Arsenal player ratings as Partey shines in comeback win over Rapid Vienna
Arsenal survived a scare as they came from behind to defeat Rapid Vienna in Austria.
An awful error from Bernd Leno handed the home side the lead early in the second half, the German's pass being intercepted, and Taxiarchia Fountas finding the net.
To that point the Gunners, with Thomas Partey making his first start, had offered little as an attacking force, leaving Mikel Arteta to turn to his bench and call on captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
But it was the unlikely figure of David Luiz who nabbed the equaliser, heading home Nicolas Pepe's devilish freekick on 70 minutes.
And four minutes later, Aubameyang, without a goal in six weeks, turned home from close range after being found by fellow substitute Hector Bellerin.
That was enough for the victory and three points. Here are Arsenal player ratings from Austria…
Bernd Leno – 4
The German was solid in his handling and made a couple of decent stops. But there’s just no legislating for his error that led to the opening goal, a lackadaisical attempt at passing out from the back for which he was punished. Playing like that isn’t the problem, but his execution was dismal. Almost caught out again shortly after and came charging 35 yards out of his goal on another occasion, looking nervous as he involved himself in a situation where he wasn't needed.
David Luiz – 7
Again operating on the right of the defensive three rather than in the centre, Luiz produced a sound showing. Crucially, popped up at the other end with the headed equaliser too.
Gabriel – 8
Throughout the Brazilian, at the heart of three centre-backs, was excellent. Strong in the air and in the tackle, he covered his teammates when necessary and used the ball well. On a number of occasions he read the danger early, snuffing out potentially promising Rapid attacks.
Sead Kolasinac – 6
Didn’t look entirely comfortable, especially with some of the pace that came at him down his flank, but the Bosnian stuck to his guns, cleared his lines and did what was required.
Cedric Soares – 5
Even if you want to rest Hector Bellerin and start Bukayo Saka on the left, why does Cedric get the nod over Ainsley Maitland-Niles. What does he bring? Another unconvincing display and he was hooked after the hour mark.
Mohamed Elneny – 7
A solid showing from the unheralded Egyptian in midfield. Took responsibility throughout in possession and defensively – making a couple of fine challenges. May sometimes lack inspiration with his passing, but it was his fine ball that found Bellerin for Aubameyang’s go-ahead second goal.
Thomas Partey – 8 MOTM
A first start for the £45million signing where, after perhaps a slow start, he grew into proceedings and dominated things. Played a couple of really bright passes into his forwards, showed some really nice touches to evade opponents and protected his defence with power and authority. Very classy, looked a cut above.
Bukayo Saka – 6
Operating at left wing-back once more, it wasn’t the easiest of nights for the England youngster. Knocked down a couple of times, but he stuck to his task throughout.
Nicolas Pepe – 7
Not everything came off the the club’s record signing, but you can’t say he didn’t make an impression. Ran at opponents, offered himself in good areas, drew fouls and delivered an excellent freekick for Luiz’s equaliser.
Alexandre Lacazette – 5
Captain for the night was the focal point of the attack but the Frenchman failed to make any real impact. Hold up play wasn’t quite up to scratch and didn’t really threaten in behind the hosts’ backline.
Eddie Nketiah – 5
Operating in the inside left position preferred by Aubameyang, the England Under-21 hotshot struggled to make any impression. Didn’t make nearly as many runs in behind as you’d like to see from him.
Subs: Aubameyang 7 (Nketiah 60’), Bellerin 7 (Cedric 60’), Willock (Lacazette 84’), Tierney (Saka 84’), Nelson (Pepe 90')
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