Arsenal were sent crashing out of the FA Cup, as they were defeated 1-3 by arch rivals Manchester United at the Emirates Stadium on Friday night.
Arsenal’s hopes of a record 14th FA Cup trophy were brought to a premature halt on Friday night, as Manchester United handed Unai Emery’s men a 1-3 defeat in the fourth round of the competition.
The Gunners were pegged back half an hour into the game, with former player Alexis Sanchez finding the back of the net on his first return to the Emirates Stadium since joining Manchester United a year ago. Only two minutes later, Arsenal were handed another blow as Jesse Lingard slotted home from inside the box to make it 0-2.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang brought the home team right back into the game on the verge of half-time, tapping home from close range after some fine work by Aaron Ramsey. Arsenal continued to keep up the pressure on the Red Devils post the break, with Ramsey seeing a headed effort saved, while Alexandre Lacazette also had a shot saved.
Our @EmiratesFACup journey comes to an end.
— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) January 25, 2019
With Arsenal committing men forward, it left them exposed to counters from the visitors and one such move in the 82nd minute led to Anthony Martial making it 1-3, sealing the fate of Emery’s side. While it didn’t help matters that Arsenal lost Sokratis and Laurent Koscielny to injury during the game, five defeats from ten games doesn’t make for a good reading.
Here’s how the Arsenal superstars fared against Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side on Friday night;
Petr Cech: 5/10
With Arsenal getting eliminated, the soon-to-be-retired Cech played the final FA Cup game of his career and it wasn’t a memorable outing for the custodian. Could have done better against Sanchez for the first goal, while he should have parried Paul Pogba’s shot out for a corner with his save, but instead laid it perfectly for Martial to score.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles: 5/10
The academy product was preferred over Stephan Lichtsteiner at right-back in the absence of Hector Bellerin, but did not enjoy the best of nights. Was guilty of playing Sanchez onside for United’s first goal, offered little in terms of attacking outlet and wasn’t very assured when in possession.
Sokratis Papastathopoulos: N/A
The Greek centre-half injured himself with an awkward landing and had to be taken off just twenty minutes into the fixture, handing Arsenal a blow.
Laurent Koscielny: 5.5/10
The Arsenal captain had been in solid form recently, but couldn’t translate that against Manchester United on Friday night. Stepped out of the backline to allow Sanchez the space to score the opener and was partly culpable for the visitors’ second goal as well, as his attempt to play Lukaku offside left his team exposed. Picked up a nasty facial injury after the break and was taken off.
Sead Kolasinac: 5.5/10
The Bosnian full-back got forward regularly with purpose and intent, but this left his team vulnerable at the back, which Manchester United exploited. Good run in the lead-up to Aubameyang’s goal, creating space for Ramsey. Booked late on for getting into a tussle with Marcus Rashford. A decent outlet, but needs to be more sound defensively.
Lucas Torreira: 6/10
As usual, the Uruguayan international worked hard in the middle of the park, trying to hassle his opponents. But at times, got too high up the pitch, leaving acres of space behind for the Red Devils to take advantage of. No faulting his efforts, but seems to have faded after the sensational impact he made at the start of the season.
Granit Xhaka: 5/10
The Switzerland international was the person designated to break United’s counter-attacks, but failed in his duties as he offered very little protection to his back four. Moved into the heart of the backline following Koscielny’s injury, where he struggled to cope with the pace of Marcus Rashford late in the game.
Aaron Ramsey: 7/10
Easily the best Arsenal player on the field on Friday night, the Welshman went on a fine run and produced a great cutback leading to Aubameyang’s goal. Almost managed to equalize in the second period, but was denied by Sergio Romero. Was a constant thorn in United’s side, before fading off towards the end. Baffling how Arsenal are letting him leave for nothing.
Alex Iwobi: 6/10
Back into the starting XI, the Nigerian international offered a positive outlet for the Gunners with his pace and direct running, but the end product wasn’t always there. Drew Ashley Young out of position to create space for Ramsey in the buildup for the goal. Withdrawn after the hour mark for Mesut Ozil.
Alexandre Lacazette: 6.5/10
The French centre-forward put in a massive shift for Arsenal on Friday night. Grafted hard in the final third, with little service coming his way, while helping out defensively as well. Flicked the ball into Aubameyang’s path for the goal and saw a powerful hit saved by Romero in the second half.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang: 5.5/10
Increased his tally for the season to 17 goals with a simple tap in on the verge of half-time. But Arsenal’s talismanic starter did little apart from that, as he cut a peripheral figure for large phases of the game. Needed to do more.
Shkodran Mustafi: 5/10
Replaced the injured Sokratis halfway through the first period. Looked off pace and had a hard time, with little help coming from midfield.
Mesut Ozil: 5/10
Thrown in for Terreira a little after the hour mark as Arsenal searched for an equalizer. Had a few nice touches, but failed to make much of an impact.
Matteo Guendouzi: 5/10
Came in for the injured Koscielny and slotted in the midfield, with Xhaka dropping back. Saw a lot of the ball, but didn’t always make the best use of it.