UEFA Champions League 2016/17: Arsenal 2-0 Basel - Player Ratings
Arsenal emerged comfortable 2-0 winners against Basel, courtesy a Theo Walcott first half brace. The Gunners were dominant from the get go and although they did miss a truckload of chances as the game progressed, they would still be delighted with their performance.
The win means Arsenal now sit joint top of group A along with Paris-Saint Germain.
This is how the players of both teams fared:
David Ospina: 7/10
Ospina came into the side as a replacement for Petr Cech and did not have a lot do throughout the game. He did manage to pull off a stunning save in the latter stages of the match which kept the score at 2-0.
He was, however, a slight liability from set pieces and often fumbled and flapped at the ball resulting in mayhem in the box.
Hector Bellerin: 8/10
The Spaniard was at his best yet again linking up brilliantly with Theo Walcott on the right flank. His tracking back was outstanding, and although he was caught out of position a number of times, his pace meant that he could easily make up the gound on his attacker.
The 21-year-old also put in a couple of decent crosses which were unfortunate not to find an Arsenal shirt on the end of it.
Shkodran Mustafi: 8/10
Mustafi was an absolute rock at the heart of the Arsenal defence and kept Seydou Doumbia in his pocket for the entirety of the game. The German made a number of crucial interceptions and blocks and was a massive presence while defending set pieces.
His partnership with Laurent Koscielny seems to be flourishing and, although it may be a little too early, it looks like the duo have solved Arsenal’s defensive woes.
Laurent Koscielny: 7/10
Koscielny was as solid as ever alongside Mustafi at the back. His 3 interceptions along with 3 tackles and 4 aerial duels won meant that the Basel attackers simply had no way past the Frenchman despite their best efforts.
Like his German partner, he was commanding while defending set plays and easily dealt with whatever Basel threw at him.
Nacho Monreal: 6/10
Monreal had a relatively poor game by his standards. He was often caught out while defending and all of Basel’s early attacks came from his flank. The Spaniard was also extremely poor going forward and did not impact the game at all.
The 30-year-old was withdrawn in the 74th minute and was replaced by Kieran Gibbs.
Granit Xhaka: 6/10
Xhaka was invisible for most parts of the game. He was not poor by any stretch of the imagination, but his inch-perfect passing and hard tackling were something that Arsenal fans just did not witness on the night.
Everyone is allowed an off night, though, and Arsenal fans will be hoping the Swiss is back to his best next time around.
Santi Cazorla: 8/10
The little magician was at his best yet again, controlling proceedings in the midfield with his silky feet and pinpoint passing. Constantly threading balls through the defence, Cazorla was one of Arsenal's best players on the night and seems to have regained his form of old.
The Spaniard had the most touches of the ball with 118 and was an ever-present in Arsenal’s attack, often leading counter attacks with sharp incisive passing.
Mesut Ozil: 7/10
The German was not his usual self. Despite linking up well with Alexis and Cazorla on a few occasions, it was his final ball that really let him down in the end with nothing really happening for the 27-year-old.
Ozil also missed a sitter in the first half which would have completely killed off the Basel challenge. Throughout the game, it looked like his head was just not in it and it is surprising Wenger did not withdraw him in the second half.
Alexis Sanchez: 9/10
There are not enough words to describe Alexis at the moment. In what was another outstanding performance, Sanchez was involved in everything Arsenal produced in attack.
Despite not getting on the scoresheet, Sanchez was a nuisance for the Basel lineup, constantly pressing high up the pitch and pinching the ball off the defenders. The Chilean provided both assists for Walcott and was easily one of Arsenal's best players on the night.
Theo Walcott: 9/10
Walcott bagged his 4th goal in 3 games and Arsenal fans would hope that he is finally living up to his potential. His blistering pace coupled with a number of intelligent runs behind the defence ensured that the Basel defenders chased shadows.
Two extremely well-taken goals gave the Gunners all 3 points and he could have had a hat-trick if not for Vaclik’s magic.
Alex Iwobi: 6/10
Alex Iwobi has been stunning for the Gunners in recent games but he did not quite turn up last night. With only 62 touches in the entire game, Iwobi was quite invisible in Arsenal’s attacks, but at just 20 years of age, he is bound to learn from the experience.
Kieran Gibbs: 5/10
Gibbs came on in the latter stages of the match for Monreal and put on a fairly decent shift, helping his side keep a clean sheet. At a time when Basel was pushing for a win, Gibbs helped his side steady the ship and see off the pressure.
Mohammad Elneny: 6/10
The Egyptian replaced Theo Walcott in the 69th minute and had a steady game in the centre of midfield. Not much was required of the ex-Basel man as Arsenal already led by 2 goals and he did help his side see off the game in the end with his neat passing and calm demeanour.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain: 5/10
Chamberlain came on in the 69th minute in place of Alex Iwobi, but did not have as much of an impact as he would have liked. The 23-year old had a chance to get on the scoresheet but poor decision making let him down in the end.
With Iwobi’s emergence, such performances really do not help his cause.