Arsenal were left bitterly frustrated and disappointed with a draw against Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday, as the home side were gifted decisions to come back for 1-1 and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang missed a penalty.
If you asked any Arsenal fan how the match would go before the game, their prediction would certainly have an incorrectly-awarded penalty converted by Harry Kane somewhere in it.
So it proved, as Kane was clearly offside as he went for the ball but won a spot-kick anyway. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had the chance to put things right with a penalty of his own but wasted the chance. Although, Jan Vertonghen’s illegitimate encroachment into the penalty area is the only reason the striker didn’t score the rebound.
Lucas Torreira was then sent off for something Danny Rose had done not long earlier, with the Englishman only receiving a yellow card. Standard stuff.
Here are our individual match ratings for the clash.
Bernd Leno 8
Leno only had to make two saves before the penalty, but they were both very difficult stops and he did excellently to keep both out. His distribution was a little off at times, but his shot-stopping efforts deserved the clean sheet that was robbed from him by the assistant referee’s error.
Shkodran Mustafi 6
Playing out of position, Mustafi wasn’t always comfortable on the ball, but he did a good enough job defensively until the penalty. At that point, his barge was stupid, even if it should have been ruled out for offside.
Sokratis Papastathopoulos 8.5
Sokratis was excellent, winning duel after duel with the Tottenham attackers. He was the reason Kane didn’t have a sniff at a chance to score until he placed the ball on the penalty spot. The one criticism is that he and Koscielny were caught out for Eriksen’s first-half chance, but luckily Leno was on hand to make sure it didn’t matter.
Laurent Koscielny 9
Koscielny’s performance was ever so slightly more impressive, that one moment aside. He won all the tackles he attempted, made seven clearances and two interceptions, and won most of his aerial duels despite being up against Kane.
Nacho Monreal 8.5
Monreal was good as well, making a combined 10 tackles and interceptions. The whole defence struggled a little to find passes, but that was largely because Arsenal’s gameplan involved quick counter-attacks rather than possession football. Monreal did create a fantastic chance which Lacazette should’ve finished to make it 2-0.
Matteo Guendouzi 7
Guendouzi had an alright half, but he did look a little bit more nervy than usual. Still, he added a couple of important challenges to the good work by the defenders before his early substitution. With the lead, it made more sense to bring him off for Torreira.
Granit Xhaka 8
Aside from one bizarre challenge on Kane, Xhaka had a good game. He brought the physicality needed to win the battle in midfield, he distributed the ball well and he gave Arsenal a little bit of the control on the ball they were mostly lacking.
Aaron Ramsey 8.5
Ramsey worked really hard and got his rewards with a goal in the early stages. He was involved in a couple of other positive moves before being withdrawn with 20 minutes to go. His touches were nice and confident and he deserved to win the match, as so many did on the day.
Alex Iwobi 7
Iwobi had one decent attempt at goal and created a couple of chances. Not everything he tried came off, but that’s the nature of his style of play. The winger also made a couple of tackles as he covered Monreal well enough.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan 8
Mkhitaryan’s good form continued with some nice dribbles and good link-up play. He kept a lot of moves going nicely to create a few good opportunities, although he should’ve been a little more keen to pull the trigger on his own chances.
Alexandre Lacazette 6
Lacazette got the assist for the opening goal, and it was a nicely weighted pass through even if it was a pretty simple one. Other than that he only really had two big moments, a difficult early shot that he snatched at, and a much easier chance in the second half that he snatched at again.
He needs to be finishing those, and he’ll now serve a suspension in the Europa League before the game against Manchester United.
Substitute 1 – Lucas Torreira 8
Torreira helped to provide a little more stability in midfield, with the highest pass accuracy of anyone on the Arsenal team, and a few important tackles. We’re not going to mark him down for winning the ball and Danny Rose arriving late to run into his studs.
Substitute 2 – Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang 6
Aubameyang looked bright at first, and it was his run that won Arsenal a late penalty. His attempt wasn’t good enough, and it was an easy save for Lloris. After that, he definitely would’ve scored after the rebound but for Vertonghen’s encroachment.
It was a poor penalty, but when he won it himself and only failed to score the rebound because of poor officiating, we shouldn’t be too harsh.
Substitute 3 – Mesut Özil 6
In a game like this, where Arsenal have so little possession, Özil’s impact in such a short space of time was always going to be limited. He had a couple of nice passes and touches though.