Europa League

Europa League Top Five, Matchday Two: Martinelli Arsenal's breakout star

Ludogorets hit one of the goals of the season and Malen justifies the hype

 
8:00am on Friday 4th October 2019
By
Paul Macdonald

Arsenal might have been cause for disaster for much of the Premier League season but their young guns were in irresistible form as they hammered Standard Liege with Gabriel Martinelli justifying the hype about his future at the club, while Kieran Tierney already looks born to play on the left flank for the Gunners.

He's just 18 and has Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in front of him, but Martinelli is certainly making an impact with is limited minutes, and here he was just too good for Standard Liege.

He powered home a Tierney cross from an acute angle to open the scoring before showing fantastic feet to shift and swerve into the net for the second. His assist for Dani Ceballos could not have gave him an easier chance and his all-round display was of the highest quality.

Forster scored two goals in Ludogorets superb away win but his first goal will live long in the memory. From a free-kick 30 yards out he simply battered his foot through the ball and it rose all the way before the net got in the way for a brilliant goal.

Forster's performance in general, especially when his team went down to 10 men, was inspirational and the Bulgarians have been a surprise package in the competition so far, with two wins out of two.

Dudelange had been impressive in winning their first-ever European match last time out against APOEL, but here Qarabag gave them a sound beating, dodging the drone and the Armenian flag to record a confident 4-1 victory.

Quintana was excellent for the visitors, hitting all four of his shots on target, scoring in the process and providing a superb assist. He also created another big chance for a team-mate and his ability to orchestrate the play marked him out as the obvious star of the match.

Tierney has been injured for all of his Arsenal career until now but he looked as if he had always been there, running the Gunners' offensive play from the left in their win over Standard Liege. An assist aside, he completed 65/70 passes, won 3/3 tackles and made seven recoveries. Arsenal fans will be delighted with how the Scottish international has taken to his new surroundings.

UELOct 3, 2019W
Donyell Malen S (C), W (L)
  • 90'
  • 9.2

    Malen is absolutely the real deal. Having made his international debut for the Netherlands just last month, his goalscoring has went into the stratosphere, and here he netted another two goals as his reputation continues to grow. Two excellent finishes were enhanced by his relationship with his team-mates and he looks set for a move to a higher level sooner rather than later.

    HONOURABLE MENTIONS

    Jonathan Sabbatini (9.1) of Lugano absolutely dominated proceedings in midfield in the 0-0 draw with Dynamo Kiev, achieving round-leading stats. He won 5/5 tackles, nine recoveries, seven interceptions and five clearances.

    Umar Sadiq (8.9) had struggled in loan spells previously but he scored two fabulous goals in his Partizan side's 2-1 win in Astana.

    ROUND TO FORGET

    Mickael Garos (4.9) of Dudelange not only contrived to help his team concede four goals but was also sent off in the second half to compound his misery.

    Two aerials out of 9, and three duels out of 13 doesn't represent a good record for Michael Santos (5.0) of Copenhagen in their 1-1 draw with Malmo.

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