Arsenal went behind against Valencia but came back to win 3-1, with two goals from Alexandre Lacazette and a late one from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang giving us a bit of a cushion when we go to Spain for the second leg.

It was a good win, and a good reaction after going behind.

Read the Arsenal 3-1 Valencia match report and see the goals here

Here’s how the players rated this evening.

Ratings

The ratings are now hidden by default until you vote, but if you just want to view the ratings and the comments, flick the switch at the top above Petr Cech. Also, give the ratings a few seconds to load.

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gazgoon
gazgoon

Come on you Gunners!!!

Gooooooonnnnaaaaaaaa
Gooooooonnnnaaaaaaaa

Nervous first 20 minutes or so but we kept fighting and got our reward for it. That has to be the best bonus rating ever, I was at the Leicester game on Sunday and what really struck me after the first goal conceded was all the players just stood there with their heads down looking so defeated. Not a single one of them was encouraging his teammates or anything – including Koscienly our captain. Really happy with this result and I want to put the 3 defeats behind us and fully get behind the team. Every match now is a cup final. COYG!!!!

AmericanGooner
AmericanGooner

I’ll be the first to say – much, much better from Mustafi.

Richard
Richard

it’s no question that he’s generally a good defender – but his constant lapses of concentration are inexcusable, we need to replace him even if he plays well in the remaining matches

Anonymarse
Anonymarse

Generally good but occasionally fucking terrible

Mpls
Mpls

In the immortal words of Gattuso:
“Eeh, sometimes maybe good, sometimes maybe shit.”

Happy we got the Sometimes maybe good tonight.

assistantref
assistantref

He seems to average about 1.5 Mustafis a game. In the last couple games he played he was managing more like 3-4 Mustafis a game, so I guess it shouldn’t be a huge surprise that in this game he didn’t Mustafi much.

bshoop333
bshoop333

On the bright side, if he does continue to mustafi (let’s be honest, obviously he will) he might get lucky and mustafing will become an accepted English word like tebowing…. “the act of taking a knee in prayer during an athletic contest”. Quite a legacy…..

goonshow
goonshow

Mustuff-up is probably the best nick for him… he can be good sometimes, even very good on occasion. But you kinda always know that he WILL stuff up – sadly it’s invariably when it really hurts us, never when we’re 3-0 up!

bshoop333
bshoop333

Not sure why there are soo many down votes for ur comment. Fairly certain it’s borderline fact. Mustafi, or any player in the league for that matter, has to be good at their job generally. Granted, lapses in judgment for defenders/goalkeepers tend to have more obvious consequences. What makes Mustafi special tho, is that he’s able to pick the exact worst moment to make dumb decisions on a regular basis.

GoonerJust
GoonerJust

Great, Mustafi didn’t mustafied our defence. He has to be consistently unmustafi to gain Emery’s trust. This demustafication has to be continuously performed. Great job!

Clock-End Mike
Clock-End Mike

‘demustafication’ — I like the sound of that. Isn’t there something you can give for that, like delousing?

goonshow
goonshow

Mustuffup… QED

Thomas b
Thomas b

If we play with a back 5,he can actually be a decent defender.

btw
btw

I don’t know, right off the bat he kicked the ball out for a throw in, then committed a foul in the next play, which led to their set piece where the Valencia player somehow missed when it was easier to score. Had that gone in Mustafi would be getting roasted. After that he was OK.

Leno me, I’ll be your friend
Leno me, I’ll be your friend

He did have a worrying couple of mins around the 32nd to 34th minute, where three times in succession he gave the ball away fairly sloppily, and they came right after an impressive interception by him. But barring the hiccups mentioned had a much better game. Had me worried an OG was on the cards when clearing a cross later on but did well to cover despite a slight slice.

Bonus rating 9/10 for Sokratis getting a looped overhead kick on target though, really didn’t expect that bit of attacking resourcefulness from our hefty Greek!

A Different George
A Different George

This is the sort of thing that skews the discussion unfairly: Koscielny and every other defender, whether Virgil Van Dijk or Tony Adams, sometimes commits fouls that can lead to dangerous free kicks, concedes throw-ins, etc. If Mustafi played every match as well as yesterday (or as well as most–yes, most–matches) he would be one of the best defenders in the league. The problem is those catastrophic mental mistakes.

Goonish
Goonish

Laca may have missed a couple, but you’ve got to love his attitude. Tries to make things happen on his own if no one else does. What a turn that was. Well deserved brace.

YoungFabregas
YoungFabregas

Great turn, but how about the quality of vision and eyes on the back of Auba’s head for the first goal?? Laca slotted him through and Auba just outpaced the ball without looking!

Mpls
Mpls

Loved that. Laca got the ball and he just hit the gas.
Those two have a great strike partnership going.

leroy
leroy

and his pass to spring aubameyang for the first goal was inch perfect

Longfellow
Longfellow

Relief!

onenil
onenil

We won a game! I had forgotten how it feels.

Runzac
Runzac

I like Ghendouzi but if Torreira is fit – it´s obvious on the pitch that the team is more solid – I cant understand why he doesn´t start. It´s obvious that everybody is counting on EL and have thrown PL under the bus so team selection is a problem for me. It´s like Emery waits for the predicted lineups and then throws in a spanner just for his amusement

utk
utk

Think it’s because he looked jaded in the last game. Rigours of his first season in the PL look to have had some sort of affect on him, and understandably so. I’m sure he’ll be back in the team sooner than later

Oozil
Oozil

Torreira has played 47 matches for arsenal this season. Given the way he plays it’s to be expected. Even when he came on today he closed the opposition down so fast that it made a huge difference in their passing quality. Will need that from the entire team away from home.

Tim Brouwer
Tim Brouwer

I thought Maitland-Niles was really impressive. Really positive and one of the few players in this team who can beat somebody one on one and showed some cockeyness, which is something we sometimes lack

kaius
kaius

Surprised by the downvotes whenever AMN gets any praise, but I will say this – we’re not excusing his defensive lapses! He needs to refine his positioning and awareness of danger, but he adds so much of what we lost when Hector got injured.

And come on lads, you gotta love the cojones to pull off that Cruyff turn and beat their two pressing forwards who would have been clear on goal if they’d tackled him

Bob
Bob

Agreed., no clue why people don’t want to praise him. He’s one of ours come up through our youth and normally a midfielder being played out of position and asked to do a crucial job in Emery’s system, and doing fine for the most part.

Sure he has his flaws, but they are excusable with youth. He’s got the mentality to settle into games despite a couple of errors. Some young players would go to pieces but he kept his head and by the second half was one of our best players.

Would much prefer if people focused on what he does well and supported him in his development!

Futsboller
Futsboller

He deserves the praise. He’s really done a job for the team at wingback. I still think he could become a solid midfielder if we move him back to that position, as his decision-making improves. He’s got incredible recovery speed, and can dribble, and could be a really valuable midfield player in a 4-3-3 considering how much ground he can cover.

SHAKA
SHAKA

too bad emery fell so madly in love with Gndu …. AMN would have really benefited from an extended run in the midfield.

Ainsley Maitland-Niles
Ainsley Maitland-Niles

Honestly, he needs to play wing back in a 3-4-3 formation (Koscielny, Mustafi and Sokratis at the back) then Kolasinac as the other wing back

goonshow
goonshow

Agree 100% – he has the skill and strength to be a Gilberto for us (Vieira might be pushing it at this early stage!) especially if this defensive stint hones he’s tackling skills and awareness. He seems to have a decent, albeit immature, football brain which will only improve with time.

Goonerink

I also feel we need to appreciate what he has gone through with his mother at such an early age, he is mature and looks to come good imho

A Different George
A Different George

I think there’s a good chance that Maitland-Niles will develop into a quality player. He’s not there yet–I thought he did little for much of the game. And that stooped attempted headed back-pass could very easily have cost us a goal. Imagine if Mustafi had done that?

Cacho
Cacho

That turn from AMN was quite something. Not something anyone wants to see often, but credit to him he pulled it off as cool as you like

Dave Cee
Dave Cee

Yeah agreed, he is kind of a cool cat

Dave
Dave

I’d really like to see him in the midfield in cup games next season.

We’re at a danger of losing him if we continue to play him out of position.

Hopefully it’s just a plaster until Bellerin is back and we get another RB.

We literally cannot afford to lose him – with our finances the way they are we need to nurture and develop our youth.

Mark
Mark

Great to get that 3rd goal, though never should have given up their goal as Mustafi needlessly fumbled the ball out of bounds giving them a corner (and gave them another cheap one later). Lacazzette did get two goals, but really missed badly on two great chances.

Stick it in the goal hole
Stick it in the goal hole

We have a two goal lead going into the second leg of the Europa semi-final. After the miserable run we’ve had recently, we should be proud of everyone for showing the mental fortitude to cast aside their doubts and put in a really memorable performance. This is especially true in the case of Mustafi. Enjoy the win pal, we’re half way to Baku!

George
George

Agreed. I really wish we were more clinical at times, it would make things a lot easier! Thank f**k for that third.

Spanish Gooner
Spanish Gooner

I thought Mkhi was excellent when he came on. He arrived at a time when we were getting a bit stuck and he drove through the Valencia deep block to put us back on the front foot

alex alexsson
alex alexsson

Completely agree, seemed like he went on with clear instructions to dribble and drive at the defence after a long discussion with Emery just before being subbed on

Anthony
Anthony

Best I’ve seen Mkhitaryan play for a while. Real purpose to his runs and caused them lots of problems. If he can reproduce that level of performance every time he plays it would be grand.

Crash Fistfight
Crash Fistfight

Only time he’s played at home in a while (or did he come on against Palace?).

MateKiddleton
MateKiddleton

With Rambo gone, he’s the only other player who drives from deep with the ball.

A Different George
A Different George

Iwobi does it, but too often a poor final product.

goonshow
goonshow

On that note… this team simply looks more solid without Iwobi. Yes, he can sometimes drive us forward, but just leaves too much a gaping hole on the left flank in defence.

moyoli_

Agreed. Mkhi peformed very well when he came on. Felt good for him after his loss of form.

goonshow
goonshow

Agree – I’ve had him over the coals on this forum before… but fair-do’s, he looked like a man on a mission last night.

Danger Mouse
Danger Mouse

Couple of errors from Maitland-Niles early on but thought he was excellent thereafter. Mustaphi much improved, so kudos to him for that. Koscielny superb. Laca and Auba doing it when it matters. A good nights work all round. Now don’t fuck it up against Brighton.

Kostas
Kostas

Cech 7 good when needed
Kos 7 good but tired
Papa 7 fast to cover Mustafi
Mustafi 4 even a goal will make me angry
AMN 4 Lack of concentration
Kola 5 lack of football intelligence and 1 Assist.
Xhaka 6 I dare to say that he and Ozil are counter acting each other. Similar qualities. Slow tempo playmakers, lazy defensively.
Guendouzi 6 gathering XP
Ozil 6 he needs fast wingers to play through balls
Laca 9 he wants it
Auba 9 he is not Walcott
Lucas 8 he stabilized us
Monreal 7 renew him
Miki 6 he used to be very good

AmericanGooner
AmericanGooner

As you Englishmen say, are you mad?

Santorini
Santorini

No I’m furious

Axedsoul
Axedsoul

Oh he’s a wanker, that one is.

Kostas
Kostas

But why?

A Different George
A Different George

Well, you are the first person I know of that thinks Xhaka and Ozil have similar qualities.

goonshow
goonshow

Brother – I don’t know what you’ve been smoking but I’d love to know where you bought it.

Ross
Ross

Thought Ozil played a big part in turning the game around. Was getting on the ball a lot and pushing us forward, presses fairly well and every time he played it wide he sprinted forward in the centre rarely seeing a return pass

George
George

I agree, he did. It can be hard to recognise what he brings to the table. Case in point is the rating for him above, which, erm, misses the point(s) entirely.

Ska
Ska

I just wonder how the votes would look if Xakha or Mustafi made that horrible mistake instead of AMN… We could have been 2-0 down. I think Xakha is underappreciated BTW. On most podcasts, including this one, people want him sold without hesitation. Careful what you wish for…

Don’t Forget
Don’t Forget

Xhaka is like the IT guy at work, everyone has some problem with him, oh he didn’t do this for me or that blah blah but when he’s not there everything completely falls apart.

Runzac
Runzac

Totally agree – he makes the ball work for the team – his passing is soooo good that when he makes a bad one it is such a surprise that everyone notices. Kola got one pass right tonight.

Tomo
Tomo

A bit quicker and with two feet it’d be less of a thing

DB's first touch
DB's first touch

do you work in IT by any chance?

Laca-Sead
Laca-Sead

Adam stop posting on Arseblog and come fix my computer!

George
George

AMN needs to cut those boneheaded moments out. He’s young, so hopefully.

Xhaka I go back and forth on. That play inside our box was a great example of how stupid Xhaka can be. I like him, but we need options.

goonshow
goonshow

The problem is he ain’t Santi… but then, no-one is.

Afoly
Afoly

Road to final…Together we go

DBMÖ10
DBMÖ10

A great , resilient performance. One step in the final. If we cloned laca and played him across the pitch , I don’t think even the CB lacas would look out of place. Great fighter.
Also for a player with such high chances created and assists, Kolasinac’s passing is piss poor.
Needed one of these brutes in our team though.

Jonas
Jonas

Xhaka was not great tonight. Misplaced too many passes. Goal was partly on him. Was not good defensively and seemed precariously close to a booking. When he’s off, he’s a liability.
Ozil ran well, covered alot of ground.
Koz only behind Laca as MOTM.
Generally a good performance. Good enough to win, which is all that matters, really.

Martin
Martin

Except he wasn’t off and had an assist and laid one on for Aubameyang

A Different George
A Different George

I thought Xhaka was poor at first, especially in his passing, but got better and better as the game went on; by the end, he was at his best level. Maybe, as someone I was watching with said, he’s a player who needs a run of games and is only now getting beck into form after his injury.

Amusa
Amusa

Disgusting from the fans in the Emirates. 10 minutes to go in a European semi final and the stadium is half empty.
What the actual Fuck?

Daniel
Daniel

It just perplexes me how people go to a football match but leave 10 minutes before the end, for what to beat the crowds,if you can’t stay till the end, just stay at home, it makes late goals extra satisfying for me, thinking about those people missing it

Dave Cee
Dave Cee

I was thinking that too, hoped they enjoyed hearing about the 3rd as the they were halfway down the road. Crucial game, last European game of the season at home, result on edge and the stadium empties on 80 minutes. Embarrassing really

GraeB
GraeB

Same at half time too. So desperate to get a rubbish drink at inflated prices?

I did take the opportunity during an injury break to go to the toilet and was amazed at how many people were on the concourse just watching the game on the TV out there. 😞

goonshow
goonshow

Mate – they got their comeuppance… trudging to the station and hearing that almighty cheer from the faithful.
Spent a small fortune and missed the best goal of the night just to save a few minutes in the Tube queue… bless!

Amusa
Amusa

Secondly Mkhitariyan is so much better when he plays centrally instead of the wing. Especially coming on late he can drive at the defence and shoot unlike our man Iwobi.

Crash Fistfight
Crash Fistfight

Think it’s more to do with the situation/opposition than his position. He looked good as one of the two behind the striker (in fact, he and Iwobi completely changed the game) in the home game against Rennes.

I think any time he has any physical duels to win, he falls apart, which is why he has been awful recently (we’ve played away a lot with the home game against a physical Palace side). When he doesn’t get pushed off the ball, he suddenly looks decent.

That’s just my thoughts, anyway.

Gamzini
Gamzini

Ozil looked very up for it – chasing them down and challenging in the air even – and the cross for laca’s second was very well delivered
Also Cech with a massive save in his last game at the Emirates

Gooner222
Gooner222

Much improved all round. We are so damn lucky to have Laca! What a player 👑

Santori
Santori

Mostly positives for us as we went back to 3 Cbacks.

As I have mentioned, back 4 was a mistake last 3 matches in league.

A bit of nervousness first half and still systemic issues defending corners/set pieces but better cover from open play.

1) Cech – Thought he could have dealt with the ball in for their goal a bit better. OK.

2) AMN – One very iffy header back to Cech that almost exposed him. Some poor moments, needs to be a bit more switched on but generally he is the best we have on that flank at the moment and we should expect teams to try and exploit us on that flank for the final two league games (likely Mustafi will slot in). Some good forays up field but some poor decisions on the ball as well. To be expected. Great recovery rate though.

3) Mustafi – He has a beard.

Good to see some acknowledgement of his positives for once. At least two vital clearances to bail out Sokratis. No nonsense clearance up field today, he’s better in a back3…as with the rest of the Cbacks frankly.

4) Sokratis – Some mistimed tackles that had he been Mustafi, there would be much mention. As I have been saying, all players have been making mistakes not just Mustafi. Just people are waiting for mistakes with the German and conveniently choose to ignore the faults of others.

5) Koscielny – On his last legs. Which is why I keep reiterating if/when we do bring in a new Cback it will be replacement for the stalwart. He’s 33yrs and will increasingly face durability issues. On a number of ocassions really struggled for pace but showed his composure with several examplary tackles as last man.

6) Kolasinac – Poor passes throughout, not his usual self but kept us going forward on the left and of course the one great cross found Aubameyang inch perfect.

7) Granit – Should have done better for their goal but that fellow looked an awkward one to keep out. Some poor passes first half mixed with excellent distribution later.Whole team I thought did well hustling for the ball today generally.

8) Guendouzi – Surprise start but did well harrying for the ball. Just thought both Granit and Guendouzi a little flat in terms of positioning particularly in second half where understandably there was more caution to protect what we had in hand. BUT we lacked a bit of dynamism in terms of movement from midfield into their (VERY packed) box.

9) Ozil – Found it difficult with the sort of mass ranks to find the strikers. Tried to go at the defense with one twos but generally locked out. Good endeavor today not for want of trying.

10) Aubameyang – A bit better from Auba, one instance won the ball back and went straight at them. Great composure to find Laca for our first goal. Also he tends to wait for the ball so lucky Kolasinac found him inch perfect with that cross. One good opportunity he hurried and half volleyed into the ground (Had more time)

11) Laca – Man of the match for me and my player of the season. Off ball work to come back and win things, movement always to the ball, protects the ball and instigates. Two good goals (second slightly fortunate), should have got the hattrick with two opportunities he missed. BUT he looked a leader today on the pitch.

12) Torreira – Surprise he did not start. OK job harrying when he came on and keeping our momentum going. We looked slightly spent 60th minute having spurn a couple of good chances following sustained pressure on our part. Torreira brought in to inject focus not a bad thing.

13) Monreal – Again …Koscielny is going to increasingly have issues with durability. Monreal is same in age but better off in nick. Its going to be from here on (should have been last 3 matches) a back 3 with Monreal and Koscielny likely rotating to sustain the Frenchman plus Sokratis and Mustafi. The least amount of disruption to the backline the better (albeit with AMN out, Mavropanos might need to come in as Mustafi likely will shift to Rback for league matches)

14) Mhkitaryan – I think Emery had him run at the Valencia defense a bit and he duly obliged….which resulted in the third goal so well done.

Unai – Got his selection and game management right today. Should just keep to back 3 with minimum rotation. Also good for us to start positive with two up top, we can rotate and go one up top should we have psychological control with then either of the strikers plus a supporting cast of Iwobi and one of Ozil or Mhkitaryan.

goonshow
goonshow

Wondered how you’d work Iwobi into a game where he didn’t play Santa? So thanks for not disappointing. What is disappointing is you insistence that he is a better player than Ozil?! To whit: ‘Iwobi and one of Ozil or Mhki’ … seriously?
As you have ‘mentioned’, ‘been saying’, ‘keep reiterating’… repetition don’t make it so.

Fireman Sam
Fireman Sam

Agree with most of that apart from Iwobi. He’s really down the pecking order in my view.

Jack gunner
Jack gunner

The defence as usual went awol.A 2 goal cushion aint nothing especially if
Valencia were to score first. Then the gunners defence could be on a knife edge
and errors could follow.
Hopefully Emery will shore up the defence for the remaining epl and el games.

edzo
edzo

i think we should buy Mouctar Diakhaby

Ayleym
Ayleym

Just got home from the game… fantastic atmosphere from the arsenal boys again. Lacazette was immense upfront. The first goal was such a school boy mistake. I was on the side line screaming to mark no19. How kolasanic or any other player can leave someone unmarked on the back post from a corner is beyond me

Jack gunner
Jack gunner

I still believe Wenger’s dna is still with Arsenal. Their intricate passing
in front of amassed defence is easily stifled and a fast breakaway would
result in the gunners going behind.
That’s how the foxes/wolves and CP won.
If Emery goes all out of the offensive,Arsenal better beware of the
quick counter attack. In the 2nd leg Arsenal better tighten up
defensively .If Valencia were to score the first goal it
could make the gunners defence nervous.

Nico
Nico

You do know that “intricate passing” is bread and butter in Spanish League and for every Spanish manager

A Different George
A Different George

Isn’t there some club in Catalonia that does it a lot?

Mission Mission
Mission Mission

Hustafi and Rob Holding partnership earlier on was great, hope he stays and improves!!

AnonymousGun
AnonymousGun

Had a good night, led the team in clearances and interceptions. -Gets a 6

Thought he looked a bit off in some moments, strong in others, but generally ok -Gets a 6.5

Hate much?

Yankee Gooner
Yankee Gooner

This would be a scorching rebuke if you hadn’t cocked up the numbers.

DB's first touch
DB's first touch

Mustafi was rated a 7, higher than Sokratis, so not sure what you mean?

Nameless_Gooner
Nameless_Gooner

Kolasinac needs to defend better.. That Kevin Gamiero effort, he made no attempts to track his run…

btw
btw

Socrates could have had a straight red, or two yellows, was a bit over enthusiastic…

Dave Cee
Dave Cee

I.d forgotten about that. Didn.t think Papa had a great game all round

George
George

I would have had no problems with that lunge being a red. Moronic challenge.

Cheeses
Cheeses

Amazing how he was not even booked for that.

Dave Cee
Dave Cee

Firstly, well done Arsenal on a very good result and, at times, good performance. Here is hoping we can go all the way and lift this trophy
But, in light of Blogs post about squad rebuilding in the summer and what i watched tonite and in previous games..fuck we need a lot of surgery. That backline is on it’s last legs! Kos couldn.t fi nish the game, Nacho looks done as an Arsenal player, Papa is decent but not much more. When Mustafi is legitimately your best defender on the night and best option going forward then big work is required.
In midfield Xhaka is our best player and that is not a compliment. He may have improved a lot this season but still lacks mobility, tackling ability and calmness. I don.t think he can really learn any of these things. Guendouzi is not ready/ even sure if he will be good enough. Torreira is also still learning. So a really good, two footed CM lools to be needed. Further forward, we have the decent but under producing Ozil and Mhki, both of whom i.d like to see moved on and a Leon Bailey/ Malcolm type wide forward bought instead. We also need to replace Ramsey, van de Beek from Ajax looks ideal.
Finally, if there is any spare change we probably need a 1st choice left back and Frankfurt’s Luka Jovic would be a dream up front.
This is a hugely average squad at present. Getting CL football by whatever means for next season would, for me, represent an overachievement by Emery. So much work needs to be done on this squad to fashion a truly competitive team

Crash Fistfight
Crash Fistfight

Agree with the sentiments but I’d imagine van de Beek is unlikely (age and ability-wise, I think it would be worth splashing out on him if we could, though) and Luka Jovic is pretty much impossible (probably not viable to have three top level strikers though).

The defenders we’re getting linked to don’t fill me with any confidence either. This morning it’s a centre back at Getafe who is 5’10” and a right back at Strasbourg who is 27 (he hasn’t played for anyone decent up to this point – is that not an indicator that he’s probably not that brilliant?).

Matt P
Matt P

We seem a little bit more energised for Europe don’t we?

Hustle6
Hustle6

I’m often spewing a lot of ozil hate gumbo on here. But I’ll be real he actually tried vs Valencia.

Putting aside the fact “trying” is largely considered the bare minimum, I’m proud of his performance and maybe it shows there’s some sort of gumption within him after all.

goonshow
goonshow

I think we may just have found our skipper when King Kos finally runs himself into an old age home… Laca was epic. Works his friggin’ red ‘n white socks off and clearly has the ear of his team mates. Seems a natural leader – and from the front to boot (ouch!)

goonshow
goonshow

Is it just me or do we have a spookily portentous single hand on this trophy, since we have a player with the same name as the final venue? You couldn’t script him getting a run-out if we make the final though…