The World Cup dream is over for four of Arsenal’s stars after Egypt, Costa Rica, Nigeria and, most shockingly, Germany all went out at the group stages.
Five lads are still flying the flag for the Gunners…but for how much longer?
Saudi Arabia (2-1) Egypt
Egypt’s disappointing World Cup ended with another stoppage time defeat as Saudi Arabia bounced back from Mo Salah’s strike to claim the points. Elneny completed 38/39 passes but his tidiness in possession wasn’t enough to stop the Pharoahs finishing bottom of Group A.
Nigeria (1-2) Argentina
Lionel Messi’s brilliance and a late strike by Marcus Rojo put a smile on Diego Maradona’s face (or was it something else?) as Argentina sent Nigeria packing with a 2-1 win. Iwobi started on the bench for the second game running and only came on for a few minutes at the end. In total, he played 62 minutes in Russia; a disappointing experience given his showing in qualification.
Switzerland (2-2) Costa Rica
An already eliminated Costa Rica twice came from behind against Switzerland to secure a 2-2 draw. Joel Campbell won a stoppage-time penalty that ultimately led to his country’s equaliser…we say ultimately because the effort by Bryan Ruiz initially crashed off the bar, hit keeper Yann Somer on the head and slipped into the net as an own goal. Costa Rica still ended up finishing bottom of Group E.
South Korea (2-0) Germany
*selects sarcasm font* Mesut Ozil single-handedly engineered his country’s first group stage exit from a World Cup since 1938 by creating seven chances for his teammates in their 2-0 defeat to South Korea. The reigning World Champions needed a win to go through but in their desperation to find a goal, they got loose at the back and conceded twice in stoppage time. In your face Manuel Neuer.
Stephan Lichtsteiner & Granit Xhaka
Switzerland (2-2) Costa Rica
Having escaped FIFA bans for their celebrations against Serbia, the Arsenal duo both started as Switzerland went in search of a win that might have helped them finish above Brazil. As outlined above, they were denied three points at the death by a comical penalty. Xhaka completed 97/101 passes in midfield – a whopping 96% completion rate – while Lichtsteiner did his angry face 5 times. The Swiss face Sweden on Tuesday night.
Belgium (1-0) England
Danny’s World Cup stepped up a notch as he finally got game time, coming off the bench for 11 minutes as Gareth Southgate’s much-rotated Three Lions lost 1-0 to Roberto Martinez’s much-rotated Belgium. There was much debate pre-game as to whether England would be better off coming second in Group G; that’s exactly what has happened and it might just work in their favour. Colombia stand in the way of a quarter-final with either Sweden or Switzerland.
Senegal (0-1) Colombia
Dave kept a second clean sheet for the second game in a row to help Colombia beat Senegal 1-0. Our man made a couple of decent stops after Yerry Mina’s header broke the deadlock. The South Americans topped Group H and will now play England.
Spain (2-2) Morocco
Spain finished top of Group B after drawing with Morocco thanks to a stoppage-time equaliser by Iago Aspas, awarded after a VAR consultation. Nacho hasn’t played a single minute of the tournament yet.