Arsenal made the worst possible start to their Champions League campaign as they crashed to an embarrassing 2-1 defeat to Dinamo Zagreb tonight.
An Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain own goal and Olivier Giroud’s red card gave the Gunners a second-half mountain to climb, and Junior Fernandes’s header put the Croatians two goals to the good.
Theo Walcott came off the bench to give Arsenal late hope, but it was not enough to rescue his side from a disastrous result, and Arsene Wenger from the criticism that will inevitably follow.
Here, fanatix rates and slates how Wenger’s men performed at the Stadion Maksimir this evening…
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GK: David Ospina – 7/10
Stayed big to block Pivaric’s initial shot and could do nothing about the rebound hitting Oxlade-Chamberlain and flying into the net. Fernandes’s header was past him before he could see it. Made an outstanding save after a Gabriel error five minutes into added time, and the whistle went soon after.
RB: Mathieu Debuchy – 6/10
Was dragged too narrow in the build-up to Dinamo’s first goal, exposing the space for Pivaric to prosper. Made amends with a vital block, albeit one which led to the corner from which Zagreb scored.
CB: Gabriel Paulista – 7/10
The Brazilian made several strong tackles and a couple of vital interceptions in a performance that suggests that he is well worth persevering with even when Per Mertesacker is available again.
CB: Laurent Koscielny – 5/10
Disappointingly out-jumped at the near post for Zagreb’s second goal, and could have cost Arsenal a third with a terrible pass with which he gave away possession in his own area. Well below par.
LB: Kieran Gibbs – 5/10
Wenger will have seen little tonight to doubt his choice of Nacho Monreal as first-choice left-back. Gibbs seemed to duck under the goal-providing corner and was hooked for Joel Campbell on 65 minutes.
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