We did it the Arsenal way.
It was supposed to be a calm night in Sofia, after winning 6-0 only few weeks ago against this same team, but we are the Arsenal.
We got off to a scrappy start, looking pretty much off for the whole match and then Mesut Özil saved us with his brilliance.
After first 15 minutes, we were all doom and gloom over yet another poor November, but in the end, it’s all smiles wherever you look. Three points, top of the group, and all pumped up for the Derby.
David Ospina – 7
You can no longer deny that Ospina is a decent keeper and that he’s saving our behinds a few times in each match. The match in Sofia was no different. Yes, he could have perhaps reacted better for their first goal, but he did save some decent counters in second half and was looking safe overall.
Carl Jenkinson – 6.5
Let’s face it, Carl is not Bellerin and probably never will be. He was okay tonight, but was dropping slightly as THE match went on. Couldn’t keep up so he made a few fouls and got himself a yellow card. Good up front.
Shkodran Mustafi – 6.5
He looked a bit unsafe on a few occasions, just like in last few matches. No huge mistakes, but overall not a very confident display.
Laurent Koscielny – 6.5
Same as Mustafi, he didn’t look too comfortable tonight. He perhaps could have reacted better for second goal and been more aware of his player.
Kieran Gibbs – 6.5
Gibbo lost his man and slipped for their second goal of the night, and, just like the rest of the defense, didn’t look too confident. He was okay when going forward.
Francis Coquelin – 7
Worked hard once again in his preferred role. He got a yellow card, although it wasn’t his fault – he was complaining to the ref over a wrong decision. Other than that, really solid performance from him tonight.
Granit Xhaka – 7.5
Good performance from Xhaka who got little bit of rest with his suspension in the league. He worked well with Coquelin and I like this duo way more than Coq-neny. Scored our first goal too. I still think it wasn’t his handball that lead to their first goal.
Aaron Ramsey – 7
Aaron Ramsey started this match after being out for a while and you could see that. He had a lovely assist for Giroud’s goal, but it was apparent that he’s still not 100% ready and looked a bit off sometimes. Still, good to have him back!
Mesut Özil – 9
What to say about this man that hasn’t been said already? He didn’t look too up-for-it just like the rest of the team, but he assisted for the first goal AND scored the best goal of the season easily. Yeah, sure, I could have given him an 8 or 8.5 and he would still be MOTM, but, I mean, this is the goal he scored. You should be happy I didn’t give him a 10.
— Joaquin (@MorningPint) November 1, 2016
Alexis Sanchez – 6.5
Alexis didn’t score tonight (oh, what a rare occurrence lately), and he didn’t do much overall. He was trying, had some amazing long passes through Ludogorets’ defense, but that’s all. I have to note that their players were constantly kicking him, which may have helped keeping him quiet.
Olivier Giroud – 7
Good to have the big man back! A goal in his first start this season means it was a great game for him. Great header, some good chances, AND a wonderful ball recovery and pass to Elneny who then passed to Magician Mesut.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – 5.5
Ox had one half-chance that he shot wide and could have easily get a shot on target.
Mohamed Elneny – 6.5
Elneny came on and magnificently assisted Mesut with a wonderful long ball, perfectly timed.
Alex Iwobi – N/A
Not enough time on the pitch to rate him.