Arsenal opened their 2016/17 season with a 4-3 defeat to Liverpool. The Gunners went ahead early in the match but was pegged back by an inspired Liverpool side which at one time made it 4-1. The home team restored back some pride with two goals to make the scoreline a bit more respectable but in all, it was a game where Arsenal surrendered the tempo in the early part of the 2nd half and were severely punished. Let’s take a look at how the players performed on a scale of 10:
Petr Cech (5/10)
Was a spectator for all the four goals, there was nothing he could do. Made some saves but was helpless with all the four strikes
Hector Bellerin (6/10)
Provided a lot of work rate down the right-hand channel, worked hard all game without any sort of impact
Rob Holding (6/10)
Was a big step up for him playing against Liverpool in the opening match of the season. Did very well in the first half was a bit shaky in the second but considering that it was his debut, he did a decent job
Calum Chambers (5/10)
Another poor display as a CB, Chambers is increasingly looking like a costly mistake for Arsenal. Played the highest number of accurate passes of the game but those were the simplest ones one makes in a football match and even faltered in executing those. Looks bad in his tackling and was embarrassed by the duo of Mane and Firmino on a couple of occasions.
Nacho Monreal (6/10)
Had a very tough time with two inexperienced defenders covering. Provided the threat going forward but was given a hard time by both Clyne and Mane expectedly with the Spanish fullback receiving little or no cover at the flanks.
Francis Coquelin (6/10)
Did very well in the first half. Executed a brilliant tackle on Lallana which resulted in the opening goal. Provided the cover in the midfield the team wanted in the first 45 minutes but faded in the second half and couldn’t break the play in the middle.
Mohamed Elneny (6/10)
Was his usual self, providing plenty of running and work rate but was stretched in the second half and was unable to shield his defenders. Was subbed in the 67th minute
Alex Iwobi (7/10)
Did very well whenever he got the ball, played a couple of nice passes to release players into space, provided the assist for Walcott for the opener. Was subbed in the 57th minute due to an injury
Aaron Ramsey (6/10)
Pulled the strings in the first 45 minutes, made his trademark third man runs while playing nice combinations. Got suffocated more in the 2nd half and without any assistance faded away from the game. Was the second Arsenal player to be substituted for an injury, went off in the 61st minute.
Theo Walcott (7/10)
Looked like the old Theo Walcott, at the start of the game, made telling runs into space, won a penalty and missed it but then redeemed himself after 67 seconds as he struck the opener from an acute angle. Wasn’t utilised properly, or fed with enough good passes in the second half, but was a threat throughout. Not a bad performance at all.
Alexis Sanchez (4/10)
Was simply poor. Failed to make any sort of impact, just made up the numbers nothing else. Non-stop running and closing down defenders doesn’t make a performance great. It was really surprising to see him be on the pitch for 90 minutes, he did it for Arsenal had to make two changes due to injury.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (6/10)
Provided an instant injection of pace and attacking intent with a vital goal when he came on. His goal boosted the morale a bit when the team looked down and out at 4-1. Helped turn things in favour of Arsenal.
Santi Cazorla (7/10)
He showed what Arsenal were missing when he came on. Served as the catalyst, provided the assist for the third goal for the home side to make things interesting. Could have done more if Ramsey was still on the pitch, his innovative passes lacked an intelligent runner like Ramsey.
Granit Xhaka (5/10)
Made his debut when he came on in the 67th minute, looked a bit shaky and committed fouls consistently and saw a yellow as a result. Played one nice pass for Walcott in the penalty box which could have brought the home team level but overall gave an unconvincing performance.