Player Ratings: Arsenal 1-0 Besiktas

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Wojciech Szczęsny – 8

Kept a clean sheet in both legs and played well beyond his years. Was extremely confident between the sticks and came to claim many crosses that relieved pressure off the Arsenal back four and slowed down some Besiktas momentum.

Mathieu Debuchy – 8 (sent off 77)

Debuchy was brilliant today. He was so good going forward and coming back. Seemed a bit rash sometimes but for the ‘foul’ which earned him a second yellow, he won the ball cleanly. Two yellows means it can’t be overturned, unfortunately.

Per Mertesacker – 7

Much better from Mertesacker today. His partnership with Koscielny was rekindled for the first time this season and it earned the team a clean sheet, probably the most important clean sheet they’ll earn all season.

Laurent Koscielny – 8

So close to getting a 9. Koscielny once again proved his world class ability with a sublime defensive display. His aggressive front foot attitude gave Arsenal confidence at the back and he just looked unbeatable.

Nacho Monreal – 7

Monreal looks better and better with every game since Gibbs’ injury. I had to admit I had some concerns when Gibbs got injured but Monreal has stepped up brilliantly. He was solid and you can’t complain about his performance.

Mathieu Flamini – 6

Annoying. Flamini is an aggresive player and did some good stuff in the game. But constantly flying into tackles (luckily unpunished) was so risky from him, it’s even more annoying when he does it when he really can stay on his feet. Not an Arsenal standard performance.

Jack Wilshere – 8

Quality from Jack today. Much much better. He dictated the pace of the game in the middle of the park with a commanding performance. Played a huge part in the goal and never stopped running.

 

Santi Cazorla – 7

Didn’t do too much wrong or right but was good at holding onto the ball when he needed to. Played his part in a very hard working performance, but will want to add more goals and assists to his game.

 

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – 7

Started brilliantly but faded towards the end. Chamberlain’s touch let him down and he should have wrapped the game up with 5 minutes to go. His pace and directness was key in the first half, though.

 

Mesut Özil – 7

Showed quality throughout the game with some slick passing and intelligent movement. Not at his best but a lovely calculated assist for the all important goal.

 

Alexis Sanchez – 9 (Man of the Match)

Nine might seem a bit high but that was bloody brilliant from the Chilean. Still didn’t look too comfortable upfront but scored the goal to take us through to the group stages and he held up the ball brilliantly in the final stages. Amazingly hard work and determination. Still missing a little spark, but it will come.

 

Subs:

 

Calum Chambers – 6 (on 77)

Chambers had a very odd booking when he came on after the referee got angry at himself. But the English defender was solid once again and helped us see the result out.

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