Arsenal bailed out by 8/10 Saka on off night for Aubameyang in Benfica draw

It completed all sq. between Arsenal and Benfica on the midway level of their Europa League tie in the spherical of 32, with Bukayo Saka equalising in a disappointing 1-1 draw in Rome.

Arsenal had dominated the primary half however solely created one clear-cut goalscoring likelihood. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang missed a straightforward alternative to interrupt the impasse, the Gabon striker unable to transform Hector Bellerin‘s cross from six yards when unmarked in the field.

Arsenal’s play was neat and tidy however they all the time appeared to fall quick in the ultimate third. And they had been punished when Benfica had been gifted a penalty after Emile Smith-Rowe was adjudged to have dealt with the ball. Luis Pizzi transformed from the spot.

Aubameyang had a implausible likelihood to win the sport however he might solely drag his shot extensive when by means of on aim, a transfer that summed up his, and Arsenal’s night.

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The Gunners’ motion behind Aubameyang was spectacular, with Smith-Rowe, Saka and Martin Odegaard all linking properly. Odegaard’s vary of passing in specific was very good.


Arsenal proceed to press the self-destruct button at occasions. They performed a unnecessary ball throughout the face of aim earlier than the break, whereas in the second half their failure to clear the ball and concede a nook led to the penalty that noticed them go a aim behind.

Manager ranking out of 10

6 – Mikel Arteta could have been annoyed by this outcome. His workforce had the higher of the sport and regarded the extra prone to rating, however once more he was left ruing a pricey unenforced error. Also, he may need launched extra tempo earlier, with a number of gamers trying drained.

Player rankings (1-10; 10 = finest. Players launched after 70 minutes get no ranking)

GK Bernd Leno 6 – The Arsenal stopper did not have a lot to do in the way in which of saves to make, however he actually noticed loads of the ball. He was responsible of holding on to it for too lengthy and slowing Arsenal’s play. He might do little to cease Pizzi’s penalty.

DF Hector Bellerin 6 – The Spaniard was an attacking outlet on the fitting flank, recurrently hitting the touchline or field to get crosses into the realm. His closing ball usually let him down, although; the exception was a cross for Aubameyang’s likelihood in the primary half.

DF David Luiz 6 – Was strong for essentially the most half and was usually in the fitting place on the proper time to defend his traces. There had been occasions he could have been grateful to Dani Ceballos for masking for him, however this was an event-free outing for the Brazilian.

DF Gabriel Magalhaes 6 – The Brazilian defender was a secure presence alongside David Luiz. He made some essential interceptions and restricted Benfica’s attacking choices.

DF Cedric Soares 6 – Made manner for Kieran Tierney in the second half, however not earlier than enjoying his half in pulling Arsenal degree. His run and subsequent cross allowed Saka to volley dwelling the Gunners’ equaliser.

MF Dani Ceballos 7 – The Spaniard was a strong presence in the center. He coated properly on the again and his passing was very good, one by means of ball in specific opening up Benfica and releasing Bellerin on the fitting. He was, nonetheless, generally responsible of taking too many touches and working into hassle when a cross would have been far more practical.

MF Granit Xhaka 5 – Not his best night. He performed a very unnecessary and careless cross-field cross simply earlier than the break that put his defence below pointless stress. Overall there have been too many sideways passes; he merely appears to battle with out Thomas Partey alongside him.

MF Bukayo Saka 8 – Was a hazard all night. He had an effort saved earlier than the break, at which level he had been too usually responsible of drifting offside. He was best when reducing in from the fitting hand facet, and after having a number of pictures on aim he lastly discovered the web when he transformed Cedric’s teasing cross.

MF Martin Odegaard 8 – The loanee regarded superb on the ball. His link-up play with these round him was spectacular and his passing was a relentless supply of ammunition for Arsenal. One cross in specific, to Saka, could have Arsenal followers dreaming of a everlasting transfer for the Norwegian.

MF Emile Smith-Rowe 6 – Link up play was as strong as ever, although he regarded drained all through. He performed in a wider place than common and he wasn’t as efficient as when he is performed by means of the center. Ran his socks off earlier than being changed.

FW Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang 6 – The skipper missed an absolute sitter following a scrumptious cross from Bellerin, and it simply gave the impression to be a type of nights for him. He missed one other one-on-one in the second half after which fluffed his traces by taking too many touches when by means of as soon as once more. Sharp, however not potent sufficient.


DF Kieran Tierney (Soares, 64) 7 – Tierney linked up properly with Nicolas Pepe on the left-hand facet and he did the straightforward issues properly. Arsenal will likely be delighted to have him again.

FW Nicolas Pepe (Aubameyang, 77), N/A – Looked harmful when he got here on, although a heavy contact undid some good work from Tierney with the Gunners in a harmful place.

MF Gabriel Martinelli (Smith-Rowe, 77) N/A – Back in motion after an extended lay-off, Martinelli did not see a lot of the ball in the closing phases.

MF Willian (Odegaard, 90) N/A – The Brazilian had little or no time to make an impression.

DF Mohamed Elneny (Ceballos, 90) N/A – Had a few touches however solely had 4 minutes of damage time on the pitch.

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