Arsenal fell disappointingly short on Thursday night in Madrid, failing to match the away goal Atletico scored in North London and ending up on the end of a 1-0 defeat.
In the end, the result means Arsenal won’t play in next season’s Champions League. The team knew that’s what was on the line, but they couldn’t do enough over the two legs to prevent another year of Europa League football.
Truthfully, Arsenal lost the tie before they even went to Spain. That away goal from Antoine Griezmann gave Arsene Wenger’s side a near impossible task. Still, it’s difficult to defend their lacklustre efforts to complete it.
For most of the match, despite their desperate need for a goal, the team didn’t even look like they believed they could score one. This was far from the ‘give everything for Wenger’ performance they promised us. Instead, the manager will have to settle for sixth and no trophies in his final season.
Here are the individual player ratings:
David Ospina 3
Ospina did make a few saves, but none were particularly impressive. He didn’t do well enough for the goal, and I was left asking whether he’s brave enough to be a top level goalkeeper.
You never see him charge out and make himself big when one-on-one. Instead he just gambles in the direction he thinks the shot is going. He also isn’t at all commanding in the box. The latter issue led to multiple mix-ups with the defence, and he was fortunate not to see one of those result in a goal.
This may well be the last match we see him play for Arsenal, and I can’t see too many people worrying about that.
Hector Bellerin 2.5
Bellerin had a tough night, and this was a really poor performance from him, but I want to clarify that he does have the excuse of playing two full matches in the 6 days prior. He was excellent in the first leg, and decent against Manchester United, but nowhere near good enough in Madrid.
His crosses were inaccurate, he looked nervous on the ball, and he lost Diego Costa for the goal. When he got back to challenge the striker he was easily pushed aside.
Shkodran Mustafi 4
As so often with Mustafi, he came out of this match with a load of tackles, interceptions and aerials won, but also a number of mistakes that don’t go down in the stats. Like the rest of the defence, he really struggled to play out from the back effectively.
Laurent Koscielny N/A
Koscielny contested a couple of early aerials and then suffered an injury that just made Arsenal’s night more difficult. There’s no way the club should rely on having him available next season. He only had five touches, so I can’t rely give him a rating.
Nacho Monreal 3
Before the game I saw some people arguing that Monreal has been our player of the season, but he looked anything but on Thursday night. He allowed Costa in during the first half with a terrible mistake which went unpunished. He also got into plenty of good attacking positions and made nothing of any of them.