunate as he was trying to block the initial shot, but was utterly accountable, as he was found for the second goal by Sema.
Rob Holding – 4.5/10
The second of Arsenal’s central defenders. Holding too was responsible for the second goal, after dropping unusually into midfield for that one and exposing Kolasinac, who could do nothing about the goal. He improved in the second half making some crucial blocks and interceptions.
Sead Kolasinac – 5/10
His recent downward spiral of form was evident in this game. Kolasinac in was lost in the first half of the game and showed lack of awareness and position as well partly responsible for the opposition’s second goal. In the second half, he scored Arsenal’s vital goal as well showing great awareness and being decisive in defence.
Mohammed Elneny – 6/10
Tidy as usual in his game in midfield. Elneny, the moment Arsenal went two goals behind, was trying to get Arsenal forward, although it sure wasn’t enough. In recent games where Elneny has played, he added an extra layer of defensive protection, which was missing tonight.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles – 4/10
Maitland-Niles was tasked with the responsibility of taking Arsenal’s game forward as well to control the midfield area. Ostersunds were utterly dominant in midfield during the first half and rendered Maitland-Niles completely useless. Was taken off during half-time to be replaced by Granit Xhaka.
Jack Wilshere – 4.5/10
Wilshere had a bad game overall. He did not look sharp at all and was slow in his game, not at his usual self. Was taken off in the second half to be replaced by Joe Willock. Wilshere was tasked with creating attack but failed to do anything significant as well failing to finish a chance when offered one.
Alex Iwobi – 7/10
Arsenal’s best player on the pitch. The disappointing performances of the others around him took the glow of his game. Iwobi made 82% of his passes while also attempting 9 dribbles during the game. It was not a high performance per se, but the best of any player wearing the Arsenal shirt.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan – 4/10
One could expect Mkhitaryan to perform against teams like Ostersunds, where he could make a mark on the side, which he failed to do so. Mkhitaryan was tasked a big ask in the absence of Mesut Ozil, and although he tried to make things happen, nothing came of it.
Danny Welbeck – 4/10
A visible lack of confidence in front of goal showed with his abject finishing when offered good chances to score. His link-up play was OK overall, but his finishing still needs to be sharp and needs goals in his game if he is to have a future at Arsenal beyond this season.
Granit Xhaka – 5/10
Arsenal were more stable in midfield after his introduction at half-time, a task which was given to Ainsley Maitland-Niles before his withdrawal. Although there was stability, Xhaka still wasn’t at his best, misplacing passes, especially as he attempted some of his trademark long ones. Not an excellent performance but decent enough to see Arsenal through.
Joe Willock – N/A
Not long enough on the field after replacing Wilshere in the second half.
Reiss Nelson – N/A
Like Willock, he too wasn’t on the pitch for too long to rate, although the match was almost done in Arsenal’s favour when he came on.