Arsenal squandered the chance to reach the Europa League Final, efficiently ending Wenger’s dream of bowing out with a trophy.
Arsenal did face a team of Atletico Madrid’s stature, but their task was not that difficult compared to many other European games in recent weeks. The visitors sure were pegged back by a late equaliser in the first leg but went down to a solitary Diego Costa goal in the second leg as Atletico reached the Europa League final.
Arsenal, however, had no shortage of attacking options nor did they fail to attack on the night. There were many scoring chances for the Gunners, which they missed, but Atletico and Costa took theirs, coupled with another Arsenal defensive error to effectively end the tie.
How did Arsenal players rate against Atletico Madrid?
David Ospina – 6/10
Made one good save in the first half, but his visible lack of communication with the defence was one of the reasons Arsenal suffered that Costa goal. Otherwise, nothing more to do, as Atletico rarely made a foray towards his goal.
Hector Bellerin – 5/10
Any other quality right back, if given the amount of space Bellerin was afforded would have proved to be lethal, but Bellerin squandered all possible crossing opportunities he had. Was switched off as he completely forgot about Costa’s run towards goal before scoring it.
Shkodran Mustafi – 6.5/10
After a shaky start to the game and Koscielny’s early withdrawal, Mustafi took over as Arsenal’s leading defender and did a good job. Went into challenges and protected his defence well, but could do nothing much about the goal. However, in the end, it was a decent performance.
Laurent Koscielny – NA
The season and the World Cup looks to be over for Koscielny as he ruptured his achillies pretty early on in the game and was in total agony. Replaced by Chambers early in the first half.
Nacho Monreal – 5/10
The other culprit in attack, Monreal too, like Bellerin, had a horrible night. He also failed to deliver right crosses when presented with plenty of opportunities, although he kept getting into good positions. Griezmann turned him over, and that could have been costly.
Jack Wilshere – 5/10
Wilshere’s fitness and game time might have improved of late, but the consistency has been missing. Although he was tidy in possession and contributing decently in build-up play, he failed to deliver where it mattered. Griezmann from a set piece caught him ball watching and could have scored.
Granit Xhaka – 7.5/10
Xhaka was one of Arsenal’s best players on the pitch, always trying to make things happen. Was extremely good in possession as well as defending the ball when needed. He could undoubtedly improve next season if he continues performing like so.
Aaron Ramsey – 7/10
Ramsey was Arsenal’s leading attacker, and it showed how much the real attacking front-three lacked regarding creation. Kept knocking on Atletico’s door time and again, but failed to conjure anything. Defended well against counter attacks and any Atletico build up, collecting seven tackles to his name.
Mesut Ozil – 4.5/10
These are games why Ozil gets intense criticism for being invisible or lost. He was not to be seen during the first half but returned to attacking Atletico’s goal in the second period, although nothing came out of it. Had two good chances in quick successions, but failed to make anything out of it.
Danny Welbeck – 6.5/10
He was the best of Arsenal’s front three, always trying to make something in the attack in the Gunners quest for a goal. He could be praised for is his defending on the night, where he stuck a leg at times to protect Arsenal’s defence.
Alexandre Lacazette – 6/10
On the one hand, a lack of service could be blamed for his below-par performance, but when he had some half chances, he hesitated in taking them.
Calum Chambers – 7.5/10
A top class defensive performance, filling in Koscielny’s shoes superbly. His excellent performance was topped by some brilliant challenges which he went into and won, especially a goal-saving block to deny Costa in the second half.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan – 6/10
Came on and instantly had a shot that went just above the crossbar. Other than that, tried at times to make something, but time ticked on and the game ended in an Arsenal defeat.