Arsenal were held to a disappointing draw in Brighton on Boxing Day, despite taking an early lead through Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Aubameyang could’ve had three goals in the first half, forcing a couple of great saves from Brighton goalkeeper Mathew Ryan as well as the effort he did score. However, Arsenal’s opponents came back into the match thanks to a long-ball and an individual error, and then Unai Emery’s early substitutions backfired on him.
Emery took off Mesut Özil at half-time to change formation, but Brighton made just as many chances after the break, whilst Arsenal had just one shot to their six in the opening period. That one shot came from Alexandre Lacazette, and after he went off too the team didn’t have any chances at all.
The only positive is that Matteo Guendouzi and Lucas Torreira came through without yellow cards, and neither of them will be suspended for the match against Liverpool at Anfield.
Let’s have a look at our individual player ratings.
1Goalkeeper and Defence
Bernd Leno 6
It seems like we say this almost every game now, but there was little Leno could do about the goal he conceded. He had the long ball covered before Stephan Lichtsteiner headed it into Jurgen Locadia’s path, at which point the goalkeeper was just too far away to get there in time.
Other than that, Leno made a couple of saves and his distribution was generally at its usual high standard.
Stephan Lichtsteiner 3
This was a pretty dreadful performance from the right-back at both ends. As mentioned, he assisted Brighton’s goal with a brainless header, but he also offered nothing going forward. None of his crosses reached an Arsenal man, and only 70% of his passes found their target (no other defender completed less than 87%).
He actually improved after switching to centre-back, but perhaps that’s just as a result of the fact he no longer had to do very much. The Swiss international should’ve come off for Ainsley Maitland-Niles much earlier in the match.
Sokratis Papastathopoulos 5
Both Sokratis and Koscielny had ventured up the pitch for a corner when Brighton’s goal went in. However, neither were hugely convincing throughout the game, with the Seagulls a bit unlucky not to put more of their opportunities on target. Sokratis did have a couple of good moments though, and just about won the majority of his duels.
Laurent Koscielny 5
As above, but Koscielny’s distribution was a bit more impressive than Sokratis’, and his ability to win individual duels was slightly worse.
Sead Kolasinac 5.5
Kolasinac couldn’t get involved offensively as much as he would’ve wanted, considering only Mesut Özil has made more chances than him per game this season. He did make a couple of good challenges defensively, but in a game like this it was more about what he could add at the other end, and Arsenal just didn’t spend enough time down his side.
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