Arsenal player ratings as Gunners see off Rapid Vienna in front of 2,000 fans
The 2,000 Arsenal fans who descended on the Emirates could go home happy as Arsenal swept aside Rapid Vienna 4-1 in the Europa League on Thursday night.
With supporters back in the ground for the first time since March, a fine strike from Alexandre Lacazette and a glancing header from Pablo Mari put the Gunners in control against their Austrian opponents.
Eddie Nketiah nodded in a third goal at the second attempt just before the break, and after Koya Kitagawa pulled one back for the visitors, substitute Emile Smith Rowe added Arsenal’s fourth.
Here is how the Arsenal players rated on a memorable night.
Runar Alex Runarsson: 6
Looked a bit daft when Arsenal conceded, which isn’t ideal seeing as it is his job to stop that from happening.
Could be worse though, you see Joe Hart tonight?
Cedric Soares: 7
Very much an Arsenal player for this occasion.
Shkodran Mustafi: 6
Hahaha, did you see when they let him be the captain for about five minutes?
Pablo Mari: 8
Came back from injury, scored a lovely header, looked handsome, and got to be the captain when Arteta decided he’d had his fun with Mustafi.
A good night for him, all in all.
Sead Kolasinac: 7
Did you see that double clearance off the line just before the Vienna goal? The lad deserves an Emirates statue for that.
Get him out there with Adams and Bergkamp and that weird one of Henry.
Mohamed Elneny: 7
Ran around for a bit and then got off on the hour, no doubt needing to get his head down before the weekend.
Weird how he’s suddenly one of the important ones.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles: 8
He’s great isn’t he? Plays in any position you like. The Arsenal James Milner.
Seemed to say “welcome back” to Smith Rowe when he set up his goal for him too, which is probably what Milner would have said in such a situation.
Might be a direct correlation between positions you’re able to play in and how sound a fella you are.
Reiss Nelson: 7
Good, although seemed to be a little bit too keen to force the issue at times, probably because he’ll be desperate to get in at the weekend.
Probably on Thursday night duty again next week though.
Nicolas Pepe : 6
Still on the Europa League naughty step, but he did seem to respond positively to being urged on by 2,000 Arsenal fans, which at least counteracts being slagged off by millions of them online.
There’s a good player in there if he can find him, which given his passing is a bit 50/50 to be honest.
Alexandre Lacazette: 8
Wasn’t it nice when he lashed it in the goal and you heard a proper cheer from the fans who are actually there and not the weird digital canned lot who always seem to be all over the place?
It’s been 84 years…
Eddie Nketiah: 8
Absolutely addicted to scoring goals, so much so that he’ll be disappointed he only did it once.
Might have to nip down to a Goals on his way home to scratch that itch. Are they open?
Dani Ceballos (on for Elneny, 62): 7
Lovely passing as per.
Willian (on for Nelson, 62) : 6
Can’t score can he? He’ll be down Goals with Nketiah later.
Emile Smith Rowe (on for Lacazette, 62): 7
Came on and kicked it in the goal, which was nice.
Was probably offside but no-one seemed to mind at this point.
Calum Chambers (on for Mustafi, 70) : n/a
Folarin Balogun (on for Nketiah, 81): n/a
Nketiah wouldn’t have liked it if he scored.