Arsenal defeated Bayern Munich during the early hours of Thursday morning (English time). The Gunners were impressive, but who shone the most? Our reporter at the game, Christian Manoukian [@cvmanouk] rates the players below.
Bernd Leno – 6/10 – Was fairly solid, but played only one half. Made a couple of good saves, one great save against Muller to keep the tie scoreless in the first half.
Maitland-Niles – 5/10 – Struggled a bit defensively, and was torched repeatedly by Kingsley Coman second half. Emery said in press conference that it’s good to make these mistakes in pre-season, but shows why we are seeking defensive cover at RB.
Sokratis – 6/10 – Looked good throughout the game, bar one minor miscommunication with Leno early in the game which almost gifted Bayern an early goal.
Mustafi – 6/10 – Solid, but nothing impressive. Caught in no-man’s land once or twice, which still makes the heart leap (not in joy), and looked slightly too anxious to nip into needless tackles higher up the pitch.
Monreal – 5/10 – Didn’t do much wrong, but then again, he didn’t really do much of anything. Had a very quiet night at LB, struggled to link up with Mkhitaryan, wasn’t quite able to impress himself on the game.
Xhaka – 7/10 – Also had a fairly quiet night, but I mean this in a good way. Didn’t attract attention with his play but was hardworking, gritty, and simple. Didn’t leap into any rash fouls. Very un-Xhaka-like, except for the mandated wild shot from outside the box. Also appeared to be communicating consistently with teammates and displaying leadership qualities (future captain?).
Willock – 8/10 – Very impressive from the young lad. Kept the ball well throughout the game, pressed diligently and full of energy on and off the ball. Surprised me as a good tackler, too. Played extremely solid against Thiago and Tollisso, two top midfielders.
Mkhitaryan – 4/10 – Looked a bit off the pace compared to the rest of the team. Struggled to play meaningful passes and get in good positions, and didn’t make any sort of impact. One of the first to be subbed off. You struggle to see where he’ll fit in in this new-look side.
Ozil – 8/10 – Who’d have thought Ozil of all players would be one of the highest-rated? Maybe it’s his new barnet. He was all over the field, doing that thing he does where he just elegantly glides around, picks up the ball, and instantly plays a brilliant pass to grow an attacking move. Seemed to make a conscious effort both to track back and to get far forward. Very encouraging.
Aubameyang 9/10 – Looked very sharp, especially given the knock he picked up in Tuesday’s training session. Linked up extremely well with Lacazette, brought electric pace and some flair to the front line.
Lacazette 8/10 – Another who looked sharp and raring to go. Worked tirelessly to support Ozil and Aubameyang in attack, and was willing to dribble and take on Bayern players as well. Should’ve probably nabbed an assist.
Nketiah – 9/10 – He won Man of the Match after being on the pitch for a grand total of…8 minutes. That tells you all you need to know. Showed a genuine hunger to get on the ball and make contributions, never gave up on long balls, showed glimpses of his strength, bossed Nicklas Sule (who is twice his size), and eventually scored a tidy winner. His potential should get Arsenal hearts racing.
Martinez – 6/10 – Replaced Leno in the second half, looked great. Made some good saves, but there was nothing he could do to save Lewandowski’s header.
Kolasinac – 5/10 – Should have had an assist after driving a cross towards Aubameyang, who only had to get a touch on it to score. He missed, but Kolasinac showed streaks of the qualities that won Arsenal fans over two seasons ago.
Nelson – 5/10 – Really didn’t do much wrong, had one major opportunity in front of goal, but had his shot saved by Ulreich.
Burton – N/A
Saka – N/A
Chambers – N/A
John-Jules – N/A (Side note: Good assist for Nketiah’s winner but should have scored Arsenal’s third, skied over the crossbar)