[Player Ratings] Napoli 2-0 Arsenal: Below Par Gunners Edge Through
Arsenal scraped into the last 16 of the Champions League by a solitary goal despite a 2-0 defeat to Napoli on Wednesday night. Here are my ratings from the game
Arsenal scraped into the last 16 of the Champions League by a solitary goal despite a 2-0 defeat to Napoli on Wednesday night. The loss coupled with Borussia Dortmund’s late win over Marseille means we finish second in Group F and will face one of Europe’s big guns in the next round.
We looked composed and in control in the first half as we got to half time at 0-0, but then fell apart in the final 20 minutes to make it a nervy night. Here are my ratings from the game:
Wojciech Szczesny: 6.5/10
With the exception of one crazy moment in the first half, he was pretty solid. Could do little about either goal and made a couple of routine saves.
Carl Jenkinson: 5/10
Poor showing from the youngster. Looked out his depth at times and struggled to cope under the pressure from the home side.
Per Mertesacker: 7/10
Was at fault for the first goal, as Higuain turned him far too easily, but Per was outstanding in the first half so still earns a reasonable mark.
Laurent Koscielny: 7/10
Like Mertesacker, Kos was superb in the first 45 minutes but seemed to loose his way a little bit after the break.
Kieran Gibbs: 5.5/10
Was slightly better than Jenkinson but Gibbsy was also below par tonight. Seemed to be caught in two-minds when to attack and when to sit back.
Mikel Arteta: 5/10
Was perhaps unfortunate to get sent off but a man of his experience should know better than to make that tackle in such a situation. Gave the referee a decision to make, and with a noisy crowd on his back, he was always going to produce the second yellow. Looked tired and a bit ‘leggy’ at times too.
Mathieu Flamini: 6.5/10
Flamini was everywhere in the first half and was even popping up in attack at times, but along with Arteta lost control of the game in the second half.
Tomas Rosicky: 6/10
Worked hard as usual but didn’t really have any effect on our limited attacking game. Subbed.
Santi Cazorla: 6.5/10
Worked his socks off in the first 45 minutes but was anonymous after the break before being subbed.
Mesut Ozil: 6/10
Some nice touches but nowhere near his best going forward. Really needed more from him in such a big game. Hopefully he’s saving it for Saturday.
Olivier Giroud: 6/10
Went close with a powerful effort in the first half and put himself about, but lacked support at times. Looked knackered at the end. Hopefully he’ll recover in time for City.
Nacho Monreal (6), Aaron Ramsey (6).
Arsene Wenger: 4/10
As a bonus I’ll also give the boss a rating and unfortunately I thought he got his tactics all wrong in the second half. When the pressure began to mount and they got the first goal, he invited pressure by introducing Nacho Monreal when Theo Walcott would have been a far more sensible substitution. The game was crying out for Theo as we needed to peg them back a bit and give them something to think about on the break. Dortmund were always going to find a late winner over 10-man Marseille to push us down to second in the group, so Wenger should have had the balls to have a go at getting an equaliser instead of inviting Napoli to try and get the second and third. Far too negative boss.
It was nowhere near vintage Arsenal and we almost paid for a terrible second half showing, but at least we’ve qualified from a difficult group and have a huge two-legged tie against one of Europe’s elite to come next year.
What did you make of the game? What were your player ratings? Share your views below.