It wasn’t the prettiest of matches, nor was it the most exciting, but Arsenal leave Serbia with three points.
Apart from perhaps Jack Wilshere and Reiss Nelson, there weren’t many bright sparks in action against Red Star Belgrade on Thursday night.
Perhaps this was summed up by the fact that Olivier Giroud, who had been pretty poor all game, linked up with Theo Walcott, who was also terrible, to create a stunning team goal in order to win the match 1-0 for Arsenal. Of course, Wilshere was involved.
Joe Willock and Ainsley Maitland-Niles were also solid.
It’s now three wins from three and although most of the Gunners were disappointing, many were inexperienced, not quite fit or unsure of the bizarre starting XI Arsene Wenger had thrown out onto the pitch.
Here’s how they all did individually.
Petr Cech – 8
The goalkeeper made is big save in the 31st minute at close range.
He went on to make three important saves in total and kept Arsenal in the game until the final few minutes when Giroud put them ahead.
Mathieu Debuchy – 6
The right-back was started in the centre despite not playing for the first team since Bournemouth at home last season. And it showed.
Edit: In hindsight, I do feel I was a little harsh. The 32-year-old was pretty solid so I’ll change his score to a 6.
Mohamed Elneny – 5.5
Elneny’s not a good defender. He’s an adequate midfielder and is good at what he knows, but when you push him back it’s obvious that he’s uncomfortable and it leaves Arsenal vulnerable.
He did make a good challenge at the start of the second half but it didn’t outweigh his error later on when he gave the ball away right outside of our area.
Rob Holding – 5
The centre-back wasn’t terrible but was still lacking a little pace. It was a little concerning that Red Star were targeting him because he’s the weak link.