Arsenal lost 2-1 to Eintracht Frankfurt on Thursday, in what would turn out to be Unai Emery’s final game as head coach of the club.
With just a point required to qualify for the knockout stages of the Europa League and top the group, Arsenal somehow managed to lose to Frankfurt from a winning position.
The Gunners took the lead through Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in the first half, and they undoubtedly had the better chances in that opening 45 minutes. They failed to add to their lead though, and an impressive brace from Daichi Kamada turned the game around.
Unai Emery’s side slumped to a defeat without any real fight, albeit hampered somewhat by a few injuries. The writing was on the wall for the Arsenal head coach though, and he was replaced by interim boss Freddie Ljungberg the next morning.
Let’s have a look at our player ratings for that final game.
- Emiliano Martinez 6 – A couple of good saves, not too much he could do about the goals. The first was a fantastic strike, the second was placed nicely into the corner coming through the Arsenal defence who put too little pressure on the ball.
- Calum Chambers 4.5 – Defensively, Chambers did pretty well, but he was just so ineffective in possession. He saw a lot of the ball and you never felt he was going to make anything happen going forward.
- Shkodran Mustafi 7 – Until his ankle injury, Mustafi had been doing a very good job. He was strong in the air and made some good tackles and interceptions before being forced off.
- Sokratis Papastathopoulos 4 – Not good enough, and not the first poor performance the defender has had recently. He was the man who should have been tighter to Kamada for the first goal, and one of many who didn’t close down the second.
- Kieran Tierney 4.5 – Had a bit of an off day, with stray passes early on eventually pushing him to go into his shell and play it too safe.
- David Luiz 5 – Made an encouraging start in midfield for about 10 minutes, then got injured. He tried to battle on for another 20 minutes but had to be withdrawn.
- Granit Xhaka 7 – Very solid performance on his return to the team. Accurate and direct passing, a little unlucky not to score late in the first half, faded a bit after an injury scare and ended up at centre-back following Mustafi’s injury.
- Joe Willock 5 – A mixed performance with some really good moments and some wasteful ones. Should really have scored on a couple of occasions. Completed a lot of dribbles, more than anyone else, which did help particularly in the first half.
- Bukayo Saka 6 – One of Arsenal’s biggest threats in the first half, he had a couple of great chances that were well saved. He also created a golden opportunity with a cross that Willock should have headed home. Wasn’t so effective after half time.
- Gabriel Martinelli 7.5 – Had two half chances and put a dangerous effort on goal with both. The first brought out the save of the match from the Frankfurt keeper, the second was cleared off the line. The Brazilian then set up Arsenal’s only goal. He also made more tackles than anyone else.
- Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang 6 – In standard Aubameyang style, he scored the only real chance he had. Wasn’t really involved enough aside from that, but his goal still should have been enough to put Arsenal through to the knockout stages.
- Matteo Guendouzi 5 – Guendouzi made a lot of tackles but he missed an interception in the build-up to the first goal and couldn’t close down the second quickly enough. His passing was fine but uninspiring.
- Mesut Özil 5 – It was a bizarre choice to bring Özil on for Martinelli, removing one of the players the German should have been feeding with his passes. Instead, there was little going on around him to work with.
- Lucas Torreira 5 – You can’t blame him, but Torreira came on and played safe passes for 15 minutes, which is not what Arsenal needed.