Arsenal extended their unbeaten run to 15 games in all competitions with a drab 0-0 draw at home to Sporting CP in the Europa League on Thursday.
The Gunners qualified for the round of 32 with the result, so Unai Emery will be pleased about that.
The game was overshadowed by an awful looking injury to Danny Welbeck, who landed awkwardly after a jump in the first half.
Emery made nine changes to the team that drew with Crystal Palace last weekend, with only Rob Holding and Henrikh Mkhitaryan keeping their places.
It was a chance for Mkhitaryan to try and gain some momentum after an indifferent start to the 2018/19 campaign.
Mkhitaryan divides opinion
The Armenian did relatively well against the Portuguese outfit.
As a senior player, he was expected to step up for the Gunners in the absence of the likes of Mesut Ozil and Aaron Ramsey.
Not everything came off for the playmaker, but he certainly couldn’t be accused of not trying. With 75 touches of the ball he didn’t hide, and he also recorded a passing accuracy of 88%.
It was a game in which he had to try and make an impact since he has struggled in the Premier League this term.
He’s only made six starts in the league, with Emery seemingly not fully convinced by the ex-Manchester United man.
Fans react, majority unimpressed
It would seem that some fans share the same feeling as Emery, and aren’t totally taken by Mkhitaryan. Many slammed his display against Sporting, with some praising his efforts:
Cannot wait for the day that Mkhitaryan is no longer an Arsenal player.
— David (@Gooner_66) 8 November 2018
Mkhitaryan what a player man. Class game so far for him.
— Moey Jr (@ReissPiecesAFC) 8 November 2018
Mkhitaryan plays like a drunk man.
— Esosa (@mr_sosa1) 8 November 2018
Never want to see Ramsey and Mkhitaryan on the same pitch ever again
— bool (@CaIumHogan) 8 November 2018
Mkhitaryan has been so poor. First time ever both clubs have been losers from swap deals
— Sam Uddin (@Officialelsamo) 8 November 2018
Mkhitaryan is the latest dart board for the naysayers. Yes his form is terrible, but he is a terrific footballer.
Thought y’all would’ve learnt from the most recent example (Iwobi) that class always outlives (bad) form.
— Dr. Mohammed Amali 🇳🇬 (@MoAmali) 8 November 2018
Mkhitaryan putting in these performances on the money we can’t afford to pay Aaron Ramsey
— Rob (@Robgreeen1) 8 November 2018
Mkhitaryan really needs to start doing things on the pitch. I don’t see anything.
— Sam (@samuelJayC) 8 November 2018
Best thing Mkhitaryan done in an Arsenal shirt is “Yo Pierre?!”
At least Alexis played the Piano that requires talent.
— The Landmind (@Landmind111) 8 November 2018
Another game, another abysmal performance from Mkhitaryan.
— Arsenal (@ffarsenalfc) 8 November 2018
He’s a bit out of form atm, but I’d like to see Mkhitaryan starting at no.10 in games like last night and against Blackpool when Özil doesn’t play.
With the ability he has he should be dominating those types of games, but it’s hard to do that when he’s stuck out wide.
— H (@HarryRiley96) 9 November 2018
Players unfairly criticised by our fans last night:
— Ivor Cannon (@ivorcannon) 9 November 2018