Arsenal eased past FC Vorskla on Thursday, with a 4-2 scoreline that ended up flattering the visitors, if anything.
Unai Emery picked a fairly strong side to ensure the win in Arsenal’s opening Europa League fixture, making it four victories in a row in all competitions. It took a while for the team to get going, as many didn’t seem to be on the same wavelength. Once the first goal went in though, the game opened up and the Gunners never looked in trouble.
Vorskla got a couple of very late goals, but even then the feeling was more disappointment than fear the away side might actually come back into the game.
Let’s have a look at how the individual players did on the night.
1Goalkeeper and Defence
Bernd Leno 6.5
There was really nothing Leno could do about the goals, with both so powerful and at such close range. He made one save other than that, but as expected the biggest improvement was on the ball. The goalkeeper completed 91% of his passes, and looked comfortable throughout.
Unfortunately we’re still going to need more time to assess Leno’s shot-stopping, because there was nothing to test him here, other than shots that no keeper would save.
Stephan Lichtsteiner 5.5
Lichtsteiner didn’t make a great case for more regular involvement in the team on this occasion, as he was at fault for Vorskla’s first goal. The Swiss international couldn’t get out quickly enough to stop the cross for the away side’s second either. It wasn’t all bad though, and he did get an assist at the other end at least.
Sokratis Papastathopoulos 8
Once again, Sokratis was Arsenal’s best defender, making some great recovery tackles, winning duels and completing a greater percentage of his passes than anyone else on the team bar Aubameyang.
With all the goals Unai Emery’s side have conceded this campaign, it’s really difficult to think of any that were Sokratis’ fault. That’s a sign of how consistent he’s been in a pretty poor defence, so far.
Rob Holding 7
Holding did a solid job in his first start of the season, and like Sokratis he was a bit unlucky to be part of a defence that let two goals in. He wasn’t quite as busy as his centre-back partner on the night, but did well enough when called upon.
Nacho Monreal 7
Monreal had a very quiet game defensively, only contesting one tackle, one aerial and making three clearances in the entire 90 minutes. He did a good job helping out the attack as usual, without doing anything particularly eye-catching.