Yes, Dundalk held Arsenal for the opening 40 minutes of the match, but in the end, the Gunners cruised to a 3-0 win. There is a significant gap in quality between these two clubs, and it showed. The visitors never really troubled the Gunners, and Arsenal had several “oooh, nearly” attacking moves.
Alex Runarsson - 6
Made the one save asked of him on a shot from distance. Claimed and caught a handfull of balls into the area. Didn’t really have to do much on the evening.
Cedric Soares - 6
Was noticeably involved in the attack for most of the first half, including carrying the ball infield a few times. A better performance from him today than in his recent appearances.
Shkodran Mustafi - 5
He played. He hardly had to do anything.
Sead Kolasinac - 5
Same as Mustafi.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles - 5
Made two nice recovery runs, one where he gave away an acceptable foul. Still doesn’t have the quality in the final third to make himself a real threat and to challenge for a starting place.
Mohamed Elneny - 6
Had the same, unremarkable game that he usually does. He doesn’t make eye-popping plays nor does he make many mistakes. Put on the captain’s armband when Granit Xhaka was subbed off.
Granit Xhaka - 5
Didn’t really have much to do.
Joe Willock - 9
Arsenal’s best player on the evening. His runs from deeper positions unbalanced the defense and earned him a goal on a somewhat-fortunate bounce from a blocked shot. His movement is something nobody else on the roster provides and should earn him more playing time moving forward.
Nicolas Pepe - 7
The mark is mostly for the goal, which was magnificent. As he always does, he had a few other flashes, but he still can’t seem to be a consistent attacking threat for an entire match. There’s a dangerous attacking talent in there somewhere.
Eddie Nketiah - 7
Kept from being an 8 because he didn’t score one or two other good chances that maybe he could have put away. But he keeps getting himself into good positions and knocking in goals. Per Opta’s Harvey Downes, Arsenal have won all nine matches in which he has scored. He’s a fox-in-the-box, goal-poacher type, and that’s a useful man to have on your roster.
Reiss Nelson - 8
Arsenal’s second best player on the evening. Was quick and tricky with the ball at his feet and wasn’t afraid to take on his man in the final third. Like Willock’s movement, that’s something few other players provide and should get him more time.
Willian - 6
Thought he looked better in his 30-minute runout than he has in recent starting appearances. Liked his willingness to go at his man on the dribble.
Dani Ceballos - 5
Kieran Tierney - 6
Liked his willingness to shoot. Arsenal could do with more players adopting that attitude.
Folarin Balogun - 6
Liked his 15 minute cameo — moved well, received the ball with his back to goal and passed it off a couple times. Hopefully he gets a longer runout at some point.