Arsenal drew 0-0 in a very frustrating Thursday night clash with Sporting CP, which nonetheless left the Gunners in an extremely strong position to top the group.
A win would’ve wrapped Arsenal’s group up early, but a draw leaves Unai Emery’s side needing one win from the final two games to ensure finishing top. Perhaps not even that, if results go their way in the other games.
As a result, a draw wasn’t a particularly good result for Sporting either, if they had any ambition to top the group. It seems they’re happy to meander to second place though, as they didn’t even make any real attempts to score a goal.
It was up to Arsenal to take the game to their opponents, but the Gunners keenly felt the absence of their first-choice full-backs and the creativity in midfield provided by Mesut Özil, Granit Xhaka and Lucas Torreira. Those filling in on Thursday failed to make much happen.
Let’s have a look at our individual ratings for the match.
Aaron Ramsey 6
This is the kind of game Ramsey needs to be bossing, especially from the position he’s supposed to be best in. From that point of view, it was disappointing to see him offer so little, and his attempted flicks towards the end of the game were just stupid.
As mentioned earlier, the Welshman spent more time on the ball than anyone else, making over 100 passes. All that to create just one chance, the same as Jenkinson.
Matteo Guendouzi 6
Guendouzi was caught on the ball a little too often, and couldn’t affect the game as positively as he did in the away fixture. Nonetheless, he made a couple of good tackles and his passing was still better than most of the midfielders and forwards.
Emile Smith Rowe 7
Smith Rowe had a solid game, making a lot of positive runs into the channels and looking to take players on when possible. He had a couple of chances as well, but couldn’t find the target on this occasion.