Arsenal have completely blown themselves out of the top four race with a lacklustre draw against Brighton & Hove Albion on Sunday.
Arsenal’s baffling end of the season form has left them needing to win the Europa League now that their top four race is all but over. With Tottenham losing their Premier League game against Bournemouth and Manchester United also drawing against Huddersfield, Arsenal had a chance to pounce, but the Gunners blew it with a 1-1 draw against struggling Brighton.
As things stand, Chelsea have qualified for the Champions League with their win over Watford and Arsenal need a miraculous victory over Burnley on the final day, while hoping Spurs lose their game. Additionally, with Arsenal needing to overcome a goal difference of +8 to topple their North London rivals, their prospects of it look slim.
As for the game, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored his 26th goal in all competitions from the penalty spot in the first half. Arsenal then returned the favour through Granit Xhaka when the Swiss midfielder conceded a penalty, with Glenn Murray converting. The hosts were then unable to break down a resilient Brighton side, who even came very close to scoring the winner.
Bernd Leno: 6/10
Leno was good in his box, commanding over his area well and making some crucial saves along the way. In reality, considering the gulf in the quality between his team and the opposition, he should not be as busy as he was and would need a better defence next season to provide cover to him.
Stephan Lichtsteiner: 6/10
The Swiss veteran is not the best player for an attacking side like Arsenal in his current run of form. A surprise starter, Lichtsteiner did get forward well and found space time and again to send in crosses, but his ideas were fruitless. An adequate performance nonetheless, but Arsenal have surely missed Hector Bellerin from an attacking and defensive perspective.
Sokratis Papastathopoulos: 5/10
Horrible outing for the Greek defender, who lost his cool in the early stages to earn himself a 12th yellow card of the season. His recent dip in form has become a worrying scene for Arsenal and he needs to improve drastically, especially with bigger games coming.
Shkodran Mustafi: 6.5/10
Arsenal’s best defender on the day. Additionally, he showed great feet and vision with his passing which caused Brighton plenty of problems, especially with his long balls forward. Refreshingly un-Mustafi-like.
Nacho Monreal: 6/10
Monreal has been one of Arsenal’s consistent performers over the last few years, but the feeling of age catching up is quite evident now. His sharpness has faded and he was lucky to win the penalty, without which as things looked, Arsenal would have lost.
Granit Xhaka: 5.5/10
Conceding the penalty overshadowed some of his excellent displays on the pitch, especially his superb passing combination with Ozil. Back to the penalty incident, Xhaka was unlucky as the referee gave the benefit of the doubt to the attacker, as it was a case of who loses the foot race.
Lucas Torreira: 5/10
Despite his good performances earlier in the season, he still is getting to grips with the Premier League. In recent performances, he has not been able to control the midfield and the ease with which he goes to ground is appalling. He should get up to speed for next season, but he certainly disappointed during the run-in.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan: 6.5/10
Mkhitaryan was a threat throughout the game. Saw one effort hit the post and another go past the target. However, his loose ball led to the Brighton penalty, although it was not his job so far back to protect defence in the first place.
Mesut Ozil: 6/10
Ozil was one of the best attackers on the pitch, keeping hold of the ball well and trying his best to create something. But when the game got more intense and fierce, he disappeared. Created most chances for his team alongside Xhaka, but Arsenal failed to take advantage of it.
Alexandre Lacazette: 7.5/10
Lacazette has become an indispensable figure for Arsenal and his hard work and willingness to lead the team no matter what has not gone unnoticed. Arsenal are lucky to have him around and must praise Arsene Wenger for the signing. It’s a shame his efforts did not result in a goal and three points for Arsenal.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang: 6.5/10
Top scorer for the club, Aubameyang scored his 26th of the season in all competitions and Arsenal have not had a scorer like him since Alexis Sanchez. Scored the penalty, but the fact that he missed the most crucial chance of the game to give his team the three points sums his season up.
Alex Iwobi: 5/10
Inconsistent and in his usual stride which is generally a hit & miss kind of performance. His presence did not help matters and certainly did not contribute enough for Arsenal to win the game.
Sead Kolasinac: 5/10
Came on, tried to deliver some balls from his customary left side and failed. Not sure sending a defender when the team needs a goal was the ideal choice, but one look at the Arsenal bench would suggest there was no other option.
Matteo Guendouzi: 5/10
Came on with the hope of doing some damage or changing the complexion of the game. His substitute appearances have been fruitless all season, and the story did not change a bit against Brighton.