Arsenal player ratings: Matteo Guendouzi looks the business against Sporting Lisbon – but Mohamed Elneny comes up short in Europa League winNovember 5, 2018
ARSENAL made it 11 wins on the bounce for the first time in 11 years with a nitty-gritty 1-0 win away at Sporting Lisbon.
Mohamed Elneny and Henrikh Mkhitaryan didn’t cover themselves in glory, but how did they all get on? Here’s SunSport’s player ratings…
Had very little to do, and was only given a brief scare by a thunderous long-range effort from Nani midway through the first half.
But his footwork again was impressive as he dictated play from the back, making Petr Cech’s return to the fray less and less likely.
Looked uncomfortable at times in an unnatural position at left-back, and was caught out a few times as Sporting looked to hit on the break.
He began to get more involved in the second half as the hosts sat deeper allowing him to get forward, with some clever balls into the box from out wide
Quickly becoming a certainty under Unai Emery. Made some good defensive headers from a few dangerous Sporting crosses and showed his one-on-one skills against Nani.
Got some help from the officials for the second successive week after the referee missed a handball in his own area that could have changed the game in the second half.
A welcome return after some time on the sidelines through injury, and brought some composure and solidity to the backline with some fine interceptions.
Only made one error with a misplaced header back towards goal which saw him haul down Acuna chasing back – lucky not to see red.
Came to life in the second half with some wonderful crosses, including a beauty to allow Welbeck to score before it was brought back for a foul.
Still some question marks over his concentration levels when defending, and was caught on a couple of occasions with a lack of pace – but managed to recover.
Didn’t do his starting XI chances much good with a very quiet first half before getting yanked in the 57th minute to make way for Torreira.
No surprise that he was rusty on the ball and lacked a cutting edge after spending most of the season on the bench. Looks to be staying there for now.
Not at his most influential best on the ball but kept Arsenal’s midfield ticking with some inventive runs and a few key passes through the lines.
Looked frustrated at times with Elneny beside him, but skippered the side well.
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Gets better and better with every game and this was no exception. Brilliant on the ball and constantly looking to go forward to create.
A lovely nut-meg to tee-up Welbeck almost gave Arsenal the lead straight after half time, and Emery will have headaches over his midfield now with Guendouzi starring.
Looks lost currently in this side with a more in-field position, and struggled to get on the ball and spark anything in attack.
Finally found some space late in the game to deliver a ball from wide for Lacazette, but predictably it wasn’t accurate enough.
Should have had plenty more than his winning strike after an industrious and pleasing performance as Emery’s tactics of using him as his cup man are paying off.
Was unfortunate to have a header chalked off for a slight push, but his finish taking advantage of a defensive cock-up was very well taken.
Struggled in a starting role after scoring four goals from the bench in his last two appearances – and appears to miss Mesut Ozil when he isn’t on the pitch.
Had a few chances after using his pace but was denied by the keeper, and will be disappointed not to keep up his tally for the season
LUCAS TORREIRA (FOR ELNENY, 57)
Changed the game when he arrived with an authoritative display – zipping passes from deep and an eagerness to tackle went a long way to Arsenal claiming all three points.
ALEX IWOBI (FOR AUBAMEYANG, 86)
ALEX LACAZETTE (FOR WELBECK, 79)