Arsenal did this crazy thing in a game of football and scored some goals. Alex Lacazette thumped home the opener; Pablo Mari scored his first Arsenal goal on his return from injury; Eddie Nketiah scrambled one in before half-time; and sub Emile Smith Rowe finished off the scoring in the second half.

It was a timely boost ahead of the North London derby, and it made it five wins from five in the Europa League.

Here’s how the players rated tonight.

Read the Arsenal 4-1 Rapid Vienna match report and see the goals here

Arsenal 4-1 Rapid Vienna – Player Ratings

The ratings are 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 Alex Runarsson. Also, please give the ratings a few seconds to load.

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Johnny 4 Hats

Aw, you finally found something nice to say about Kolasinac.

Arsenalnut

When Kola was on playing on the sideline he almost always passed the ball back to a center back. Once he moved a bit inside he ran with the ball and regularly passed it forward and wide to someone who now had time and space. I was so happy I had to check the lineups to see if Tierney was in. No, its was Kola. Well done, Sead and well done Arteta.

Reality check

Best left back in the Bundesliga before signing for Arsenal. Kola always had this in his game, he’s called a tank for a reason. He’s a very powerful runner, very good at linkup and give and goes, and had a mean cross in the Bundesliga as well as early in his Arsenal career. Shame we couldn’t improve his defending, but we have ruined some of his attacking game. Love him for always standing up for his team mates, on or off the field, that north London derby scramble especially..

David C

His double save was excellent! Our keeper let him down after that 🙂

JACK

I have been saying this for a while to play LACA at 10CAM role. He played there for Lyon a lot and he scored a lot. People underestimate his linkup play and vision for a pass. He can play ST or 2nd striker or CAM very well. I was so happy to see him dictate play in that first half he was my MOTM Also KOLASINA had a blinding game what a player his burst of speed acceleration in short spaces is crazy I like that he was free to roam up and down. Tierney has lost this part of… Read more »

Andika Pratama

Kola is doing alright

Auba auba Laca Partey

Does Laca celebration means “I put the ball in the back of the neck”?

Auba auba Laca Partey

10/10 for Laca by the way! 9 for AMN because of the dink otherwise would have been a 10.

YoungFabregas

Yeah it looked like a sense of relief. To be honest his base footballing level is not cut out for the premier league (when he is on his best form he can contest) but generally what the last few seasons (he should be at his peak) have showed us he is more French/Italian league quality level

Martin

He was our player of the year only 2 seasons ago and until his injury last season looked a world class player. He formed a great partnership with Aubameyang and frankly our comments about him are absurd. I only hope tonight is a reufgence of the Lacazette we know and love

Martin

Your comments I meant

YoungFabregas

He had a great run of form in that year and well deserved, but unfortunately that was his peak. The bloke just doesn’t possess the qualities for the premier league year on year

Frank Bascombe

Talking utter shite.

Elbon

You know what I would like to see this weekend.

Leno
AMN Holding Gabriel Tierney
Partey Elneny
Nelson Laca Saka
Auba

Is there any reason why this team wouldn’t work?

Rich

Partey almost certainly won’t be ready.
Not sure Hector has done much wrong for him to be dropped. Would rather see AMN in midfield.
I think it is inevitable Xhaka will play; to be honest he has the kind of leadership qualities we may need in the NLD

goonshow

Xhaka remains a huge liability in the Prem. His few good points are so heavily outweighed by his obvious weaknesses… weaknesses which every opposing manager has now learned how to mercilessly exploit.
A less obvious problem is the compensatory effects on other players and parts of the team’s overall play… We lose any and all bravado and forward-thinking play because of having to constantly cover for Xhaka’s ponderous touch, one-sidedness and propensity to either lose possession in dangerous areas or lose his head/feet – exposing the rest of our defence.

goonshow

Plenty

loose_cannon

Maybe he’s played his way back into the first team? Playing Aubameyang as a lone striker hasn’t planned out the way we’d hope, but having Lacazette in the pocket behind him could be effective.

Bendtnerschristmastree

Some of lacas through balls were great, maybe theres a role for him there.

Emile must get some minutes in the prem now, he’s good with both feet and makes runs in behind which is exactly what we’re lacking there. Was rewarded for it with a goal today, but above all he creates so much more room for his teammates. Such a smart player.

MPLS

I feel for Laca, he’s worked hard and tried hard every chance he’s had. He really digs deep to pick up the ball and help the midfield. He just isn’t finding or finishing the chances on goal in the league. Hopefully this will start to turn the corner for him.

Berlingoon

Arteta said he doesn’t have the players for a 4-3-3 but I think Willock, AMN and Smith-Rowe could be a good midfield trio in terms of attributes.

Gooner Sam

Definitely in the future but way to raw currently

Berlingoon

How do you get rid of their rawness? By playing them. What’s the point in playing Xhaka there or Ceballos who’s not even our player? Give them the trust, so they’ll be ready sooner rather than later.

goonshow

He has some early hints of Freddie, in his pomp, about him.

Arseteta

Much needed attacking performance going into the derby!
ESR looks like exactly the kind of profile the squad needs right now.

Here’s hoping this translates to Sunday! COYG!

Gooner Sam

Agreed, love ESR, just what we need. Great movement, tidy on the ball and scores and assists. I have real hopes for the boy

Ozzie

His upright posture and carefulness of touch remind alot of Ozil – hope that’s a good thing!

Henrik

Didn’t like Artetas reaction when Pepe tried to go on the inside, it is obvious he doesn’t like him for some reason, but a lot of positives tonight. Nelson ESR and AMN all big positives, would like to have seen Willock instead of Willian. I think we should play Balogun more, I think he adds more than Nketiah to the game.

COYG!

viegunner

i will take a lot of downvotes but i felt pepe was poor again. for a player relying on tricks, he loses the ball way too often and makes the wrong choice on a regular basis. i sense i’m in the minority today though

Cmdn

Not just today, more in general in life you are always wrong. Dribbling is a trick now! Welcome to 1850 football.

humblepie

Xhaka is quite safe with his ball and what he offers? You need to take risk to move the ba forward of course i am not aaying pepe is perfect, but what i saw was he has been improving the amount of time he loses his ball is reducing and the amount of dribble he completed pass oppenent is getting more. Let’s be honest, which player u prefer?

Tony Modra

Yes, he loses the ball a lot and makes a lot of bad choices. He’s also one of the only players in the squad at present who consistently puts the opposition under stress and pulls them out of position, making us – wait for it – threatening when we have the ball!

goonshow

See my comment above Tony – not sure it’s all his bad choices but rather a willingness to risk the more incisive pass. Too often, his team mates are coasting and not on the same aggressive wavelength so don’t make the runs that would give him the spaces he’s always looking for.

Martin

Yes you certainly are.

Rich

He created 5 chances (same as Reiss) yesterday, which was, I think, the most since time began.
It is frustrating when he loses the ball, but he does make things happen (including counter attacks for the opposition unfortunately!)

goonshow

I’ve watched Pepe closely for a number of games now. While consistency need to come along urgently (!), there is a game-breaker player in there. Many of the instances where he loses possession are because he’s being played in marginal, narrow areas and players around him are NOT making runs so he’s forced to take players on. He’s shown serious ability to lay a killer ball on, when the opportunities have been created by his team mates? Similarly – many of his ‘loose’ passes are because he consistently looks for the more creative, incisive pass, rather than back-passing to safety… Read more »

William

Pretty sure it is more of a father being irritated that his son doing so good and fluffing it at the final mark like many times before. Pepe will be Arteta’s greatest success story and both of them know that

Frank Bascombe

What’s ‘obvious’ is that he didn’t like what Pepe- did in that instance. Nor did I.

Rich

True, he had the chance to shoot on his favoured left but instead chose to cut inside to his “chocolate” leg

goonshow

That’ll be the chocolate that bulleted one into the top corner the other week, the one with zero backlift and pin-point accuracy.
I love me some more of that brand of cocoa, mate!

Ozzie

Arteta doesn’t like him for the reason that he keeps half-turning back at poorly chosen moments, breaking the momentum of counter attacks and frustrating teammates. I’m worried this isn’t something he can ‘unlearn’ – he’s an instinctive player.

American Gooner

Pablo Mari’s passing style reminds me of a SoCal hackey-sack player, never seen a person kick the ball by pulling their foot up towards their midriff so many times. Nice to finally say “We should have scored more”

Vinay

Best bit of football we played this season, loads of positives, the opposition was obviously not the best but it was still a great performance. We gotta translate these performances in the premier league asap. In the premier league you won’t get as much space as we got today but we have to learn to make space in these situations. We have been to rigid and static especially off the ball, which is why we have barely scored in the premier league. Stretch play, get numbers in the box, pass and move and not stay static, give many options to… Read more »

TeddyT

Hey Blogs,

I wanted to ask about the mobile view for this page. For some reason when I view it on my iPhone, I have trouble scrolling down when looking at the player ratings. It stop me from scrolling down, always have to try and readjust the screen (zoom in and out) and still have issues.

Sorry but thought this would be helpful for you to hear.

Arsenio

The ratings frame has it’s own scroll. You can scroll down the page til you hit the goalie, then scroll within the player ratings.

Once you’re at the end, you can scroll within the page again. Also try scrolling on the very edge of your screen (depending on your case, you should be able to navigate around).

Xiopik

Just scroll down on the far , right, edge. Hope this helps

Jono

Scroll the little red arrow icon bottom right

Blobby

Agreed – have the same iPhone scrolling issue.

Paul

I have the same issue on Android.

As Xiopik said, use the edge of the screen. It must have something to do with the ratings box being scrollable too

Eric

I have the same issue on iPhone, if you select “desktop version” it works fine.

Fireman Sam

Yeah I mentioned this when the new design first came out. You need to drag your finger down the far right of the phone screen when it stops scrolling initially. Just play around a bit and you’ll find the technique eventually.

Des Lynam

AMN needs to start in midfield. He was great tonight. A dynamic midfielder? I’d forgotten what they looked like.
ESR looks like he always can produce something. Just needs to keep fitn now.
A good night. On to the Spuds.

The Arsenal

Actually forgot about Mari..Looked decent..Best game for Laca in a while. Hopefully he can grow in this 10 role because it seems to suit him better .. Also Well played AMN. I think he has a higher ceiling than Nketiah and Willock but they seem to have more desire or less of a slack like attitude. Hopefully Amn can just stay disciplined and professional and r=the rest should come for him.

Arsenio

The whole “not on long enough to rate”, it always feels harah

Arsenio

Ha, accidental tap to post. Continuing…

… always feels harsh to give the lads a 0. Wouldn’t a default 6 be a bit more gentle? They got a walkabout, not their fault for getting on in the 85th…

bored

And that’s the reason for NULL value in database

MPLS

I think we had more through balls and defense splitters in this one match than all of this season’s league matches combined. And a shout for Nelson, who makes the pass to set up his teammate. That Nketiah goal, (aside from needing two bites at it, but that’s being churlish) was an Arsenal goal through and through. One touch buildup -on the left, naturally- leads to a through ball, then a ball rolled in on the floor to the center of the box, to an unselfish layoff. It was a thing of beauty. Now if we could just up that… Read more »

Toni

I loved that. I had to check our opposition again. That’s something we normally do to Norwich, eh?

Naked Cygan

The quality of the our opponents was awful. I wouldnt get too excited about the win today. The real test is Sunday. Let’s hope we show up for that game. If I see us giving the ball away 14 times in the first 5 min, passing the ball back everytime we want to attack, and going wide every fking time and sendin in a sh*t cross to Auba in the first 10 min I am just going to watch eastenders.

It’s only Ray

It’s going to be a snooze fest of a derby isn’t it?

Mourinho will sit back and hope son and Kane can hit us on the break or that we will gift them a goal. Again.

If we can get everyone up for the fight we should easily get a 0-0.

*facepalm*

goonshow

Yep – Maureen watched the Leicester game and grinned that cunty-fox smile of his

Bill

Is rapid Vienna really that bad or is our b lineup just better? We did this new thing I’ve never seen before, fast one touch passing.

Toni

Our cup team is quite good and seem to play with much less instructions, which could also explain their ability to perform freely.

goonshow

Troodat – we seem to suffer ‘analysis-paralysis’ at times in the Prem

DaDude

Rapid played a B lineup as well, changing 6 or 7 players. They focused on league on Sunday and Molde next Thursday. Regardless of their result against Arsenal, win draw or loss, they need the home win against Molde to qualify.
Even a win against Arsenal would have only put them only equal on points with the Norwegians, needing a home win to equalise their away loss in Norway.
Now they are three points behind Molde, but still, a home win and winning the direct duel will put them through.

Tribe

I am very happy for the win but this game (and all of these games at this stage of Europa League) underlines the problems we are facing. It shows the potential of the team but that potential should shine in the Premier League. Europa league opponents at this stages are simply far away from the PL intensity. We won’t have so much space in the PL matches. No team in the PL will allow Pepe to make slaloms, or to make Cedric like he is a top, top player. Or allow Laca to score from 30 meters. That is where… Read more »

Anurag

Laca scored from about the same distance against the scum when we last played them.

Tribe

That is the exact point. Just one goal, in how many matches?
However, we can’t compare the Europa League opponents to the Premier League teams.

goonshow

You play what’s in front of you mate. And we did that superbly last night.
Now go and fill that half-empty glass of yours.

Mike_14

Didn´t expect such inspired performance from Lacazette, well done! Thought he is done tbh ,football is a funny game sometimes. Positive surprise at no. 10, let´s hope he can keep it up on Sunday. AMN looks ready to slot in midfield, it can only be good if he can push Ceballos and others to perform better in that area.

John

Perhaps it’s the intoxication of FOUR goals scored in front of a crowd, but I’d love for AMN to cement a place for himself in our PL starting 11. His “welcome back bro” to ESR was beautiful, he takes cool penalties, and just seems like such a likable character and team player.

Mohammad

Y’all sleeping on Pepe!

DialSquareGoon

As idiotic as he was was the sending off, I think it was a Catalyst for Change 😉

Goonerink

I hope his aggressive reaction wasnt missed by the coaching staff. as if he needs reminding.

CaptainKhan

I’d be happy to see AMN replace Xhaka for Sunday. He helps us play faster and doesn’t hold it up.
Although it was against Rappid Vienna, it was a very good performance. Finally the ball was moved quicker and the players positioned themselves a lot better rather than going side or behind, or even holding the ball for too long.

Can we do this against Sp*rs, why not!.

Goonerink

a midfield duo of Partey and AMN has great potential I feel

Zuhair Ul Haq

Not panicking a lot now

Many positives to take into Sunday. We strung more than 3 passes together and our striker did this thing where he put the ball into the back of the opposition’s net.

Predictions for Sunday, then?

Des Lynam

1-0 to the Arsenal. Auba with a VAR penalty 3 minutes in to injury time, a penalty that is so questionable it makes Jose’s head explode.

Zuhair Ul Haq

I love the whole storytelling thing you’ve got going on here, but might I suggest a less heart-testing plot?

ozymandias

I’ll take it

BrazilianGooner

Really want to see Lacazette and Auba play 2 upfront this weekend against Sp**s

Arsenalnut

Pepe. The 72 million is a shadow over every performance for me. Whenever he tries something that doesn’t come off I think, “wasteful asshat”. Whenever he makes a cross or lay off and the recipient doesn’t get the ball home, I blame him. When he tries something and it does come off I’m thinking “should be like that all the time”. This can’t be good for him. I can see after games end that its not good for me. You can’t be creative and completely value the ball at the same time. Can anyone refer me to a good therapist… Read more »

Goonerink

would it help if the actual cost of the player was something closer to 56m and the rest on top is swindled money by agents/raul and co?

Serpent

I’d hazard a guess that the swindled foam top was closer to 30 million.

(That’s a lot of foam.)

goonshow

Spanish beers to have more head….

dave

I don’t think it’s a coincidence we’ve suffered collectively when we stopped playing Ainsley in that left wing back/midfielder role. His running off the ball and “legs” (as he put it himself) are valuable. I think in this back 4 system he suits playing in midfield, perhaps with Saka more advanced on the left?

John

I suspect Arteta might go back to 343 for Sunday as it’s wielded results in big matches (although we’ll be playing a small team). If so, AMN for left wing-back for me, Saka in front of him.

Fabregassed

Yes, I’d like to see Tierney-AMN-Saka down that left side.
However the realist in me says Auba will be back on the left and AMN will find himself on the bench. 😥

RedandWhite

I really feel with the addition of Willian they’re (the board along with Arteta) are putting all their eggs in this Europa League basket. We’ve been a cup team for a few seasons now, and the performances feel like watching a different team. I know the competition has been pretty poor so far but I don’t think anyone at the club thinks this squad is good enough for top 4, could be the main focus for the season to win this competition to get back into the champions league

Santori

With huge caveat we were facing a team we should have rolled over with ease anyway much like other minnows in the group…that said, Spurs made hard weather today of their similar level opponents. I think in general the difference in standard was very clear. So we should not circle jerk over this performance and suddenly think certain players are the dog’s bollocks as some tend to do. BUT several players to highlight : 1) Laca – As I mentioned before he needs to drop into midfield to receive. Today he had Nketiah up top and played an effective number… Read more »

David Hilliers Arm Cast

Loved seeing some energy and enthusiasm on the field, especially from Lacazette. He looked sharp from the get go.

Iyke

AMN was obviously excited playing from the midfield..

Santori

Not sure where you see Mustafi mucking up today.

Thought he had a good game. Close with the header had a very good ball in to I believe Nketiah start second half from deep.

Don’t think you can fault him for the goal. AMN missed his block and let his man run through.

In fact two great blocks by Kolasinac (another who seems to attract unfair opprobium)

But Mustafi did very decent again today.

David Hilliers Arm Cast

Have to agree Mustafi wasn’t really bad but disagree about Kolasinac. He has been atrocious for a long time now, however his two blocks were good. That’s about the only good he’s done in two years.

Santori

How Chambers can rate 7 and Mustafi 6 when Chambers barely touched the ball today.

Mustafi made some good releases from deep including a excellent one start of first half.

Simply astounding how blinkered people can be. Lack of objectivity a hindrance to proper assessment as per usual.

MrT

10/10 For the Arsenal fans banner ‘ Bring back Ozil ‘ 👏👏👏

MrT

Hahaha for the down votes…

David Hilliers Arm Cast

Probably because it was “being back mesut”

Thierrys_Tears

Nice to get a win, score a few. Great to see lots of positivity here, thoughts on ESR and others. Sunday will be back to playing PL teams and facing real footballers. That’s when we need to be brave and get a result.

Malaysian gunner

I saw the game in the wee hours of Dec 4 GMT 4am.Beating RV is one thing .
Spurs are a tougher proposition but I am encouraged by the speed of the attack
which aint as ponderous in previous games.
I do believe Arsenal have a genuine chance of beating Mourino.
He cannnot be unbeaten for so long. All records are meant to be broken

T J

I’m glad Niles had a good game – I hope he announces himself onto the worlds stage, chap is mega talented – I feel it couldn’t possibly happen to a nicer more respectful young athlete. The pleasure they gained from playing this game, they need to carry that onto the next game and just enjoy the football while they can. Well done fans and players and management.

Darkandbloody

AMN IS IS MIDDIE. play him there MA

Remalingadingdong

Can we take a minute to appreciate how dynamic our players were on and off the ball? It almost seemed like they didn’t have bricks in their shoes.

1-2 passes, making runs between the lines and behind the defence, general movement off the ball.

Our Starting XI should take note of what actual football is supposed to look like.

Nitpickel Arteta

I know, nobody cares – but the rating for Runarsson is a bit too low I think. I found his distribution quite good honestly – worthy of a 6.5. And I’m not sure, if he could have really done better with the goal after it ping-ponged around the penalty area.

Eric Hanslip

I was amused by the Arsenal fans singing “Your support is fucking shit” but I remember something similar when we played Eintracht Frankfurt at the Emirates last season. This was a match which Frankfurt supporters were not allowed to attend (although there seemed to be a lot of German speakers on the Piccadilly Line). When Aubameyang scored to put us 1-0 up the crowd announced “You’re not singing anymore”, however this backfired when Frankfurt equalised and then scored the winner and the stadium seemed to be full of singing Frankfurters (not actual sausages) accompanied by flares.

Old but Gold

I thought there was very little between Lacazette and AMN. Lacazette just got it with that goal…
Much improved performance and we could have found 2 ideal positions for Lacazette and AMN…