Player Ratings: Arsenal 3-4 Liverpool

Arsenal suffered opening day blues once more in a pulsating 4-3 defeat at home to Liverpool, but which players were most at fault? Did anyone manage to impress?

theo moreno

Petr CECH: 6

The veteran goalkeeper couldn’t really be blamed as the main culprit for any of Liverpool’s goals but it’s never going to be a good day for a goalkeeper when he concedes four in one game. He’ll be hoping as much as anyone that Arsene Wenger strengthens the defence in front of him before the transfer window shuts.

Hector BELLERIN: 6

Arsenal’s lightning quick right-back usually offers a great deal of threat down his side of the pitch but he struggled to make much of an impact going forward in this game, even with Alberto Moreno having a nightmare down Liverpool’s left.

Calum CHAMBERS: 6

At 21 years of age Chambers was still the more experienced of the centre-back duo, and unfortunately after a solid first half the Englishman struggled to cope with the Liverpool attacks in the second half. His late header to bring the score back to 4-3 was well taken but it proved to be too little too late for the Gunners.

Rob HOLDING: 6

After signing for £2.5m from Bolton Wanderers this summer, Arsenal’s new centre-back was given a baptism of fire in his first Premier League appearance with injuries to Per Mertesacker and Gabriel seeing him thrust straight into the side. It’s tough to judge him from this game and even though Arsenal shipped four goals, it’s hard to blame Holding for any of them.

Nacho MONREAL: 5

An uncharacteristically shaky performance from the usually reliable full-back as the Liverpool attack enjoyed a great deal of freedom down Arsenal’s left flank. He had little in the way of protection but Monreal will be disappointed at how he handled Sadio Mane and Nathaniel Clyne’s advances down his side.

Francis COQUELIN: 6

The dynamic Frenchman enjoyed a solid first half and it was his tackle that started the move that resulted in Arsenal’s opening goal, but like the rest of the side he struggled to do anything to stop Liverpool scoring three quick goals in the second half. He was also somewhat fortunate to not see red after a number of questionable challenges being made when he was already booked.

Mohamed ELNENY: 6

An impressive pre-season from the Egyptian saw him given the chance to start ahead of £30m new boy Granit Xhaka, and for the first half at least his tidy play and solid positioning vindicated Wenger’s decision to partner him with Coquelin in the middle of the park. However, after Liverpool’s attack gained momentum in the second half he was unable to influence the game in any meaningful way and was eventually substituted.

Theo WALCOTT: 6

It was another day of highs and lows for the controversial forward, with his poorly taken penalty being saved by Simon Mignolet before he immediately responded with a greatly taken goal a mere 68 seconds later. He failed to capitalise on his goal though and did little else to influence the game, and his tripping over the ball late on summed up his team’s fortunes for the day.

Aaron RAMSEY: 5

With Mesut Ozil not yet deemed fit enough to rejoin the Arsenal starting eleven, Ramsey was tasked with playing in the number ten role that he excelled in during a great Euro 2016 with Wales. With only half a game’s worth of pre-season training under his belt though he looked off the pace for the most part before going down with a hamstring injury in the second half.

Alex IWOBI: 6

The young Nigerian will be hoping to hold down a regular place in this Arsenal team for the season ahead and he made a good first impression  here as it was his pass that allowed Walcott to score the opener, but despite his best efforts he struggled to make any more serious impacts before he himself went off injured soon after the break.

Alexis SANCHEZ: 5

Like Ramsey, the Chilean forward was only afforded the friendly game against Manchester City last weekend to gain match sharpness before being thrown back into the starting eleven, and it really showed here. A lack of fitness and questions over his ability to play as a lone striker meant he was a bystander for most of the game and he’ll be disappointed with the severe lack of influence he was able to exert here.

SUBSTITUTES

Alex OXLADE-CHAMBERLAIN (on 59): 7

After narrowly missing the starting line-up after a stellar pre-season, Oxlade-Chamberlain managed to do what he did twice over the summer by scoring a superbly taken goal to bring the score back to 4-2 in the second half. His touch was a bit sloppy and his runs weren’t that efficient, but that is to be expected from a player taking risks to try and bring his side back into the game.

Santi CAZORLA (on 61): 7

Many fans felt the playmaker should have started in Ozil’s vacant number ten position despite some concerns over an achilles injury, and after being given half an hour to try and rescue the game for the Gunners, Cazorla did at least manage to notch two assists in that time. His pass to Oxlade-Chamberlain for his solo goal was academic but his cross from a free-kick for Chambers’ header was perfectly placed.

Granit XHAKA (on 67): 4

The Swiss midfielder came on to make his Premier League debut and was keen to impress as Arsenal sought a way back into the game, but some poor touches and rash tackles made this a first appearance to forget. Could easily have seen red on another day.

Callum Perritt

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