At the start of this month, Sead Kolasinac and Henrikh Mkhitaryan were Arsenal team-mates. But Mkhitaryan showed no mercy when he came up against Kolasinac on the international stage.
Mkhitaryan – who signed for Roma on loan on deadline day – produced a match-winning masterclass for Armenia. He helped his country shock Kolasinac’s Bosnia-Herzegovina with a 4-2 win.
Armenia 4-2 Bosnia
Armenia took an early lead through Mkhitaryan. It was Kolasinac who failed to stop a cross coming into the middle. The ball fell at the feet of Mkhitaryan, who danced around the Bosnian goalkeeper to put his side 1-0 up.
Bosnia roared back with Edin Dzeko but Mkhitaryan restored the Armenian lead in the second half. Once again, Kolasinac was caught napping as Mkhitaryan burst into the space where the Arsenal left-back should have been and fired into the net.
After Amer Gojak levelled, Armenia went straight back in the lead. Mkhitaryan found space on the left flank and sent a perfect cross for Hovhannes Hambardzumyan. For the third time, Kolasinac was at fault with some awful positioning to give Hambardzumyan a free run at goal. Armenia sealed the win with a late own goal.
What does this mean for the pair?
But can this performance help Mkhitaryan revive his Arsenal career? The 30-year-old’s form has dipped recently but this display will give him confidence. He can take that into his game at Roma and potentially earn an Arsenal reprieve next summer.
As for Kolasinac, it was an evening to forget for him. The 26-year-old provided an excellent assist for Bosnia’s equaliser but his defensive work was questionable at best. This has been an ongoing problem; one that Kieran Tierney can fix?