18 Feb Arsenal bailed out by 8/10 Saka on off night time for Aubameyang in Benfica draw
It completed all sq. between Arsenal and Benfica on the midway level of their Europa League tie within the spherical of 32, with Bukayo Saka equalising in a disappointing 1-1 attract Rome.
Arsenal had dominated the primary half however solely created one clear-cut goalscoring likelihood. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang missed a simple alternative to interrupt the impasse, the Gabon striker unable to transform Hector Bellerin’s cross from six yards when unmarked within the field.
Arsenal’s play was neat and tidy however they at all times appeared to fall quick within the closing third. And so they had been punished when Benfica had been gifted a penalty after Emile Smith-Rowe was adjudged to have dealt with the ball. Luis Pizzi transformed from the spot.
Aubameyang had a improbable likelihood to win the sport however he may solely drag his shot broad when by on objective, a transfer that summed up his, and Arsenal’s night.
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The Gunners’ motion behind Aubameyang was spectacular, with Smith-Rowe, Saka and Martin Odegaard all linking nicely. Odegaard’s vary of passing particularly was very good.
Arsenal proceed to press the self-destruct button at occasions. They performed a pointless ball throughout the face of objective earlier than the break, whereas within the second half their failure to clear the ball and concede a nook led to the penalty that noticed them go a objective behind.
Supervisor ranking out of 10
6 – Mikel Arteta could have been annoyed by this consequence. His team had the higher of the sport and regarded the extra prone to rating, however once more he was left ruing a expensive unenforced error. Additionally, he may need launched extra tempo earlier, with a number of gamers wanting drained.
Participant scores (1-10; 10 = greatest. Gamers launched after 70 minutes get no ranking)
GK Bernd Leno 6 – The Arsenal stopper did not have a lot to do in the best way of saves to make, however he definitely noticed loads of the ball. He was responsible of holding on to it for too lengthy and slowing Arsenal’s play. He may do little to cease Pizzi’s penalty.
DF Hector Bellerin 6 – The Spaniard was an attacking outlet on the fitting flank, recurrently hitting the touchline or field to get crosses into the world. His closing ball typically let him down, although; the exception was a cross for Aubameyang’s likelihood within the first half.
DF David Luiz 6 – Was strong for probably the most half and was typically in the fitting place on the proper time to defend his traces. There have been occasions he could have been grateful to Dani Ceballos for masking for him, however this was an event-free outing for the Brazilian.
DF Gabriel Magalhaes 6 – The Brazilian defender was a secure presence alongside David Luiz. He made some necessary interceptions and restricted Benfica’s attacking choices.
DF Cedric Soares 6 – Made means for Kieran Tierney within the second half, however not earlier than taking part in his half in pulling Arsenal stage. His run and subsequent cross allowed Saka to volley house the Gunners’ equaliser.
MF Dani Ceballos 7 – The Spaniard was a strong presence within the center. He coated nicely on the again and his passing was very good, one by ball particularly opening up Benfica and releasing Bellerin on the fitting. He was, nevertheless, typically responsible of taking too many touches and operating into bother when a move would have been far more practical.
MF Granit Xhaka 5 – Not his most interesting night. He performed a very pointless and careless cross-field move simply earlier than the break that put his defence underneath pointless strain. Total there have been too many sideways passes; he merely appears to wrestle with out Thomas Partey alongside him.
MF Bukayo Saka 8 – Was a hazard all night. He had an effort saved earlier than the break, at which level he had been too typically responsible of drifting offside. He was handiest when reducing in from the fitting hand aspect, and after having a number of photographs on objective he lastly discovered the web when he transformed Cedric’s teasing cross.
MF Martin Odegaard 8 – The loanee regarded excellent on the ball. His link-up play with these round him was spectacular and his passing was a continuing supply of ammunition for Arsenal. One move particularly, to Saka, could have Arsenal followers dreaming of a everlasting transfer for the Norwegian.
MF Emile Smith-Rowe 6 – Hyperlink up play was as strong as ever, although he regarded drained all through. He performed in a wider place than common and he wasn’t as efficient as when he is performed by the center. Ran his socks off earlier than being changed.
FW Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang 6 – The skipper missed an absolute sitter following a scrumptious cross from Bellerin, and it simply appeared to be a kind of nights for him. He missed one other one-on-one within the second half after which fluffed his traces by taking too many touches when by as soon as once more. Sharp, however not potent sufficient.
DF Kieran Tierney (Soares, 64) 7 – Tierney linked up nicely with Nicolas Pepe on the left-hand aspect and he did the straightforward issues nicely. Arsenal can be delighted to have him again.
FW Nicolas Pepe (Aubameyang, 77), N/A – Regarded harmful when he got here on, although a heavy contact undid some good work from Tierney with the Gunners in a harmful place.
MF Gabriel Martinelli (Smith-Rowe, 77) N/A – Again in motion after a protracted lay-off, Martinelli did not see a lot of the ball within the closing phases.
MF Willian (Odegaard, 90) N/A – The Brazilian had little or no time to make an influence.
DF Mohamed Elneny (Ceballos, 90) N/A – Had a few touches however solely had 4 minutes of harm time on the pitch.