Rapid Vienna 1-2 Arsenal Player Ratings: Comeback Win Capped Off by Thomas Partey Debut

Arsenal, Mikel Arteta (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
Arsenal, Mikel Arteta (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images) /
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Arsenal came from behind to beat Rapid Vienna 2-1 on Thursday night in the opening round of their Europa League group stage campaign.

Mikel Arteta opted to field a strong side – some positions he had little choice on – for the game in Vienna, handing a first start in an Arsenal shirt for Thomas Partey.

A first half that lacked zip and incision went by with the home side having more joy in front of goal, with Arsenal’s forward players failing to make any impact on proceedings. Eddie Nketiah and Nicolas Pepe struggled with their one-on-one duels, the latter left unattended for most of the opening 45.

Bernd Leno’s efforts to play out from the back failed miserably early after the restart, with Taxiarchis Fountas pouncing on his mistake to hand the home side the lead. Substitutions flipped the game on its head, with David Luiz heading in from a cross and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang wrapping up the win four minutes later.

Your player ratings are here, but you can probably ignore the formation, in truth.

Goalkeeper & Defenders

Bernd Leno (GK) – 3/10 – Made some decent stops to deny the Vienna, particularly in the first half. Was exempt from dealing with much in terms of crosses with the hosts preferring to keep the ball on the ground in advanced areas….but then he did that, and then did another thing, and then another thing.

Cedric Soares (RB) – 5/10 – Needed to provide Pepe with more assistance down the right side but was too cautious in his approach. More of a tactical thing than anything, which was seen to in the second period. Will never be more than a backup player but he’s just about good enough as one.

David Luiz (CB) – 6/10 – Had good and bad moments. Struggled with the towering Rapid striker and the link up that came off him. If anything, it’s him who needs Gabriel for added security. Did score, however, so gets a bump up on the scoring.

Gabriel Magalhaes (CB) – 9/10 – STOP BEING SO DAMN GOOD AND MAKING EVERYONE ELSE LOOK BAD. Seriously though, Gabriel is just wonderful. Edu previously mentioned about sounding out physically strong players, and he’s just that. Even his distribution over the top was spot on.

Sead Kolasinac (LB) – 5/10 – Had little joy down the left flank against an organised and well-drilled Rapid Vienna side, with Saka and Nketiah were occupying those spaces in forward areas. Had Partey to thank for covering him on a few occasions and was somewhat haphazard towards the end.