A seemingly exciting season for Arsenal ended on a low note on Wednesday night. The crushing 4-1 defeat to London rivals Chelsea in the Europa League finals meant that Arsenal would end the season trophy-less.
Despite the final score, things were quite balanced in the first half. Both sides, it seemed, were testing each other out. The second half is when the carnage began- Olivier Giroud flagged it off with an exceptional diving header. Pedro then doubled the advantage with a cool first-time strike.
And of course, the last words came from Eden Hazard, with a penalty and an excellent finish into the right corner of Petr Cech’s goal. Squashed between the two Hazard goals was Arsenal’s consolation- a remarkable volley by Alex Iwobi.
Here are our Arsenal player ratings for the Europa League final:
GK: Petr Cech – 7
One of the few Arsenal players who can hold their head up high. Made a few great saves and kept the score as low as he could have.
RWB: Ainsley Maitland-Niles – 3
A tough night for the youngster, who simply couldn’t cope with Hazard. Showed his inexperience by giving away a needless penalty.
RCB: Sokratis Papastathopoulos – 5
Started the night with strength and grit, but faded away when Arsenal needed him the most, especially when the pressure was on.
CB: Laurent Koscielny – 5
Lost Giroud for the opening goal, and struggled against him throughout.
LCB: Nacho Monreal – 5
Was unable to cope with Pedro’s movement and quickness in the 2nd half.
LWB: Sead Kolasinac – 3
Had excellent opportunities to cut open Chelsea, but failed to deliver the final ball each time.
CM: Lucas Torreira – 5
A frustrating display, much down to the performance of his teammates, and some shoddy passing on his part. Left the pitch in tears.
CM: Granit Xhaka – 6
Had some excellent ideas and passes while in possession in the first half. Failed to deal with Chelsea’s offensive strength in the second.
CAM: Mesut Ozil – 3
An utterly shambolic performance, with the Arsenal play-maker creating just a single chance. Perhaps a sign that his time at the club is done.
ST: Alexandre Lacazette – 5
ST: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – 4
Worst player on the pitch apart from Ozil. Looked completely bereft of ideas.
SUB: Alex Iwobi (for Torreira, 67 mins) – 7
Played with intent and purpose, and scored an absolute wonder. Questions will be asked whey Ozil was started above him.
SUB: Joe Willock (for Ozil, 77 mins) – 5
Showed good movement and pace but lacked the finishing touch. Missed an absolute sitter after being put through by Lacazette.
SUB: Matteo Guendouzi (for Monreal, 67 mins) – 4
Brought on when the game was done and dusted, had too little time to influence things from his midfield role.