What did Arsenal actually learn against Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday night?
Although it was a pretty similar first half to the Southampton ‘win’, there’s still some stuff that we should have learnt by now but clearly haven’t. Not to take away from the fact that a point away to PSG – the Group favourites – isn’t a brilliant result, it is, but this was mainly down to our second half turnaround.
Here’s five things we can take from the game.
Alexis is still not a lone striker
No matter how many times Arsene Wenger tries to play him as a lone striker, the Chilean still looks lost and isolated up front. Alexis is simply better dribbling up the wing or providing for someone else than sitting alone up top and it couldn’t be more obvious.
Alexis is usually one of the most noticeable players during any game because he’s always involved. Even if he’s not having the best performance, he’s still right in the action. The fact that you could barely notice him playing against PSG in the first half speaks volumes.
Why we continue to play one of our best players in the wrong position is baffling.
When Olivier Giroud was brought on in the 63rd minute and Alexis was free to roam up and down the left wing, we looked like a different team and scored the equalising goal.
Shkodran Mustafi needs time to adapt
Despite what the German’s father said about him bedding into any team easily, the centre-back appeared a little out of his depth against the Ligue 1 club, particularly in the first half.
A lot of the time, the defender appeared to be meandering down the right wing… which was a little odd and something that happened enough times for people to pick up on it.
PSG were getting behind us way too freely and the fact that Mustafi was wandering around out of position probably contributed to this.
Saying this, the defender was one of our most influential players statistically and was one of our best passers, which goes to show that he can still have a positive impact while he gets used to his surroundings.
Flamini has possessed Coq
It seems apparent that either Coquelin has been possessed by the spirit of Mathieu Flamini, who left the club this summer, or Flamini has kidnapped Coq, skinned him and taken his place in the Arsenal team (wow, this got dark).
Although the yellow card he picked up in the 24th minute was arguably harsh (albeit somewhat predictable), this wasn’t the only element to his game that reminded me of our newly departed Frenchman.
Francis Coquelin has now received a yellow card in 3 out of his 4 appearances for Arsenal this season.
Hot head. pic.twitter.com/8FIMxjc3NU
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) September 13, 2016
His cover of our defence was laughable, with the midfielder instead choosing to gallivant from box-to-box. How many times did we see Flamini randomly rock up in the opposition’s area, leaving us completely exposed and huge gaps in midfield? Is Coq really heading down that path?
A wild Coquelin appears in final third
— Daily Cannon (@DailyCannon) September 13, 2016
Saying that, at least someone was getting in the box, eh?
David Ospina isn’t that terrible
The Colombian pulled off some decent saves in the second half, proving that perhaps he’s not quite as terrible as many believe.
In fact, he was probably our best player on the night.
Saying this, he’s still no Petr Cech. Even when Cech is having a bad day, he’s usually better than Dave. However, it wasn’t quite the circus many were expecting when the team sheets were announced. Nice one, Dave.
Referees still hate Olivier Giroud
The big guy coming on in the 63rd minute was the difference but what was that second yellow card about? Completely unnecessary and proof that the referee wanted to be making the headlines in the morning.
Why is this happening so often?