Player Ratings: Dinamo Zagreb 2-1 Arsenal

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David Ospina – 6/10

Wenger believes strongly in ‘Cup keepers’, but this theory could possibly be our downfall. Ospina made a few saves, including a scary run into outfield while chasing the ball. The game tonight reminded me of the West Ham defeat, with Ospina not coming out to collect crosses leading to goals. Although the first goal was not his fault, he will be disappointed that he couldn’t continue his great form from last season.

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Mathieu Debuchy – 5/10

As much as I like him, Debuchy was really out of his depth tonight. While bringing experience and strength to the side, his lack of games really showed today, as he was clearly part of the oppositions’ plan. With constant attacks down the left flank, Alex Oxlaide-Chamberlain and Mathieu Debuchy were left exposed and we’re lucky we didn’t concede more.

Gabriel Paulista – 7/10

One of the few positives from tonight. The Brazilian had a solid game, along with his defensive partner. Although losing, the defender stood his ground and arguably saved us an even more embarrassing defeat. I just wish he didn’t try and punch every player he came up against!

Laurent Koscienly – 6/10

Once again, himself and Gabriel are forming a strong bond, following on from a rested Mertesacker. Unfortunately, at times, Koscienly looked tired and genuinely burnt out as the pace-ridden opposition hung our team up to dry. He had some fantastic spells and made some world class tackles, but we should expect more from the 30 year old.

Kieran Gibbs – 5/10 (Off 65′ for Joel Campbell)

Although the game was played on the opposite flank, Gibbs still found himself struggling, but arguably had one of the better performances in the side. Unfortunately, due to these circumstances, the defender was subbed off early for the striker Joel Campbell

Mikel Arteta – 4/10 (Off 65′ for Francis Coquelin)

After months out with multiple injuries, the club captain finally got his start in the team, but it will be one to forget. Regardless of the actual result, the Spaniard must surely be disappointed with his lack of defence, as we were hit with counter attacks throughout the match.

Santi Cazorla – 6/10

Santi also failed to really grip the game, with the possible knowledge that he couldn’t attack without the likes of Coquelin next to him. He distributed well, but the brilliant defensive display by Zagreb really restricted his talent..however he could possibly practise his free kick delivery. That would be nice.

Alex Oxlaide-Chamberlain – 6/10 (off 65′ FOR Theo Walcott)

A mediocre display from the Ox, as his well deserved starting role was rewarded with a difficult, defensive role. His desire to attack the ball was admirable, with early crosses to Giroud being saved with brilliant stops from the Goalkeeper. He was substituted early in the second half, after a surprisingly disappointing game from the Ox.

Mesut Ozil – 6/10

A difficult but ok performance for Mesut, as he ended the game as a Centre forward, following the dismissal of Olivier Giroud. Once playing at Centre Forward, Ozil scored a disallowed (But onside) goal, to which fell seconds before Dynamo’s second goal. The German really should have ended the game with some additional assists and goals to add to his CV.

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Alexis Sanchez – 5/10

I honestly forgot that he was playing tonight, and genuinely tweeted ‘Bring on Alexis!’. Credit where it’s due, the Zagreb defence and midfield played a huge part in stopping Alexis, apart from his assist leading to the goal. The Chilean has yet to hit the heights of last season, as he watched on with his fellow Chilean score the winner at the other end.

Olivier Giroud – 2/10 (sent off 40′)

The less said about Giroud, the better. After an aggressive chat with the referee, the Frenchman gained his first yellow card within the first 15 minutes, and then gained a second just before half time with a high challenge on Pjaca. Definitely a one to forget for the striker. His dismissal was possibly also the reason to the second goal being scored, due to a lack of aerial ability when defending corners.

Subs:

Theo Walcott – 7/10
After making an impact with Arsenal’s opening goal, Zagreb quickly were able to adapt to his pace and began to sit back. This tactic forced Theo wide and he was quickly dismissed from the game as Zagreb held onto the 2-1 victory. Although he was only on for a short spell, he looked like the only player likely to score tonight.

 

Joel Campbell – 6/10
I felt that this game would be perfect for Joel to start his Arsenal career. Unfortunately, he was welcomed to a defensive, hard to break down, team who were wanting to see the game off in their favour. Apart from making a few offensive tackles, there was not much the striker could do in such a difficult away game.

Francis Coquelin – 7/10
He really should have started, but he really took the game by the scruff of its neck once he joined the game late on. He added a sense of speed and power in the midfield, to which Arteta struggled to provide.

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