Player Ratings

Arsenal 3-2 Benfica Player Ratings: Saka shines to save Gunners' season

Bukayo Saka was again Arsenal's ace as they secured a dramatic passage through to the last 16 of the Europa League.

 
8:47pm on Thursday 25th February 2021
By
Robin Bairner

Arsenal moved through to the last-16 of the Europa League thanks to a thrilling 3-2 victory over Benfica, giving them a 4-3 aggregate success.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was the goal hero as he netted twice – including an 87th-minute winner – yet Bukayo Saka was again a shining light for Mikel Arteta’s side, whose season was saved with the Gabon striker’s late header.

Arsenal 3-2 Benfica: Player Ratings, Match Stats, Player Stats

But which players stood out?

✔️ GOOD PERFORMANCE

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang: 8.2

Criticised lately for not scoring enough, the striker came up trumps in this encounter to send his side through in thrilling style. Notched the opener with a composed finish when clean through then with time running out judged his run perfectly to head into the goal.

Kieran Tierney: 7.4

Somewhat subdued offensively during the opening period but roared into life during the second, particularly as Arsenal chased what would have been the winning goal.

The former Celtic left-back got himself on the scoresheet in classy fashion, sidestepping one challenge in the box before firing a crisp shot into the corner of the net. It was the second European goal of his career.

As ever, he showed commendable spirit and was not responsible in any way for the shambolic nature in which his side leaked the second. Indeed, he made a brilliant block as the seconds ticked away,

BAD PERFORMANCE

Dani Ceballos: 5.9

A Champions League winner with Real Madrid, Ceballos nearly gave away the opportunity to add the Europa League title to his trophy cabinet while on loan with Arsenal.

The defensive midfielder would have struggled to sleep tonight if his side had lost after a critical mistake invited the Portuguese side to score their vital second. A long punt forward from the goalkeeper simply needed headed clear, yet he tried to knock the ball back to Bernd Leno. He was short with his effort, allowing Rafa Silva in to score.

STAR MAN

Bukayo Saka: 8.8

It seems that on a virtually match-by-match basis, the effervescent Saka is Arsenal’s outstanding attacking contributor. So it was to prove again in Athens as his slick reverse pass helped to set up Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s opener.

He may have been a little more effective with the shooting opportunities he fashioned for himself, but showed his priceless qualities with a brilliant cross to set up Aubameyang for the late, late winner.

Arsenal 3-2 Benfica: Player Ratings, Match Stats, Player Stats

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