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[Ratings & goals] Liege 2-2 Arsenal: Saka stars as lucky Gunners finish top of Group F

By on December 12, 2019

bukayo saka arsenal

Arsenal came from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 with Standard Liege in Belgium this evening to finish top of Group F after Eintracht Frankfurt lost at home to Vitoria.

We were the better side in the first half but couldn’t convert a few decent chances and were made to pay when Liege opened the scoring shortly after half-time. There was a lot of luck involved as Bastien’s shot hit Sokratis’s arm and the huge deflection took it past the hapless Martinez for 1-0 in the 47th minute.

Arsenal’s response was non-existent and Liege doubled their lead in the 69th minute when Joe Willock gifted possession to Amallah in the box and his shot deflected off Kostas Mavropanos and into the bottom corner for 2-0.

We finally woke up and pulled one back in the 78th minute when Alexandre Lacazette headed home a superb Bukayo Saka cross for 2-1 and Saka then curled home a lovely effort from 20 yards to make it 2-2 just minutes later.

Arsenal couldn’t find a late winner but we got very fortunate as Eintracht Frankfurt conceded two late goals to lose 3-2 at home to Vitoria to gift us top spot in Group F and an easier draw in the last-32.

Here are my ratings:

Martinez  5/10 | Not too much he could have done about either of the deflected goals but he looked nervous and was poor with the ball at his feet as he nearly got caught out a couple of times.

Sokratis  5/10 | Not a good night for the Greek defender. Struggled to keep things together at the back and we looked much better when he went off.

David Luiz  5/10 | Made some risky decisions when trying to play out from the back. Another poor performance from the Brazilian overall.

Mavropanos  5/10 | Looked very rusty on his return to the team. Sloppy passing almost cost us early on and turned his back on the Amallah shot that made it 2-0.

Maitland-Niles  5/10 | Looked like his head was anywhere but in the game. Slow to respond at times and didn’t look particularly interested. Subbed.

Willock  4/10 | Another disappointing performance as his poor form continued. Sloppy play to gift Amallah possession for their second goal.

Guendouzi  5/10 | Failed to take control of the midfield against a very average side and passing was poor at times. Needs to be doing more in games like this.

Saka  8/10 | Our best player by a country mile. Dangerous in the first half when he created numerous chances then set up Lacazette’s goal with a stunning cross. Made it 2-2 with a wonderful goal from the edge of the box.

Nelson  5.5/10 | Didn’t really take his opportunity to shine on a frustrating night. He put in plenty of effort but things just didn’t go his way.

Smith Rowe  7.5/10 | Almost opened the scoring early on but was denied by a good save and was lively throughout. Added some much-needed energy to our play and showed off some great control on a difficult pitch.

Lacazette  5/10 | Very poor for most of the game. Little movement, no effort but got us back in it with a goal to make it 2-1. I wondered how he’d respond to being dropped and his reaction was very disappointing overall.

Subs:

Martinelli [6] , Chambers [5] Aubameyang  [N/A]. 

This was very much like the West Ham game. We were passive and uninterested for long periods but suddenly woke up to score a couple of goals to salvage a result. Fortunately Vitoria did us a favour in the other game so we progress as group winners, which is all that really matters I suppose. However, we’ll need to play MUCH better against Man City on Sunday or we’ll get embarrassed.

Watch the goals here:

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