[Player Ratings] Schalke 2-2 Arsenal: Better But Improvement Still Needed
Arsenal blew a 2-goal lead to draw 2-2 with Schalke on Tuesday night to leave our qualification hopes hanging in the balance. Here are my ratings from the game:
Arsenal blew a 2-goal lead to draw 2-2 with Schalke on Tuesday night to leave our qualification hopes hanging in the balance.
Contract rebel Theo Walcott gave us the lead after 18 minutes before Girous made it 2-0 with a well taken header from an excellent Lukas Podolski cross after 26 minutes. However, Huntelaar got one back after Santi Cazorla lost possession in the middle of the park just before half time and predictably Farfan grabbed the equaliser in the 67th minute. You can watch the goal here if you didn’t catch the game. Here are my ratings from the game:
Mannone – 8 – Great performance by the Italian. Could do little about the two goals but made 2-3 excellent saves and ended up keeping us in the game.
Sagna – 7 -Got dragged out of position paying too much attention to the ball for the home sides first goal. This lapse gave Huntelaar the room he needed to do his magic. Otherwise was very good and cut the threat of Afellay out.
Mertesacker – 6 – Like Sagna, got sucked out of position for the crucial Schalke first goal. Held things together fairly well apart from that.
Koscielny – 6 – Steady alongside Per but should have done better for the second. Very poor attempt to win the cross that ended up at Farfan’s feet.
Vermaelen – 5 – Schalke got in behind down the left a couple of times early on and i feared we had another ‘Santos’ situation on our hands, but Vermaelen improved as the game went on and is certainly a better option on the left while Gibbs is out. Could have done better for the second goal though, as he was dragged into the middle leaving his man free at the far stick.
Arteta – 6 – Still wasn’t as influential as we’re used to seeing. His partnership with Wilshere is yet to gel. Hopefully the midfield pair can settle soon.
Wilshere – 6 -Was on the wrong end of some heavy tackles, it’s a miracle he came through without injury. Looks a little tired so his suspension comes at a good time really. He’ll be fresh for the visit of Tottenham at least.
Cazorla – 5.5 – Quiet game by his standards. Looks knackered. Needs a rest soon.
Walcott – 7 – On hand to take his goal well and his runs and movement are important to our play. Missed a golden chance to win it but fluffed his lines when put through late on.
Podolski – 6 – Excellent cross for Giroud’s goal but otherwise another relatively quiet game. Worked harder than at Old Trafford but still doesn’t get in the game enough.
Giroud – 6.5 – Great header but general play was poor again. Didn’t win his duels in the air and hesitated when put through in the lead up to Walcott’s goal.
Coquelin – N/A – On too late
Santos – N/A – On too late
So another uncertain performance from the lads but at least there were moderate signs of improvement from the United game. We were at least making some effort to close down and get the ball back when not in possession and we certainly looked more of a threat going forward with Walcott’s pace in attack.
The draw leaves Arsenal sitting second in Group B, one point behind Schalke, but Olympiakos are just one point behind us in third after beating Montpellier 3-1. Nothing but a win will be good enough when Montpellier come to the Emirates next time out.
What were your rating from the game? Get involved in the comments section.
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