Arsenal’s hopes of finishing top-four were shattered after a disappointing 1-1 draw with Brighton & Hove Albion at the Emirates Stadium earlier this evening.
The Gunners started the game on a positive note, with Henrikh Mkhitaryan hitting the bar within 90 seconds. The hosts imposed a lot of pressure on the lowly Brighton defence, and it wasn’t long before Nacho Monreal took a tumble in the penalty area. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang looked confident converting the spot kick as Arsenal ended first-half with a one-goal lead.
Unai Emery’s men were also dominant after the restart. But, a silly foul from Granit Xhaka, just around the hour mark resulted in a penalty for the visitors. Though the penalty seemed harsh, the futility of the foul was enough to annoy Anthony Taylor. Glenn Murray made no mistake in converting the spot-kick to level the scoreline.
Here is how Emery’s men fared in this disappointing draw.
Bernd Leno 7
Did well to deny Murray’s header in the first half while smothering away Solly March’s effort in the second half. However, the German lacked composure on the ball.
Stephan Lichtsteiner 7
It was one of the best performances from Lichtsteiner in an Arsenal kit as the veteran defender made some crucial tackles and interceptions. He was solid in defence but a tad ineffective going forward.
Shkodran Mustafi 6
Another disappointing performance from the German international, who struggled to deal with the aerial prowess of Murray.
Kept things neat and tidy at the back. But, the Greek international should have done a lot better in keeping out the likes of Murray and March.
Nacho Monreal 7.5
Did well to win the free-kick during the early stages of the game. The Spaniard was actively involved in Arsenal’s offensive stances, providing a host of key passes and linking up with attackers in the final third.
Lucas Torreira 6.5
It was a bad game for Lucas Torreira. The Uruguayan international struggled to operate as the ball-carrier, often being stopped in his tracks by the opposition midfielders.
Granit Xhaka 6
A useless foul to concede a costly penalty that shattered Arsenal’s hopes of finishing inside the top-four. But, the Swiss international was quite decent in winning back possession and using his physicality in midfield. Lacked the composure, however.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan 6.5
Had an incredibly bright start to the game, notably hitting the bar inside the first two minutes. The Armenian also created a host of opportunities for his team in the first-half. But, his influence started to fade as time wore on.
Mesut Ozil 7
Struggled to lead the team despite being handed the captain’s armband. The former German international created very few opportunities and was often ineffective in his attacking forays.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang 7.5
He was a scourge for the opposition defence, especially in the first-half. The Gabonese amassed a host of shots on target and did well to convert the spot-kick in the ninth minute. However, he scuffed his shot over the bar from nine yards – in what was arguably the biggest chance of the game.
Alexandre Lacazette: 7
Put in a good shift in the number nine role, even though the Frenchman wasn’t as involved as much he would have liked. Did combine well with the likes of Aubameyang and Ozil.
Alex Iwobi N/A
Provided the much needed offensive support from the right flank that was missing after coming on for Lichtsteiner in the 77th minute. Probed the Brighton defence but to no avail.
Matteo Guendouzi N/A
Offered some energy after replacing Xhaka during the final phase of the game.
Sead Kolasinac N/A
Provided a couple of useful crosses from the left-flank. A 77th-minute replacement for Mkhitaryan.