How the Arsenal players rated in their 2-0 victory against Basel

How the Arsenal players rated in their 2-0 victory against Basel

Arsenal managed to win their second Champions League game over Basel, a side that have caused English sides problems in the past. The Gunners were excellent and created a number of clear-cut chances, but they only managed to score twice.

Arsene Wenger will be encouraged by the quality of his attack and the reliability of his back four, as the points never looked in danger on Wednesday night.

Although they started the season poorly, there have been significant improvements in recent weeks and they now look to be a side capable to challenging for honours this season. There is still work to do, but this was a very accomplished display.

Here are how the players rated on Wednesday night:

David Ospina 7 – The Colombian didn’t have a lot of work to do, but performed well when called upon. He is making the most of his opportunities in this competition and is proving to be an excellent back up for Petr Cech.

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Hector Bellerin 7 – The right back attacked well and contributed to numerous attacks. His final ball still needs work, but he is improving and is set to become one of the best full backs in the world. Defensively, he was solid and wasn’t caused too many problems by Basel.

Shkodran Mustafi 8 – There was pressure on Mustafi to come into the team and perform immediately, due to the defensive problems at the club. He has done just that and was very good again on Wednesday. Basel didn’t create many chances and that was largely down to Mustafi’s dominant display.

Laurent Koscielny 7 – It was another good performance from the Frenchman, as Arsenal won for the first time this season in the Champions League. He made several key contributions at the back once again and his consistency over the last 12 months should be applauded.

Nacho Monreal 7 – Like Bellerin, the Spaniard contributed to several attacks and was excellent in possession as displayed by his 95% pass accuracy. At the back, he was dependable and finished the match with four tackles. It was an accomplished display from the left back and showed why he is preferred ahead of Kieran Gibbs.

Granit Xhaka 6 – The summer signing has had to be patient since moving to the Emirates Stadium. He was given the start today and played okay. The Swiss international was solid, but didn’t do anything to secure a regular starting role. Xhaka is still settling into English football and there will definitely be more to come from the midfielder.

Santi Cazorla 9 – Last season, the side missed Cazorla after his injury, because there is nobody who can create from the middle of the park like he can. Although Arsenal have a good attack, they need a player to get the ball into the final third and that is what Cazorla excels at. The ball he played to Alexis Sanchez during the build-up to the first goal was sublime and showed that the Spaniard is back to his best.

Theo Walcott 9 – He has now decided that he wants to focus on playing on the wing and had a good game, scoring the two goals. The first was a simple finish, but displayed his intelligent movement in the final third. The second was a superb finish, highlighting his ability in front of goal. Arsenal were excellent in the final third and Walcott was a major part of that.

Mesut Ozil 6 – The link up play in attack was great to watch and Ozil played a part in that, but he was outshone by others in the forward line. It has been a relatively slow start for the German this season and he isn’t at his best yet. At times on Wednesday, his final ball wasn’t at the level that we have come to expect from him. That said, he still contributed to the victory and deserves credit for that.

Alex Iwobi 6 – The Nigerian international was decent and showed glimpses of his ability, including coming close to increasing the lead in the second half. However, he was wasteful at times and didn’t get into the game as much as Walcott on the other wing. He will have better nights in an Arsenal shirt.

Alexis Sanchez 8 – It was another brilliant display from the Chilean as he continues to grow into his lone striker role. He was full of running and finished the match with two assists. Although he played well, he had a number of chances to extend the lead and didn’t take them. In the end that didn’t matter and the Gunners took the three points.

Substitutes

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain 6 – He tried to make things happen when he came on and got into a few promising positions in the final third. The winger had a great chance to score a third for the home side, but failed to make it count.

Mohamed Elneny 5 – The midfielder was given a chance to play against his former club and was tidy in possession, but didn’t have many opportunities to influence the match.

Kieran Gibbs 5 – A similar story to Elneny, as Gibbs came on and looked tidy. However, he did nothing of merit as Arsenal closed the game out.

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