It was supposed to be a perfect day at the office for Arsenal as they were destined to reach the pinnacle of the League table when Olivier Giroud put them in front half an hour into the game. However it didn’t go as per the script as the Baggies fought back to win 2-1 thanks to some soft defending from the Gunners.
It wasn’t a bad game as Arsenal fought very hard in the second half and should have found the equaliser on multiple occasions only to be let down by either bad omen or lack of perfection in finishing. Adding injury to insult, we are now awfully short in the center of the midfield after injuries to Coquelin and Arteta, both of whom limped off the pitch. Let’s have a look at how each player fared.
Petr Cech – 6: Assured at the back as usual and wasn’t to blamed for the goals but may be he could have done a little more on the second.
Hector Bellerin – 5: Struggled on his first team return and was mediocre in both attack and defence. Very unlike Bellerin
Per Mertesacker – 4: Looked very very shaky, as he has done in recent weeks. Failed to win one or two crucial headers and was tenacious throughout. Time for Wenger to have a rethink.
Laurent Koscielny – 6: He looked the best defender on the pitch and gave his all, despite the thoughts Paris terror attacks looming large at the back of the mind.
Nacho Monreal – 6: He kept the Baggies attack quite on his side but failed to any impact on the other side of the pitch.
Kieran Gibbs – 5: Looked promising in his new position and missed a good chance in the first half, but it doesn’t seem he will stay there for long.
Francis Coquelin – NA: Limped off the pitch 10 minutes into the game and the Gunners dearly missed him there after. Hopefully the injury isn’t serious.
Santi Cazorla – 5: The penalty miss was pivotal to the result but prior to that he wasn’t bad and was at helm of midfield affairs as usual. His deeply lying position has largely reduced his scoring instincts.
Mesut Ozil – 6.5: Continued his impressive form assisting Giroud for the first goal with a beautiful free kick and hit the post early in the second half. Hopefully he can continue this form.
Alexis Sanchez – 6.5: Despite playing both the games on international duties he didn’t show any wear and tear. He was sharp and created lot of problems for the baggies. Didn’t quite find the shooting range.
Olivier Giroud – 7: Continues to score goals but the overall game wasn’t his best.
Mikel Arteta – 4: It was a bad bad night for Arteta, as he had a part to play in both the goals. The free kick that lead to the first goal wasn’t a foul and the second was very unlucky.
Joel Campbell – 4: He had a great chance of scoring the equaliser, but somehow managed to scuff the shot. Had a good impact late in the game but he has to take his chances if he wants to convince Wenger and the fans.
Flamini – 4: Replaced Arteta in the second half and was good defensively, but failed to make an impact offensively which Arsenal needed.
We need to bounce back from this defeat pretty quick as Dinamo coming calling in the midweek, if we are to have any hopes of qualifying past the group stages.