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Europa League Final: Iwobi Rated Excellent ahead of Ozil, Aubameyang

Nigeria international and Super Eagles forward, Alex Iwobi has been given an excellent mark after Wednesday’s Europa League final against Chelsea.

The players rating which has become the talking point confirmed the sterling performances of the Eagles forward who came on as a substitute and scored the only goal for the Gunners.

While the likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette, Mesut Ozil and Lucas Torreira were rated w 5, 5, 4, & 5 points respectively, the 23-year-old Nigeria got a rating of 7 which was the highest for an Arsenal player.

Chelsea hammered Arsenal 4-1.

After a goalless first half at the Olympic Stadium, the Blues started the second 45 minutes on a flying note with Olivier Giroud breaking the deadlock in the 49th minute before

Pedro and Eden Hazard stretched the lead in the 60th and 65th-minute respectively.

With Unai Emery’s side trailing 3-0, Iwobi was brought on for Lucas Torreira in the 67th minute. Two minutes later, he justified his introduction with a stunning effort from outside of the penalty area.

 

See the players rating for Chelsea and Arsenal below.

Chelsea

Kepa Arrizabalaga – 6

Unconvincing in the early stages and perhaps fortunate not to concede a penalty when he appeared to clip Alexandre Lacazette. However, settled into the game and made a fine late save to deny Lacazette.

Cesar Azpilicueta – 7

Made a crucial intervention when he headed clear in the first half and prevented Arsenal from threatening much down his flank. Another solid performance from the experienced right-back.

David Luiz – 7

Dealt well with Arsenal’s front two of Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and was also strong in the air. There have been questions about Luiz defensively but against arguably the best attack in this season’s Europa League he was excellent.

Andreas Christensen – 8

Like Luiz, Christensen was solid in defence and made a fantastic block to deny Aubameyang late in the game. He should be an important player for Chelsea in the future.

Emerson – 8

One of Chelsea’s brightest players in the first half as he drove froward and tested Petr Cech with a well-struck shot from inside the box. He then provided the assist for Giroud to score the opening goal after half-time.

Jorginho – 7

Another controlled performance from Jorginho, who finished with an 89 per cent pass accuracy and helped string things together for Chelsea.

N’Golo Kante – 7

Passed fit to start after being rated as “50-50” by Maurizio Sarri the day before the game due to a knee injury, Kante helped Chelsea win the midfield battle, particularly in the second half when they surged clear.

Mateo Kovacic – 7

Chosen ahead of Ross Barkley and enjoyed one of his better games in a Chelsea shirt, especially in the second half. Will it be enough for the Real Madrid loanee to secure a longer-term stay at Stamford Bridge?

Pedro – 8

Quiet in the first half but proved again that he is a player for the big occasion as he scored the crucial second when he swept in from Hazard’s cross. He has now netted in six finals.

Eden Hazard – 9

If this is his final match for Chelsea then it was the perfect way to bow out. Hazard played a key role as Chelsea seized control of the game in the second half. He set up the second for Pedro before scoring from the penalty spot and then combining with Olivier Giroud to net again. He will be sorely missed by Chelsea if he leaves this summer.

Olivier Giroud – 8

Must have thought he had scored in the 40th minute when Cech made a fine save to keep out his low shot, but did break the deadlock after half-time with a fine header into the bottom corner. He was then fouled for the penalty and produced a fine assist for Hazard to score the fourth goal. Finished as the top scorer in the Europa League with 11 goals.

Subs

Willian – 6

Introduced in the 71st minute and went close to scoring with a strike that Cech tipped away.

Ross Barkley – N/A

Only came on in the 76th minute and wasn’t able to impact the game.

David Zappacosta – N/A

Came on in the 89th minute.

 

ARSENAL

Petr Cech – 5

Any pre-match doubts over Cech’s inclusion in the starting XI were dismissed in the first half as he saved from Emerson and then made a brilliant one-handed stop to deny Giroud. There wasn’t much he could do about any of Chelsea’s four goals and he made a couple of late saves to prevent an even heavier defeat for Arsenal.

Sead Kolasinac – 4

Found some space down the left in the first half but struggled defensively after the break as Chelsea raised their level.

Sokratis – 4

He has shown some encouraging signs in his debut season, but Sokratis wasn’t able to cope with Chelsea’s forwards after the break and questions still remain defensively.

Laurent Koscielny – 4

Beaten by Giroud for the opening goal and was found wanting in the second half as Chelsea started to find more spaces when they attacked.

Nacho Monreal – 4

Arsenal fans probably won’t want to see too much of Monreal playing in this role as one of three centre-backs. He has been a good player for the Gunners since joining in 2013 but appears better suited to playing at left-back.

Ainsley Maitland-Niles – 5

Got forward on several occasions early in the game but was then pushed back as Chelsea started to threaten. Committed a clumsy foul on Giroud for the penalty.

Lucas Torreira – 5

Looked disappointed to be taken off in the 67th minute but he wasn’t able to get to grips with Chelsea when they upped their game in the second half.

Granit Xhaka – 5

Went close with a powerful strike in the first half but his influence faded as the game wore on and, like Torreira, couldn’t restrict Chelsea after the break.

Mesut Ozil – 4

While Hazard stole the show for Chelsea, Ozil was anonymous for Arsenal. Didn’t impact proceedings at all as he produced another ineffective display that is likely to lead to criticism and questions over whether Arsenal should stick with him for next season.

Olivier Giroud holds off Sokratis Papastathopoulos
Olivier Giroud holds off Sokratis Papastathopoulos

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – 5

Spurned a decent chance early in the game when he shot wide from a good position inside the box but otherwise didn’t get much service and couldn’t stamp his mark on proceedings.

Alexandre Lacazette – 5

Might have had a penalty when he was clipped by Kepa but otherwise wasn’t able to get into the game much.

Subs

Alex Iwobi – 7

Looked like he might have set up an Arsenal comeback with a superb strike, but it was only a consolation.

Matteo Guendouzi – 5

Didn’t change the game after coming on in the 66th minute.

Joe Willock – N/A

 

 

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