Arsenal player ratings as Alexandre Lacazette shines while Laurent Koscielny drops a howler

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Lacazette shone with some great link-up play and a well taken goal.

Despite playing 80 minutes with a man advantage, Arsenal were held to a 1-1 draw by Atletico Madrid in the first-leg of the Europa League semi-finals at the Emirates stadium.

Atletico right-back Sime Vrsaljko was given his marching orders in the 10th minute of the tie itself for a second yellow card. The Spaniards defended resolutely for about an hour before Alexandre Lacazette gave Arsenal the lead in the 61st minute with a header.

However, Arsene Wenger‘s men were unable to make their advantage count as Antoine Greizmann scored a late equaliser (82nd minute) to give Ateltico the vital away goal.

Here’s how Arsenal’s players performed on the night.


David Ospina – Kept his place in the squad ahead of Petr Cech and put in an assured performance whenever called upon. Made an excellent save to deny Griezmann in the first-half but could do nothing about the equaliser after saving the initial shot. 6

Hector Bellerin – The Spanish full-back marshalled his flank well but some of his crossing from the right left a lot to be desired. Could have been more adventurous. 6

Laurent Koscielny – The French central defender showed his experience and class to keep Kevin Gameiro pretty quiet for the most part but then dropped a clanger by allowing his compatriot Greizmann acres of space to snatch a late equaliser. 5

Shkodran Mustafi –  Was the weakest link in the Arsenal defence all night. Jumped into tackles unnecessarily and conceded several silly free-kicks. 5

Nacho Monreal – The never-tiring Spaniard combined excellently with Welbeck on the left with most of Arsenal’s threat coming from his flank. 7

Granit Xhaka – It was not the most eventful of nights for Xhaka as he sat at the base of the Arsenal midfield. Kept things simple to keep the game ticking and swept up well. 6

Jack Wilshere – The Englishman had a largely uneventful first-half by his standards but was everywhere in the second. Provided the assist for Lacazette’s goal with an excellent cross. 7

Aaron Ramsey – The Welsh midfielder did not have his most effective game with Atletico’s packed defence depriving him of the opportunity to make his trademark late runs into the box. Could have snatched a late winner but Oblak pulled off a great save to deny him. 6

Mesut Ozil – The spotlight was on the silky German’s playmaking abilities as Atletico went down to 10 men. Did not lack industry or endeavor but failed to really grab the game by the scruff of the neck. 6

Danny Welbeck – The former Manchester United player was the brightest of Arsenal’s attackers and gave Atletico right-winger Thomas Partey a horrid time. Created several opportunities on the night for his team-mates though he did miss a couple of gilt-edged chances himself too. 7

Alexandre Lacazette – Some clever movement and link-up from the French forward whose influence on the game increased with each passing minute. Made up for some squandering some great chances early on by giving Arsenal the lead with a clinical header. 8

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