Arsenal opened its Europa League campaign with a 0-3 road win at one of last season’s semi-finalists, Eintracht Frankfurt. The final scoreline doesn’t tell the true story, as Arsenal held on to a one goal lead until the last five minutes of the match. Additionally, the Gunners‘ goal was under constant threat throughout. Yet the defense held off the home side and kept a clean sheet.
Joe Willock gave his side the lead with a goal in the 38th minute. With Arsenal’s leaky defense no lead is ever a sure thing and the one goal advantage looked precarious as the second half wore on.
Fans of the North London team have seen this type of match before and were waiting for the inevitable sucker punch to come. However, it never did. The team looked shaky at times on defense, but Emiliano Martinez in goal exuded total confidence and it seemed to trickle down to the rest of the side.
In fact, the often mocked Shkodran Mustafi is actually receiving a lot of praise from fans for his performance on the day. The German was a trending topic on Twitter post-match and for once it was for good reasons. Here’s a sampling:
You're actually the GOAT pic.twitter.com/pN3dbWbALI— Shkodran GOATstafi (Mustafi Fan Account) (@MustafiSZN) September 19, 2019
Mustafi tonight for the ones that criticize him pic.twitter.com/gP4MgygtrX— Lewi Lambert (@LewiLambert) September 19, 2019
Mustafi kept a clean sheet— Bolt Bohen (@bohen_bolt) September 19, 2019
Still waiting for a post to appreciate Mustafi, after all the stick we gave him at least should appreciates his performance today...— WS.... (@M_W_S_1) September 19, 2019
What a performance, and have to give credit to Mustafi. Didn't put a foot wrong tonight.— Arsenal, who on earth else? (@Goonereaststand) September 19, 2019
I guess you missed a mustafi monsterclass and a saka clinic . What a shame https://t.co/aJpHlw60cJ— -_- (@knowledgetree12) September 19, 2019
In case you’re wondering if this means that Arsenal fans have forgiven Mustafi for his past transgressions; of course it doesn’t.
Mustafi was & remains a liability who should not have a future at the club, a clean sheet does not change that. Thanks for coming to my TED talk...— Sam T (@PensiveGunner) September 19, 2019
One good game doesn’t erase all the bad ones. However, for once it’s nice to see Mustafi trending online for positive reasons rather than mistakes.