Arsenal are through to the Carabao Cup quarter-finals.
Great result for Arsenal this evening. Not the prettiest performance but brilliant to have beaten Liverpool through a penalty shootout AGAIN.
Revenge never felt so sweet. Here’s how I rated our players this evening:
Goalkeeper & Defenders
Leno – 7 – Impressive performance from the German. Received his fair share of stick after some questionable moments during the game at Anfield on Monday, but definitely silenced the critics this evening. Still think he could do a bit better with his distribution at times. Two brilliant penalty saves.
Holding – 7.5 – Awesome from Rob Holding tonight. Cool on the ball, emphatic aerially and strong defensively. However, he should’ve done better with his free header.
Gabriel – 8 – My man of the match. The Brazillian is an absolute powerhouse in the centre of our defence and he delivered a performance tonight to show Arteta that he should’ve started on Monday night.
Kolasinac – 5 – Started the game in respectable fashion but certainly began to show his deficiencies as the match wore on. He almost cost us a goal on two occasions and quite frankly just isn’t good enough to play for Arsenal. Hopefully Bayer Leverkusen don’t lower their bid after tonight…
Wing-Backs & Midfielders
Cedric – 6 – Reasonable first game of the season for Cedric. The Portuguese international was Isolated on the right flank offensively which didn’t help his cause. Definitely needs to be more decisive going forward though. Having said that, he was very reliable defensively.
Dani Ceballos – 6.5 – Superb in the first half. Played some outrageously good passes and was so, so cool on the ball. However, as the game wore on, the Spaniard began to wilt and his influence on the match decreased simultaneously. Deservedly hooked on with 25 minutes let to play.
Granit Xhaka – 7 – Dependable from our captain on the night. Organised those around him very well and was rarely caught out in the engine room. A very archetypal Granit-Xhaka-under-Mikel-Arteta performance.
Bukayo Saka – 7.5 – What a player we have in Bukayo Saka. Not only did he show his technical quality tonight but he also showed great physical strength throughout the game. Seemed like he was playing about three different positions at times.
Forwards…… & Joe Willock
Joe Willock – 6.5 – Didn’t influence the game all that much – understandably as he was playing out of position – but as always he worked his socks off. If the youngster adds some decisiveness to his game he could develop into a top quality player.
Eddie Nketiah – 6 – A quiet night at the office for Eddie. He should’ve done better with an early chance. Mind you, like Willock, he never stopped running. Of course, it also isn’t easy being marked by a certain Virgil van Dijk.
Nicolas Pépé – 7 – Showed good energy throughout the 90′ and was certainly our most potent offensive threat on the night. Nonetheless, I would’ve loved to have seen him truly made this game his own tonight. Better performances will come with confidence.
Mohamed Elneny – 6 – Did his thing in the middle of the park. Secure in his passing and kept things ticking over after replacing Ceballos.
Alexandre Lacazette – N/A – Not enough time to influence the game. Took his penalty very well.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles – N/A – Not enough time to influence the game. Cool as you like from the spot, as always.