FC Koln 1-0 Arsenal
Well that was interesting.
The play overall wasn’t that bad, but we looked poor in the final third.
The team sheet was also…interesting. With Chambers being a wing-back. Seriously?
Wenger has to be commended for looking to empower his players this way. But then to be fair, he didn’t have that bad a game.
Wenger was correct to his word, in that we saw a lot of experienced players, and was essentially the second first-team with Nelson and Maitland-Niles.
Overall, the game was pretty open, though Koln’s finishing was better than ours.
Moreover, the penalty was justified, but we didn’t really use the ball as well as we should have.
The defence was OK overall, bar the penalty, and Ospina had little to do.
Per 6, Holding 6, Ospina 6, Debuchy 6, Chambers 6, Maitland-Niles 6
The midfield was overrun at points, though they were good going forward.
Elneny 6, Coquelin 6.
The forwards were mixed, with Nelson and Wilshere in my mind shining. However, Iwobi was poor, as his distribution was pretty scant at times.
Giroud was isolated up front, and is not attuned to this style.
Giroud 5, Wilshere 8, Nelson 8, Iwobi 4, Welbeck 6
Overall, this game was a reasonable performance, but worsened by some sloppy play in front of goal.
We had already qualified, but then a win ahead of the game vs. Burnley on Sunday would have been good.
Welbeck went off at half-time, but then it’s not an injury, at least according to Arsenal.com.
Finishing on top of the group may benefit us, with some relatively able teams coming in from the Champions League.
Man of the Match
It’s a toss-up for me between Wilshere and Nelson, but I’d give it to Nelson.
He looks a bright spark, and could have scored a wonder-goal towards the end.