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[Ratings] Norwich 2-2 Arsenal: Leno stars, Mustafi a disaster, Freddie got it wrong

By on December 1, 2019

pierre-emerick aubameyang arsenal

There was no new manager bounce for Arsenal as Freddie Ljungberg’s side toiled to a 2-2 draw with Norwich City at Carrow Road this afternoon.

Arsenal started well but it was Norwich who broke the deadlock with virtually their first meaningful attack of the game. The hosts broke after Joe Willock had lost possession and Teemu Pukki saw his strike from the edge of the box deflect off Shkodran Mustafi and past Bernd Leno for 1-0 in the 21st minute.

We got ourselves straight back in the game thanks to a controversial 29th minute penalty. Christoph Zimmermann handled in the area but Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang saw the resulting spot kick saved by Tim Krul. However, VAR ordered a re-take as four Norwich players were encroaching in the area when the penalty was taken and Aubameyang kept his cool to convert at the second time of asking for 1-1.

Arsenal remained in control of the game but once again we got done on the counter-attack as Norwich broke down the left before Todd Cantwell slotted home into the bottom corner for 2-1 on the stroke of half-time.

However, we grabbed an equaliser in the 57th minute and once again it was Aubameyang to the rescue as he lashed home to make it 2-2 following a corner. We couldn’t find another goal so Freddie had to settle for a point in his first game.

Here are my ratings:

Leno  8/10 | Kept Arsenal in it with a string of saves. Superb save to tip a McLean effort onto the post at 2-2 and made another important save to deny Pukki minutes later. Then made another superb stop from a deflected effort in the 90th minute.

Chambers  4/10 | Caught too high up the field on numerous occasions, costing us both the first and second goal. Offered nothing going forward either.  Given a tough time by Hernandez all afternoon.

Mustafi  4/10 | Saw a header cleared off the line but should have been braver to block the first goal as he didn’t close down and turned his back on Pukki. Also should have done more for the second goal. Struggled to do the basics at times. Should be nowhere near the first team.

Luiz  5/10 | Partially at fault for the Pukki goal and was all over the place at times. We’ll never have a solid defence with him in the team. Alongside Mustafi, we’re a total joke.

joe willock arsenal

Kolasinac  6/10 | Did well enough defensively considering he got little help from Ozil down his flank and bombed forward when he could. Still surprised he started ahead of Tierney.

Xhaka  5/10 | Same old Xhaka. Neat and tidy on the ball but woeful positioning when we weren’t in possession and his lack of pace was exposed once again. It was highlighted further as he had Chambers and Mustafi behind him.

Guendouzi  6/10 | Was keen to get on the ball and seemed more willing to play it forward but still lacks defensive awareness at times.

Willock  5/10 | Lost possession in the build up to Norwich’s opener and struggled for most of the game. Offered very little in attack and his passing was poor. Subbed.

Ozil  6/10 | His set pieces were dangerous and created the second goal. Started brightly during Arsenal’s purple patch in the first 20 minutes but influence faded as the game went on.

Aubameyang  7.5/10 | Once again Arsenal relied on Auba to bail us out. Lovely second penalty after seeing his first effort saved and great finish to make it 2-2. A little wasted on the left but still bagged a brace.

Lacazette  6/10 | Missed a sitter early on and it proved to be a big miss. Hold up play was good but didn’t really link-up too well with his team mates.

Subs:

Torreira   5/10 | Saw a goal bound shot blocked in the final seconds.

Saka   5/10 | Surprisingly selected to come on ahead of Pepe. Didn’t really do much in his 15 minute cameo.

Martinelli   N/A | On on for last few minutes.

Manager

Ljungberg  5/10 | I really wanted Freddie to get off to a positive start but was hugely disappointed with his team selection, tactics and in-game substitutions. Kolasinac over Tierney at left-back? Mustafi starting? Xhaka over Torreira in midfield? Ozil starting from the left and not central? Saka and Martinelli off the bench over Pepe? Starting a back four of Chambers, Mustafi, Luiz and Kolasinac with Xhaka in front is never going to win you football matches. Sorry Freddie, but you got it wrong today.

Let’s hope we see a different team going forward once Bellerin and Holding are fully-fit. The positive news is Arsenal were far better in possession today, played better football and the players at least looked like they were trying. But our defence once again let us down. Lots of work to do.

Here are the goals:

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