Arsenal player ratings v Valencia – one player gets a nine

A much-improved performance and the lads have given themselves a great chance of reaching the Europa Cup final with a very decent 3-1 win over Valencia.

It did look like another loss was on the cards early on when we went 1-0 down to Diakhaby’s goal in the 11th minute but the team showed immense character, did not let their heads drop and deservedly got themselves back into the game with a well-taken goal from Lacazette seven minutes later.

Lacazette gave us the lead in the 25th minutes and Aubameyang finished the game off with a nicely taken 90th-minute goal that gave us the crucial 3-1 win.

It could have been better and the away goal may end up hurting us but overall I am happy with the performance and to a large extent that is reflected in the ratings.

Petr Cech – 7

Could have been better placed for the opening Valencia goal but that is being slightly petty and that save with his feet at 2-1 could be so crucial, had a good game overall.

Ainsley Maitland-Niles – 5

Did ok going forward but was poor in defence and his weak header back to Cech in the first half could have been very costly

Shkodran Mustafi – 6

I thought Mustafi did ok, he made some dodgy unnecessary fouls but also made some crucial tackles as well and in comparison to recent games, he stood strong in my opinion.

Sokratis Papastathopoulos – 5

He worried me big time every time he was one on one because he tended to get beaten, made the odd tackle but still a limited performance.

Laurent Koscielny – 8

Lead by example today making some crucial interventions and when you consider that he was clearly injured his display was all the more credible. If he plays like this more often the defence will be the better for it

Sead Kolasinac – 6

If only he could be more consistent with his crossing, yes he found Aubameyang at the end but far too often found the first man.

Matteo Guendouzi – 6

Took time to get into the game and then he made himself very busy hustling for the ball all the time, definitely a work in progress and an ok game.

Granit Xhaka – 6

Did well I thought, broke up play well and linked up with the forwards far more often in this game than he has done recently, could have been better but overall did ok.

Mesut Ozil – 6

I so hate to do this but he should have done better and was rightly subbed, did not have a bad game but neither did he have a good game and too often he was just slowly wandering around.

Alexandre Lacazette – 9

He would have been a ten but he missed a couple of sitters and you just cannot do that at this level but he definitely deserves a nine for the goals he did score.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – 8

His late goal could be what takes us through to the final, he had a decent game, his pass to Lacazette for the equaliser was clinical and his partnership with the Frenchman is starting to work effectively.


Lucas Torreira – 6

Took control of the midfield when he came on in the 58th minute and looked far more assured today than he has done in a while.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan – 5

Done less than Ozil who he replaced and that is about all I can say.

Nacho Monreal – No Rating

Was only on for about 10-15 minutes and do unfair to rate him really


  1. I only saw the second half live, but have just seen the game highlights, and our defending was shocking in the first half. Extremely lucky not to have been 0-3 down before Laca’s goal. Another woeful defensive performance it looks like, but luckily our attack was a lot more clinical for once.

    That Auba goal is massive! We have great chance of getting through now. Please now just beat Brighton at the weekend so at least there’s something to play for in the final game.

  2. I thought the team did better than 6 on the average. Maybe 7,8,9 for the team that started. Even guendouzi did well considering the pressure he was under.

    1. Sorry Pat but those round me in the stadium were , as I was, calling for Torreira to replace Guendouzi LONG before he finally did. I think Emery made a big mistake in leaving out Torreira for the off form Guendouzi. I think Matteo has good natural ability and a promising future BUT is very raw and inconsistent, while Torreira is a higher class altogether.

  3. 3-1 makes me feel better than if it were 2-1. The Aubameyang goal could be crucial. We have a good chance of going to the Final

    Our defense needs to change in the summer. Thank you Bosscielny. Still our best centre back


  4. Sokratis-5?Along Koscielny he was our best defender.One-on-one?He never got beaten.Rock solid.

    1. I remember one instance in the game where Sokratis was beaten one on one from our Left. It was Mustafi that saved the day by rushingly clearing that cross in the goal line.

      But apart from that I like Sokratis. He has done well for us so far I think.

  5. Good job? No. Very good job! Well done guys!

    At least nerves settled for the second leg.

    Now go all the way and win the cup, and ALL your sins are forgiven. ALL. If you don’t…? It’s probably the return of the guillotine. Or you all get flushed down the Spurs toilet.

    Take your pick.

  6. To knock us out, Valencia will have to score twice without Arsenal scoring once. With the team set up and on-field performance being top notch, there is no way that will happen.

    I think we are cool for the cup.


  7. This is a job half done guys .Its only a matter of avoiding complacency in the second leg .Top notch performance from the lads

  8. Let’s stqy hummble, we could have been 0-3 at halftime. Tactic was better secong half, disciplined as on Naples game.

    Now, let’s admit that we do got lucky but takes a bit of it to bé Champion. Might be a good sign, if WE play as second half, we should be in final. Le’s take it from second half for next game, a win is a must!

    Cheers Goonz!

  9. I hope for the second Leg Emery does not go with over the top defensive cautiousness. If he goes in with a very defensive side away then we will invite so much pressure on ourselves. And we know how sh!t we are when the pressure gets too high. And the main factors being we are so so sh!t defensively. Play it smart.
    I would go for Torreira in for Guendouzi and Mkhi in for Ozil. But apart from that we should hang on for our dear lives.

  10. We have done well this season in attack. We need to sign a central Defender in the summer, a Box to Box player and if possible extend Suarez loan deal(or sign a quality Winger). Sign Doucoure, Nabil Fekir and Koulibaly in the summer. Sell Elneny and Mustafi and Welbeck. We need a bigger squad next season. AMN should also be moved into central Midfield. He has the pace and strength.

  11. Good game lads, I don’t have much problems with the ratings but just one, how did Lacazette miss those sitters? We could have been 4-1 up at least.. That would have been more comfortable going to Spain. However, I’m still grateful for Auba’s 90th minute goal. Plus, seeing Valencia move the ball from side to side, they are a good passing team but not too deadly going forward. I think they really can’t hurt us except we go there and become below par.. Spurs lose, Chelsea couldn’t win, Liverpool heading trophy-less, Messi shows again why he’s the best and arsenal win… Good football week.

  12. Cannot believe you thought Xhaka did well but agree wholeheartedly with your comments on Socratis who is becoming a liability.

  13. Very good result, which should see us into the final.

    However, I want to digress immediately (sadly).

    What the hell is wrong with the majority (seemingly) our current home support ?

    Well done for rallying and holding up the colours before kick off a great sight to behold – but atmosphere …….come on !

    I just don’t get it.

    Semi Final of a European competition !

    Time and again at the Emirates the ground can appear almost “flat” , inviting banter from away crowds of the place being akin to a library (I’m not going to make the “Highbury the Library” connection as I still love the place).

    I fully appreciate that deep down there may a lack of being convinced by this current squad, a feeling of “the next let down is just around the corner” and almost a nervousness coming into play – but this is getting bloody embarrassing !

    How can 60 odd thousand people in one place be so …..well, subdued ?

    Getting up ( frowned upon I know) and getting behind the team, often leaves you a lone voice or attracts glances of “is he alright ?”.

    When in full flow the Emirates is the place to be, but basically this only seems to happen once (maybe twice) a season – Spuds & Manure (I know there may be a few other occasions, but just amplifying a point here).

    Half empty until almost the first kick of the game, and certainly half empty with 10 to go – really annoying.

    If you can’t factor in a bit of “inconvenience” regarding transport to and from the game, I almost feel…….don’t come in the first place !

    I really hope groups such as Red Action are keeping in contact with the club regarding initiatives to improve the atmosphere at the Emirates.

    A Signing section or suchlike is probably too late to implement for next year, but let’s at least raise the subject and get on the case.

    But I guess initiatives by the few are all good and well, it’s people that make a difference at the end of the day.

    We are a world wide “brand”, with more than our fair share of “day trippers” on match days – not always the best scenario for a dedicated full on atmosphere. But can we at least recognize this shortcoming (if indeed you guys and the club agree it is in fact a valid point) and try to improve this aspect of our great club.

    Spuds seem to have gone down the Dortmund route of a “Blue & White bank” with the noise simply “rolling onto the pitch”, getting behind the players. Would I love to see a “Red & White wall” at our place – bit of a dream really.

    Our away support is second to none, and these are probably the same core of people who try and get things going at home.

    Any chance of the “movers & shakers” at our place trying to come up with a few innovations to create a real home game atmosphere at the Emirates.

    But in the end… it’s down to us !


    Has anyone else noticed how badly Spuds new pitch is cutting up – half decent stadium, shame about the pitch !

    1. Nice post and some pertinent lack of noise comments. But we are living firmly in a more middle class age of supporters than long ago and in general “middle class ” fans (even though I detest any “class” term) make less noise. Just lifes reality, however snobbish it may sound to read. Some things in life just ARE, and to ignore them is unhelpful. This so called gentrification was inevitable immediately the Prem was formed and has proven correct by and large. I find that sad too but am a realist.

  14. Can anyone COMPOSE GOONERS ANTHEM and upload it on youtube and other platfoams for fans who watch games in stadium to sing before and after matches . Apart from liverpool and crystal palace, fans from other clubs don’t know how to cheer and boost the moral of their players. When AUB scored the last goal some fans wanted chant the team, but the where disorganised and lost.

  15. I tremble as much as any Gooner over our wretched away form and our shocking defence, BUT long term stats clearly show a team who lead 3-1 almost always goes on to qualify. That being said, I take far less notice of stats of the past and esp long past then some others do.

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