Arsenal came from behind to win 3-1 in the first leg of their Europa League semi-final against Valencia on Thursday, putting them in a good position ahead of the reverse fixture in Spain.
Unai Emery’s side got off to the worst possible start as Mouctar Diakhaby headed home an early away goal to give Valencia the lead. It only took seven minutes for the Gunners to draw level though, after good work by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang gave Alexandre Lacazette the chance to put away a tap in.
Lacazette then scored a second eight minutes later with a strong header, before Aubameyang added a potentially-vital third late on.
Let’s have a look at our individual player ratings for the match.
Goalkeeper and Centre-Backs
Petr Cech 7
There was nothing much Cech could’ve done about the goal, but he did make a couple of very important saves after that. Two or three away goals would have left Arsenal in a terrible position, so that was crucial. His distribution wasn’t so impressive.
Laurent Koscielny 7
Koscielny looked rather laboured throughout the match, despite being rested at the weekend. He still put in a solid enough performance overall, but he never looked completely on top of things. The 33-year-old did play a number of nice long passes to help move Arsenal forward though.
Sokratis Papastathopoulos 7.5
Sokratis looked up for the physical side of the game, especially when he had to make a couple of last-man challenges to stop Valencia getting in on goal. He did get dribbled past once, which was once more than either of his centre-back partners. Still, it was a much-improved performance on his last two Premier League appearances.
Shkodran Mustafi 8
Credit where it’s due, Mustafi was Arsenal’s best defender on the night. The German doesn’t often get much praise for his defensive work, but this was one occasion where he got most things right.
Up against his former club, Mustafi made some important tackles, interceptions and clearances, as well as winning a couple of aerial duels. His work in possession wasn’t quite so impressive, with the second-lowest pass accuracy of any outfield Arsenal player.