Arsenal started their 2019-20 UEFA Europa League campaign with a 3-0 thrashing of Eintracht Frankfurt in Germany this evening.
Unai Emery greatly rotated his squad following Sunday’s 2-2 draw at Watford, with Aston Villa in mind this weekend.
The German Bundesliga outfit gave us several problems in the first half but were denied by an impressive Emiliano Martinez in between the sticks for us. A deflected effort from Joe Willock opened the scoring in the first half before Buyako Saka and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang each scored in the final 10 minutes.
Here are my ratings:
Emiliano Martinez 8 – The tall goalkeeper made an excellent low stop to deny Filip Kostic and keep the score at 0-0 early on. The 27-year-old later produced another save to secure our half-time lead. Emiliano Martinez was excellent at claiming crosses and dealt with everything that was thrown at him.
Calum Chambers 6 – Struggled early on in his first appearance since our season opener at Newcastle United. Calum Chambers eventually got to grips with Filip Kostic but not before the Serbian winger had an excellent opportunity to open the scoring for the hosts. Was also very limited going forward.
Shkodran Mustafi 7 – Back in his homeland, Shkodran Mustafi cleared his lines well and didn’t make too many rash tackles. Not outstanding enough to warrant a starting place in the Premier League this weekend though.
David Luiz 7 – The Brazilian went about his business efficiently. Played some nice long forward passes in the second half too.
Sead Kolasinac 6 – Not troubled too much defensively and surprisingly didn’t bomb forward too often. Sead Kolasinac limped off late on.
Granit Xhaka 6 – Tidy in possession but a worry in front of the back four. Granit Xhaka got away with his lack of pace in this game but you can see he’ll be hurt by quicker players in the Premier League.
Lucas Torreira 6 – Unai Emery decided to play the Uruguayan further forward than Xhaka. Lucas Torreira missed an excellent opportunity early on but he continued to bomb forward.
Joe Willock 8 – Missed a good opportunity at 0-0 but gave us the lead in the last 10 minutes of the first half with help from a big deflection. A top display from Joe Willock who was constantly bringing the ball forward to start attacks and harm the Frankfurt defence.
Emile Smith Rowe 5 – The youngster looked off the pace this evening, which included missing a one-on-one.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang 7 – Surprisingly missed a sitter in front of goal when the score was still 1-0 in the second half but bagged a goal late on with a cool finish. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang wasn’t at his best this evening but hopefully he was saving that for the weekend.
Buyako Saka 9 – Outstanding performance from the teenager. Buyako Saka was always a danger to the German side and scored an excellent goal to kill the game off late on. He then produced an excellent assist for Aubameyang’s goal. This performance alone should have earned Buyako Saka some Premier League game time in the near future.
Nicolas Pepe 6 – Showed off his dribbling skills a couple of times in helping us win some free kicks in the second half.
Dani Ceballos 6 – The playmaker got on the ball as soon as he came on and looked keen to make things happen for us in midfield.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles N/A – Late introduction to replace the injured Kolasinac.