Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta was looking for a big performance from his back-up players on Thursday night when his side hosted Rapid Vienna in the Europa League and they didn’t disappoint.
Despite already qualifying for the next round of the competition, Arteta’s side showed all the hunger and desire of a group of players that still have something to prove to the fans and their own manager.
✔️ GOOD PERFORMANCE
It was another fantastic performance from young midfielder Reiss Nelson as he took his chance to shine in front of the first home crowd of the season and effectively ran the show for Arteta’s side.
Although he didn’t score, Nelson did set up Arsenal’s second goal, created two other fantastic chances to score and finished the game with a remarkable 100 percent pass ratio - which included 15 passes into the final third.
The 20-year-old midfielder hasn’t been a regular in Arteta’s team this season but if he can continue putting on performances like that then he may force his manager to reconsider who his best midfield options are.
❌ BAD PERFORMANCE
Although it was always going to be a difficult shift for any Rapid Vienna player tasked with getting the better of Arsenal’s defence on the night, striker Deni Alar looked particularly overcome by the occasion.
Despite being on the pitch for 78 minutes, the 30-year-old forward failed to hit a single shot towards the Arsenal goal and attempted just nine passes.
⭐ STAR MAN
Following a red card in Arsenal’s 0-0 draw with Leeds in the Premier League it seems as though Nicolas Pepe has been on a mission to earn back his manager’s trust in him. It first came in the previous Europa League game against Molde, where Pepe scored a goal with a man of the match performance, and he was once again fantastic tonight.
Although Ivorian forward wasn’t among Arsenal’s goalscorers he was undoubtedly the team’s key player in attack with five dribbles, one key chance creation and 10 crosses throughout the match. He also made more passes into the final third than other player on the pitch.