Alexis Sanchez grabbed his first goal for the Gunners in an extremely hard fought 1-0 win in the champions league qualifier 2nd leg against the Turkish side, Besiktas. This game was certainly not easy and required a lot of graft and grit from the Arsenal players to get the result.
Didn’t have to face a shot on his goal the entire game but dealt very well with crosses and his catching was very efficient when needing.
Played very solidly up until his sending off which I thought was harsh. Bombed up and down the right flank and looked like he had a great partnership with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. Maybe should of been less reckless with a couple of his challenges but overall I feel he showed he could definitely fill Bacary Sagna’s vacant boots.
Koscielny shown tonight what a quality centre back he was tonight by dealing with the seemingly endless balls over the top and crosses into the Arsenal box, used his pace very well against Demba Ba and in my opinion shut the ex Chelsea star out of the game.
Never really sure what the BFG is going to do when he plays asd he can be a massive liability at times. That being said, he was pretty solid tonight and his very impressive partnership with Laurent Koscielny continues with another clean sheet.
Nacho Monreal : 7.1
I am not Nacho Monreal’s biggest fan, but tonight he was superb. He was destroyed by Lukaku at Goodison on Saturday and showed real courage to put in a great performance tonight. However, I’m still counting down the days until Kieran Gibbs returns from his injury.
Matthieu Flamini: 6.5
I have never valued Flamini much more than a player to hack people down and stop counter attacks. Tonight, he nearly gave away a goal when he tried nervously to clear the ball in the Arsenal box. In the end, it ended up falling for Demba Ba to fire it fortuitously into the side netting. Arsenal’s weakest position for me is the center defensive midfield position and I think Wenger needs to buy someone there before the window closes so we can competitively play in the big games.
Mesut Özil : 6.7
Was again played out of position tonight on the left wing and that is just not his position. Played the ball through which nicked Jack Wilshere’s leg for the Alexis goal. His defensive game is never the best but tonight he put in a shift up until he was subbed off after the Debuchy red card. Mesut will be returning to full fitness soon and returning to his majestic best.
Jack Wilshere : 8.5 – Man of the Match
Jack showed all of his critics that he can play and that he can be a massive player for Arsenal. Popped up in every single position on the pitch tonight and his intricate play was the cause of the Arsenal goal and his driving runs from box to box were unstoppable tonight. Paul Merson said on Sky Sports that there isn’t a better player in the Premier League on the edge of the box making those short passes linking up play under pressure and I agree.
Santi Cazorla : 7.0
Santi put in an excellent workhorse like shift tonight and the Arsenal fans were in full force with the classic “OHHHH SANTI CAZORLA” chant and I can’t say I wasn’t joining in at home. Nearly scored late on when his shot was blocked by a Besiktas defender folllowing a great set up by Alexis. The :ittle Magician will be a big player again for Arsenal this season.
Alex Oxlade Chamberlain : 7.1
This lad has some pace. The Ox was absolutely running his marker into the ground and made it to the byline multiple times to put some decent crosses in. Needs to improve his decision making in the final third but that will come in time. I am one of his biggest fans and tonight he used his pace and skill very efficiently in the dying moments of the game to get back and help out the defense.
Alexis Sanchez : 8.4
Wow, what a player we have signed. Alexis ran and ran and ran tonight and looked like he was never going to run out of energy. He closed down every single ball tonight and ran his markers ragged. He showed some excellent pieces of skill and ultimately got the goal that sent Arsenal into the Champions League group stages. He probably should of scored at least one other goal tonight though, as he had two good chances. His confidence has evidently been boosted by that goal and I fully expect him to be banging in the goals for Arsenal this season.
Calum Chambers 6.5
Came on too late in the game to really give him a proper rating, but he helped close out the game when he came on. Won a few headers and created half a chance for Alexis with a cross from the right wing. This young star has impressed so far for Arsenal and I expect him to show his qualities in the Champions League this season.
Final score: Arsenal 1-0 Besiktas
Man of the Match: Jack Wilshere