Not a totally boring day at work for the Arsenal players as the North London side defeated Östersunds FK 3 goals to nil away from home. A decent outing by the Gunners in freezing conditions to put one foot already into the quarter-finals of the Europa League.
Arsenal characteristically dominated possession right from the first whistle but that did not stop the hosts from having a go themselves.
Ostersunds attempted 10 shots on goal and fought quite well in the opening half. But the constant battering of the Gunners attack saw Nacho Monreal slot in an easy goal from the six-yard box. In a congested penalty box, Alex Iwobi’s tame shot was mishandled by the opposition keeper and the Spaniard quickly reacted to find the back of the net in the 13th minute.
The visitors got the second on the 24th minute from a deflected cross on Henrikh Mkhitaryan. The Armenian drilled in a ball towards Danny Welbeck which somehow ended up at the back of the net after taking a hit off one of the defenders – got ruled an own goal.
The opposition quickly ran out of breath in the second half as the fitter English giants started to get into a rhythm.
Mesut Ozil ghosted into the box after playing a ball wide to Mkhitaryan and slotted in a lowly struck shot into the back of the net. The keeper got a hand too it but it was too powerful for him.
The game pretty much died down to walking pace after the goal and Arsene Wenger picked up the expected win.
Arsenal Player Ratings:
David Ospina – 7/10
Mostly a slow day in between the sticks as the Colombian tried to stay warm. He still needed to stay sharp and reacted well against a thunder strike from one of the opposition players. The penalty save was a huge plus to end the night on a clean sheet.
Hector Bellerin – 6/10
A poor challenge by the Spaniard gave away a penalty to Ostersunds. Lucky to be bailed out, but otherwise did the needful on the right flank.
Shkodran Mustafi – 6/10
He was vigilant tonight often limited to just passing the ball forward. He was involved in an incident which could have awarded the opposition another penalty.
Calum Chambers – 6/10
A bit of positional mishap which allowed the Ghoddos strikers to get a couple of shots on goal. He made it up by making a crucial block.
Nacho Monreal – 8/10
A brilliant eye for the untouched ball earned him a goal. He was solid tonight on both ends of the pitch.
Mohamed Elneny – 7/10
Was left unthreatened at the heart of the park and the Egyptian did well to clear the ball from tight spaces.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles – 6/10
He was paired up with Elneny in the midfield and carried out his duties without much fuss.
Alex Iwobi – 5/10
Some of his passes went wayward when the team were all pushing up for attacks. Not clinical enough but still a hard worker off the ball.
Mesut Ozil – 8/10
Took a bit of time to settle into the game but took over in the second half. Breezed through the game with quality touches on the ball and quite deservedly got the goal.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan – 7/10
Not the most clinical but still got the end product of setting up the 2 goals.
Danny Welbeck – 4/10
First start in ages and judging by the rust that has developed in his boots, he sure did look like a bench player tonight. The Englishman could not do much with the ball and hit most of the shots wide from goal.
Sead Kolasinac – 6/10
He brought in a fresh bout of energy to the attack. Fitted in well.
Edward Nketiah – NA
Reiss Nelson – NA
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