Arsenal 2 Lazio 0 – Match report and Player ratings from Arsenal’s final pre-season friendly
Arsenal ended their pre-season campaign, with a convincing 2-0 victory over Serie A side, Lazio. Here is my match report and player ratings of the game.
Arsenal started with the 4-4-2 formation, something which many fans have been wanting to see. Granit Xhaka and Lucas Torreira did not do anything spectacular, but were instrumental in controlling the central midfield quietly and were astute positionally. The full backs defended narrowly, which gave Lazio space on the flanks to exploit, but generally – Arsenal dominated the central areas of the pitch and were quick in transition. Alex Iwobi was the star of the first half. He kept driving into the space and his combination play was excellent. Reiss Nelson gave Arsenal the lead after a beautifully worked move. In the second half, Arsenal switched to a 4-3-3 and were very intensive in their pressing. This left us susceptible to counter attacks, but Lazio’s final ball proved to be ineffective. Substitute Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang gave us a well deserved second goal, as it finished Arsenal 2, Lazio 0 at full time.
Bernd Leno: 7/10 – Did not have much to do per say. He helped us play out from the back a lot. Unai Emery sees the goalkeeper as an integral part of his passing system and Bernd Leno has fit in nicely into it.
Stephan Lichtsteiner: 8/10 – Really impressed with his performance today. Defensively and going forward, he was very neat. Played in a beautiful clipped ball to make Lacazette through on goal. Got into a few tussles, showing his fighting mentality.
Calum Chambers: 7.5/10 – Calm and composed on the ball, he was positionally astute and helped deal with crosses nicely.
Rob Holding: 7/10 – A sloppy pass in the first half, but just like Calum, he was also positionally astute and dealt with whatever was coming in well.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles: 8/10 – Did very well playing in an unfamiliar 4-4-2 system as the left back. Helped us in our playing out for the back and his surging runs forward caused Lazio problems.
Lucas Torreira: 7.5/10 -Very tidy on his Arsenal debut. His positional awareness was impressive playing in this system. Did not put a foot wrong.
Granit Xhaka: 7/10-Kept things ticking in the middle of the park. Has to release the ball a bit quicker, but that should come with more game time.
Alex Iwobi: 9/10 (MOTM)- While he left Maitland Niles exposed at times, he was our main threat going forward. His surging runs into the space, coupled with his combination play made it very hard for Lazio to cope with.
Reiss Nelson: 8/10- He caused Lazio problems with his trickery and got himself a well deserved goal. Covered very nicely for Lichtsteiner and his work rate was top notch.
Eddie Nketiah: 7/10- Great work rate. Always running the channels. Did not get much service but kept going on.
Alexandre Lacazette: 7/10- Not his greatest game, but he improved once Aubameyang was brought on and also assisted him for the crucial second goal.
Mesut Ozil: 7/10
Hector Bellerin: 7/10
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang: 8/10
Henrikh Mkhitaryan: 8.5/10
Mohamed Elneny: 7/10
Konstantinos Mavropanos: 7/10
Sokratis Papasthathopoulous: 7/10
Matteo Guendouzi: 7.5/10
Emile Smith Rowe: 7/10