Arsenal somehow managed to keep their awful away record intact as they slumped to a shocking 2-1 defeat against high-flying Newcastle United in a fiercely contested battle this weekend.
The visitors, on the back of an exceptional run of form going into the game, maintained their impressive run in the second half of the campaign and are now quite comfortable sitting in midtable.
As for Arsenal, their hopes of pipping Chelsea for the fifth place are all but over now, following the disappointing defeat to Newcastle. The Gunners now trail Chelsea by six points and could even lose their sixth position to Burnley in the league table, should they fail to win their next few matches.
Here are the Arsenal players rated and slated in their defeat to Newcastle.
Petr Cech (6.5/10): In a game where Arsenal needed him the most, Cech should have done a lot better in between the sticks, especially on the first goal. The Czech Republic star definitely needs to improve his performances during the next few matches.
Calum Chambers (7/10): Once again had to play in the unusual right-back position, which soaked most of his abilities as a defender. Although the former Southampton defender showed tremendous work-ethic in the defensive half, playing out of position certainly won’t help his cause.
Shkodran Mustafi (8/10): By far the most impressive Arsenal defender in the game, Shkodran Mustafi put in a relatively commanding performance in central defence. Even though some fans are still blaming him for the first goal, we must consider the fact that the German international was up against two runners at the same time. He made one superb last-minute tackle, which was overlooked due to Arsenal’s awful performance on the night.
Rob Holding (7/10): Was caught off-guard more often than not. The youngster was had some trouble keeping up with Newcastle’s highly aggressive attackers.
Nacho Monreal (6/10): It was Monreal whose defensive error cost Arsenal a goal this evening. But aside from that, the Spaniard was also terrible in his overall gameplay, often being completely exposed by the opposing attackers. He was arguably the worst player on the field for Arsenal.
Mohamed Elneny (7/10): Looked quite alright in midfield alongside the likes of Granit Xhaka and Joe Willock but the Egyptian didn’t have much to provide, due to his lack of creativity, especially with Aaron Ramsey or Jack Wilshere not starting.
Granit Xhaka (7.5/10): Relatively better than all the other Arsenal players on the field this evening. The Swiss international looked comfortable on the ball and defended better than most of the defenders. His presence was definitely a boon for the visitors but that being said, Granit definitely lacked the support in the centre of the pitch.
Joe Willock (6.5/10): Tried his best to impress Arsene Wenger by putting in an industrious display against the Magpies. Even though he maybe wasn’t the man Arsenal needed to overcome this Newcastle side, Willock at least showed great commitment, which only bodes well for the club.
Alex Iwobi (7/10): With no creative presence in the final third, the onus was on Alex Iwobi to provide that creative flair in the attacking department. However, the youngster failed to make an impact, despite having a great start to the game.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (8.5/10): Played well against a sturdy Newcastle defence. Even though he was deployed on wider positions, the Gabonese international showed full commitment and didn’t disappoint either! His pace was a real bonus for the Gunners in the final third of the pitch.
Alexandre Lacazette (8/10): A decent game for the former Lyon forward, who, despite lacking any creativity in behind, did his best to provide that attacking spark in the final third. Even though his opener turned out to be fruitless, Arsenal will still be happy with the way their strikers are playing now.
Dany Welbeck (7/10): Was introduced around the 68th-minute mark to replace the young Joe Willock. However, the former Manchester United man failed to make any sort of impact.
Ainsley-Maitland Niles (NA): Came on for the struggling Calum Chambers in the final phase of the game as Arsene Wenger looked for more attacking bodies in the offensive zones.
Eddie Nketiah (NA): After making his Premier League debut a few weeks ago against Brighton, the 18-year-old prodigy came on for Alexandre Lacazette in the final embers of the game.
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