Even though Arsenal were eliminated from the Europa League on Thursday, three of their players made it into the Team of the Week.

Bukayo Saka of Arsenal in action during Premier League match between Arsenal and Everton at the Emirates Stadium in London - 23 Apr 2021. Copyright: Holly Allison / TPI / Shutterstock
Bukayo Saka of Arsenal in action during Premier League match between Arsenal and Everton at the Emirates Stadium in London – 23 Apr 2021. Copyright: Holly Allison / TPI / Shutterstock

Arsenal slumped to a 0-0 draw to end their chances of Europa League success on Thursday. It was hard to pick out many positive performances after the game, so it was rather surprising to see three Arsenal players in the official Team of the Week.

Bukayo Saka, Kieran Tierney, and Pablo Mari all featured in the 11 for their performances against Villarreal.

Given these Team of the Week selections are stats-based, perhaps it shouldn’t be a shock that a couple of Arsenal defenders made it in. One of the big flaws of these systems is that they don’t take into account the context of the game.

The Gunners kept a clean sheet, unlike Manchester United or AS Roma, and their defenders spent more time on the ball than the Villarreal back-four, for obvious reasons.

Saka made a couple of chances, crosses, and interceptions to earn his spot, but most fans watching the game would’ve opted for Emile Smith Rowe if they had to pick one outstanding Arsenal player. Smith Rowe didn’t make it in at all.

I’d imagine Mari, Tierney, and Saka won’t take much consolation from their inclusions anyway.

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Arsenal fan since a young age, now a season ticket holder who enjoys writing, tweeting and making videos about the Gunners.