Weak officials and poor finishing cost Arsenal NLD victory – Player Ratings

Ramsey and Laca to start just as Wednesday’s team against Bournemouth had suggested. A back four with Shkodran as right back – hmmmm.

First Half

We started really well. The spuds looked devoid of confidence, perhaps a win at our second home was on the cards. Sixteen minutes in and a wobble from the defender gave Laca the freedom to set Aaron free from the halfway line. His run and rounding of Lloris was just beautiful. LBG suggested that his goal celebration was to emphasise that Wembley was a pitch he owned.

Stuart MacFarlane

The rest of the half was played out without the red and white goal coming under much threat despite shed loads of spud possession. The lino spotted Vertonghen offside on the one occasion they did get the ball past Leno (Shame his counterpart at the other end wasn’t anywhere near as competent in the second half).

Our German keeper’s double save was the only real scare and he deserves off-the-scale credit for keeping the score at 1-0.

Second Half

Could we hang on and bag all three points? One thing was sure it would be 45 minutes of nail-biting tension as it always is in an NLD.

The Terrier came on for Guendouzi who looked a little swamped in the first half. We looked tighter immediately with the defence playing superbly.

The equaliser was just disgraceful from the linesman. He was 2 yards out of position and could not see along the line to spot Kane offside. Mustafi’s cretinous push on an offside Kane should never have even been a consideration for Anthony Taylor. If the linesman’s flag had gone up as it should, it would have been a free kick to the good guys. Instead, we had to endure an undeserved penalty for a side who never looked like scoring from normal play. Absolute and complete bowlocks.

Just look at the lino – pathetic

Salvation appeared to be at hand when Auba (who seemed a poor substitute from the word go) was fouled with seconds of the 90 remaining. Please Auba, no eff ups. What followed was such a dreadful penalty that Gunnersaurus could have saved it by sticking out a large black boot.

No retake, ref? Especially considering Vertonghen blocked the follow up from Auba

Torreira’s sending off for an unintentional contact on the serial diver Rose made no diiference to the result but presumably means a 3 match suspension and the little Uruguayan out of the red mancs game next weekend.

Oh yeah, Anthony Taylor, wasn’t this worse?


A massive missed opportunity of beating a poor spud side but, then again, most of us would have taken a point before the game.

Such a shame that yet more officials’ incompetence was the cause of the spud equaliser. I hope that lino is ashamed of himself when he watches it back.


Leno – a glorious double save worthy of winning any match … 8

Mustafi – not surprisingly a weak link and his push on Kane stupid beyond words … 5

Sokratis – just superb – never bullied – commanding like a god from Mount Olympus … 9

Koscielny – class personified again – battered with elbows and forwards backing in but still came back for more … 8

Monreal – excellent yet again – if his legs hold up he has several more seasons in him on this showing … 8

Guendouzi – a bridge too far for Matteo – he was too ponderous in that first period for the helter skelter of an NLD … 6

Xhaka – back in his rightful place, he saw more of the ball with a more natural partner in the second half … 7

Mkhitaryan – he worked hard and put Auba free a couple of times late on … 7

Iwobi – one of his more frustrating performances – gave the ball away umpteen times – his one decent effort on goal had to be aimed slightly outside the post – in the end Lloris could have headed it away … 6

Ramsey – his goal celebration showed how much he realises it means to be a Gooner playing Tottenham – worked his leeks off throughout – I was disappointed when he came off, though he was a bit knackered maybe … 8

Lacazette – he was never going to have much support but should have done better with an early chance and also in the second half from a nice Iwobi cutback – another player that I was disappointed he was substituted – as was he, judging by his reaction … 7


Torreira – added some steel to the midfield – unlucky to get a red for an accidental challenge …7

Aubameyang – never looks comfortable leading the line in the same way Laca does – yet, having said that he did have some decent sniffs at goal but his penalty miss will give him nightmares … 5

Ozil – did very little and contributed far less than Rambo had done previously playing in the same position … 6


Emery – got everything right in his initial selection, made a good half time sub and then two less effective substitutions – still, a point at Wembley and 4 points out of 6 against those hideous swamp-dwellers in his first Prem season gets him an extra point. Love how his quote about the officials could be taken two ways – “VAR is coming for them.”  … 8

Podgytino – outclassed and only had incompetent officials to thank for not losing – his comments that the spuds were superior in all aspects of the game were patently ridiculous … 3



31 Responses to Weak officials and poor finishing cost Arsenal NLD victory – Player Ratings

  1. chas says:


  2. LBG says:

    Thanks Chas for all the effort.
    Recognise a degree of sarcasm and rose tinted thingumees, agree with everything except that contact with Aubang warranted a penalty!
    His effort was then as laid back as his character, and should then still have been retaken for encroachment.
    Most rose tinted comment of the match then from Podgytino (love it), that they were the better team and deserved to win.
    Sorry to say it again but the cretinous one, and the Swiss cheese more suited to a punch up in an Essex playground, are liabilities unworthy of The Arsenal.

  3. Big Raddy says:

    Chas. Thank you for another fine report.

    Like many I am hugely disappointed.

    Two minutes from time we get a penalty, miss it and lose 2 points; MU score to win and go above us in the PL. Those two minutes could cost us a CL place

  4. Eddie says:

    thanks chas, very accurate ratings.
    i am furious too, the game was ours to win

    As soon as I saw PEA going to take the pen I knew he’d miss. He looked nervous as hell. WHY did he take it? Why not the skipper?

    I watched the game with a tiny Spud cuddled up to me (it felt wrong, terribly wrong) and what was interesting was the all spuds including my young visitor celebrated as if they won at home, whereas Gunners looked heart broken drawing away. That tells me a lot.

  5. RA says:

    Well done, Chas, with the post match report.

    What a strange result to a game we deserved to win easily, despite Auba missing a penalty.

    The referee, and I am not a ref-sceptic generally, but Taylor is truly a very poor ref. The Spuds’ penalty was a disgrace – only 5 Spurs players offside – and when Auba took the Arsenal penalty there was clear intrusion into the penalty area before he took the kick.

    Should have been retaken!

    There is something not right about Auba — could not hit a cow’s ass with a banjo, springs to mind, and I saw the stats that he has not scored a goal against any of the top 8 clubs. What is going on?

  6. TotalArsenal says:

    Spot on report and ratings (except I believe Torro deserved that red, unfortunately). The big picture is that a week ago all Spuddies, many neutrals and more than a few Gooners (even here on AA) believed they were better than us and had the better squad; this morning we wake up knowing that we are at least as good and could/should have beaten them. They were reasonably safe for third place and now they have been dragged into the top-four fight. Lack of luck/ bad refereeing happens to all teams, but our strength and class shone through. Bring on the Mancs.

  7. Big Raddy says:

    RA. True. It is strange that a man recognised as one of Europe’s top strikers isso lacking in form and confidence. As Eddie say, he looked nervous before missing his pen.

    Also, his close control has disappeared. Could PEA be spending too much time enjoying himself in the fleshpots of the Big City? Having been to Dortmund, I can tell you there is not a lot of nightlife!

  8. Malaysian gunner says:

    Agree with total arsenal about refs. It aint going to be the last time the gunners are undone by an inept ref.
    Arsenal have been hit by poor/incorrect decisions since Wenger’s time.It seems to me the powers that be don’t want Arsenal to win the epl.
    Well. Well. Arsenal shd prove it on the pitch that they are capable. As for the Norwegians unbeaten run,sooner later it got to end .
    Hang on a min. He might win again with the ref s help like his master.

  9. Wolfgang says:

    Kane escaped a ban . Hopefully the Spurs guy who lashed out with his studs at our French defender shd be punished with a 5 match bam.
    That will even matters.

  10. allezkev says:

    Whatever happened to referees handing out cautions for simulation?

    Rose should have been sent off, Lemela came on and the first thing he did was throw himself to the ground and Harry loves a dive.

    Credit to Emery for being so considered in his post match interviews when inside he was probably seething…

  11. allezkev says:

    RA, didn’t Aubameyang score against the Spuds at the Emirates?
    But I agree, his record against the big teams isn’t great…

  12. Red Arnie says:

    Lovely report, Chas. 🙂

    I wish the ref would at least the decency to give Emery an apology call.

  13. TotalArsenal says:

    Auba’s calm in front of goal is the reason he is our top scorer and scores sooo many goals (and pens). if that same calm sometimes appears not to deliver, we shouldn’t be too harsh (especially once we are able to get over our initial disappointment). Auba is doing great and I expect him (and Laca) to make amends v Mancs.

  14. chas says:

    Storm Freya is coming …

  15. GunnerN5 says:

    A really good post Chas, thank you for all of your fine work.

    I’m still in a bit of a fog, it was clearly a game we should have and could have won convincingly.

    Terible finishing from the two players who are normally clinical was our downfall. Rightfully much has been said about the missed penalty but it was truly awful – my pet dog could have saved it, and we buried him 10 years ago.

    Our suspect defense held strong, with the notable exception of Mustafi who proved, once again, that he is completely unreliable. Every game we wait for his inevitable error and regrettably this time he gave away another penalty.

  16. fred1266 says:

    When is that state for RA cause aubameyang did score against spurs in our home game

  17. fred1266 says:

    One thing I saw no one mentioned when Leno received the ball back he lunches it straight back to lloris steups

  18. fred1266 says:

    What a goal from Chambers

  19. RC78 says:

    2 points lost…who would have thought we would leave Wembley so disappointed not to have won the game? Emery put a really good tactical shift in this game and if Lacazette and Auba had their usual scoring boots on, we would have easily won the game…

    Best performers: Sokratis, Mikhy, Ramsey, Iwobi

    Poor performer: Mustafi, Auba, Guendouzi

    Overall, a disappointment as we also let 4th place to Utd…What a disaster! They were so far back and they may now finish ahead of us and Tottenham…Utd has talent and under Ole they found their form and rhythm…We better bring them back to earth by beating them comprehensively…

    For now, heads to Rennes who has a good team. The ones to watch at Rennes are: Sarr, Niang, Grenier, Ben Arfa, Koubek, Diallo

    If you want to counter Rennes, there are not many options. You gotta boss the midfield and play physical up front as well so I d play:

    Cech – Lichten, Sokratis, Monreal, Kola – AMN, Torreira, Guendouzi – Ozil – Laca, Auba

    Let us put the game to bed early on…

  20. RC78 says:

    As for the referees, poor and poorer as the game went on…

    Quick poll for you – maybe as a post (for later):
    As Wellbeck is leaving at the end of the season, which player would you like to see join us as a back-up (3rd striker) given that Nketiah still has a lot of development to do:
    – Mitrovic (Fulham)
    – Haller (Frankfurt)
    – Milik (Napoli)
    – Jovic (Frankfurt)
    – L. Martinez (Inter)
    – Other?

    Our need for a a Winger/Forward that can play on wings is obvious and well documents, which players (on top of Reiss-Neilsson) would you like to see join us:
    – Asensio (Real)
    – Zaha (Palace)
    – Douglas Costa (Juve)
    – Willian (Chelsea)
    – Inaki Williams (Bilbao)
    – Correa (Atletico)
    – Martins (Atletico)
    – Carrasco (China)
    – Fekir (Lyon)
    – Other?

  21. fred1266 says:

    Iwobi didn’t have a good performance IMO does the same old stuff without being effect

  22. Rasp says:

    Excellent match report once again, thanks chas.

    I’m way more gutted than I should be over ‘only getting a draw’. I know it’s unfair, but I wonder if even now Auba realises the importance of that penalty miss. It may cost the club £40m (lost CL revenue) …. but far greater than that, he had the chance to become a hero for decades to come if he’d put the ball in the back of the net and the resultant spursy meltdown had resulted in them finishing below us and out of the top 4 … but hey ho, s**t happens I guess … but Auba will have to score the winner against manu to make recompense.

  23. RC78 says:

    I forgot Perisic…

  24. RA says:

    Well done those who spotted my faux pas re Auba’s goal scoring record against the top 8.

    I missed out the word “away’ — sorry.

    Mind you — Auba did not change the away stat – still no goals away, against the top 6 — or top 8, whatever.

  25. fred1266 says:

    Well if we don’t beat the top 6 away then it would be very hard for him to score any goals won’t you say

    Then you have to look at how many he has started

  26. LB says:


    Thanks for the read Chas.

  27. chas says:


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