Arsenal finish top of their Europa League group but it almost seems as if we didn’t want to.
The Gunners conceded a soft penalty in the second half of their clash against FC Cologne and, despite having almost 70% of the possession and 16 shots to the German side’s four, left empty-handed.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles was Arsenal’s stand-out player by far, at least before his intensity dropped in the second half. Reiss Nelson was good when he came on as well and almost scored a worldie but he didn’t come on until the 67th minute.
Here’s how they all got on individually.
David Ospina – 6
The goalkeeper didn’t have a huge amount to do. The Colombian made an early save against Cordoba but other than that he could have sat down and eaten his dinner. Except for save the penalty but who really thought he was going to do that?
Cologne had four shots in total, three on target.
Mathieu Debuchy – 5.5
The Frenchman didn’t have a terrible match but didn’t seem quite as solid as centre-back as he has in previous Europa League games. He also gave away Cologne’s penalty and while it was a bit soft, he should have known better considering his experience.
He completed 53/57 passes, won four aerial duels, one tackles and made five clearances as well as three interceptions.
Per Mertesacker – 7
The big guy had a solid match. He made five interceptions and won nine (!) headers – four more than anybody else on the pitch. The centre-back also completed an impressive 85/90 passes.
Rob Holding – 6
The 22-year-old seemed a bit slow, especially when it came to turning over the ball. However, he completed 99/101 passes and won two aerial duels.
Next up, midfield