Arsenal capitulated in familiar fashion as we slumped to a hugely disappointing 4-1 defeat to Chelsea in the Europa League final this evening.
We were on top for much of the first half and should have had an early penalty when Alexandre Lacazette was clipped by Kepa in the area but VAR was having none of it. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang also missed a good chance to open the scoring while we wasted several good opportunities down the flanks with Sead Kolasinac and Ainsley Maitland-Niles struggling with their final balls.
Predictably, we were made to rue not making more of the first half as Chelsea opened the scoring thanks to a lovely Olivier Giroud header shortly after half time and the Blues made it 2-0 via Pedro minutes later after Ainsley Maitland-Niles had lost possession in midfield.
Only four minutes later and Maitland-Niles gave away a penalty. Eden Hazard made it 3-0 from the spot and while Alex Iwobi pulled one back with a fine strike, Hazard sealed a 4-1 win with anther goal in the 72nd minute.
Here are my ratings:
Cech 6/10 | Not the sign-off he wanted. Made a couple of great saves but got nowhere the four Chelsea goals.
Sokratis 5/10 | A couple of nice blocks but all over the place at times. Couldn’t handle the Chelsea attack.
Koscielny 4/10 | A bad night at the office. Gave Giroud way too much space for the crucial opening goal and slow to react for Pedro’s effort.
Monreal 4/10 | Given a tough time by Pedro in the second half. Couldn’t deal with his movement and was dragged all over the place. Subbed.
Maitland-Niles 3/10 | A nightmare performance. Lost possession in the build-up to the Giroud opener, gave away the penalty and was exposed countless times. Crossing at the other end of the pitch was poor too.
Xhaka 5/10 | A few nice passes and went close with a long range strike. One of our better players but that wasn’t difficult.
Torreira 4/10 | Went off in tears after a poor display. Completely lost out on the midfield battle to Kante and Jorginho.
Kolasinac 3/10 | Got into some promising positions but final ball was shocking. It really cost us in the first half as he wasted so many opportunities. Woeful defensively too.
Ozil 3/10 | Did well against Jorginho in the first half but went missing after the break. Offered virtually nothing of note going forward. Hugely disappointing once again. Subbed.
Aubameyang 4/10 | Missed a decent chance to open the scoring early on and it proved crucial. Fed off scraps in the second half. Not his night at all.
Lacazette 4/10 | Should have had a penalty at 0-0 and fluffed a good chance in the second half when he failed to get the ball out his feet. Had little service really.
Guendouzi 5/10 | Did nothing of note.
Iwobi 7/10 | Great impact off the bench. Made it 3-1 with a superb goal and added some directness to out play.
Willock 7/10 | Very positive from the youngster. Did more in 15 minutes than Ozil did in 75. Should have scored with a curling effort late on.
This was a shocking second half performance from Arsenal and we totally fell apart after they scored the first goal. It’s not the first time we’ve capitulated in this way and it won’t be the last unless something changes at the club. It’s a worrying time as we are miles away from competing with the top clubs and without Champions League football, Unai Emery has a shoestring budget to work from.
An interesting summer awaits…..here are the goals if you want to see them: