Arsenal lost 2-1 to Manchester United on Sunday, but the very young and inexperienced team can mostly hold their heads high after a fighting performance.
United fielded a near full strength side against the likes of 18-year-old Reiss Nelson, recent academy graduate Ainsley Maitland-Niles and debutant Konstantinos Mavropanos. It was always going to be an uphill battle, and so it proved with Paul Pogba’s early goal.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan, one of few experienced players, made his return from injury. He ended up grabbing an equaliser, and it was all the team deserved at the time. Unfortunately he then went off, rested for Thursday. United took back the momentum and in the end got the goal their pressure probably merited.
Still, it was harsh for the Gunners, particularly as the centre-back pairing had performed so well. Plus they perhaps should have had a penalty in the first half.
Here are the individual player ratings:
David Ospina 4
I don’t want to be too harsh on Ospina, but he didn’t make a single save and conceded two, so it’s hard to give him a higher rating than this. In all honesty there wasn’t much he could do about the goals, but he could have distributed the ball better. He didn’t inspire confidence throughout the match.
Hector Bellerin 7
Bellerin worked hard, defended well, and made an excellent block to stop Sanchez scoring against his old club. He was just unlucky it then fell to Pogba. The one blot for me is that he should’ve done better to play in Aubameyang in the first half, with his cross going straight into the keeper’s hands.
Konstantinos Mavropanos 8
What a debut for the young Greek centre-back, and how unfortunate it ended with a defeat. He looked strong and assured against very physical opposition, and got the better of Romelu Lukaku for the majority of the game. His passing was also excellent, with the best accuracy of the back-line.
Calum Chambers 7
Chambers also put in a very good performance that deserved more. He won all of his aerial duels, and made a huge number of tackles, clearances and interceptions. He wasn’t as impressive on the ball as Mavropanos, but was otherwise very good.
Sead Kolasinac 5
Kolasinac did fairly well off the ball, but couldn’t match that performance on it. He gave it away under little pressure on a couple of occasions, and didn’t quite look match sharp. Unfortunately that ended up leaving him with an injury, and he had to come off early.