Arsenal lost 2-1 to Villarreal in the first leg of their Europa League semi-final this evening in what can only be described as a poor performance.
A consolation goal from Nicolas Pepe means that we only need to win the second leg 1-0 at the Emirates to reach the final.
The biggest negative from the game was Dani Ceballos getting sent off for two bookable offences.
Arsenal Player Ratings
Bernd Leno – 6
Could do nothing about both goals, but he responded well to his error against Everton and pulled off one sublime save that perhaps kept Arsenal in the game.
Calum Chambers – 5
Chosen ahead Hector Bellerin again and he was very average.
Pablo Mari – 4
This is arguably his worst performance for Arsenal as he looked nervy for most of the night and was at fault for the first goal.
Rob Holding – 5
He will not be proud of his defending for Villarreal’s second goal, but he put in a good enough performance apart from that.
Granit Xhaka – 5
Samuel Chukwueze exposed him and showed why Arsenal needs another natural left-back when Kieran Tierney doesn’t play.
Thomas Partey – 6
In games like this, we would like one of his shots to get in, but he did his job in midfield and also coped well in the absence of Ceballos.
Dani Ceballos – 3
His red card was avoidable by either Mikel Arteta replacing him at half time or being disciplined. Let the team down.
Bukayo Saka – 7
Arsenal’s saviour again after earning the penalty that keeps us in the tie. He wasn’t afraid to take the game to the hosts.
Martin Odegaard – 5
If he plays like this in most games, he won’t be anywhere near the team. But Villarreal didn’t give Arsenal much chance in midfield.
Emile Smith Rowe – 6
Did well in a new position and just needed more support from his teammates which almost never arrived.
Nicolas Pepe – 7
Responded well to the responsibility placed on him as the most senior attacker on the night. Scored the team’s goal and kept the Villarreal defence on their toes.
Gabriel Martinelli – 5
Made the team look more like we would have wanted when he was subbed on. One wonders why he was benched and Smith Rowe was used as a false nine.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – 5
Came on too late to do anything in the game.
Willian – N/A
Mohamed Elneny – N/A
Arsenal Player Ratings from Ime