Arsenal ratings: Joe Willock stars with brilliant goal as Granit Xhaka has quiet night at back

ARSENAL made it two wins from two in Group B of their Europa League campaign.

Goals from Eddie Nketiah, Joe Willock and Nicolas Pepe within four minutes either side of half-time sealed the victory over Dundalk.

Joe Willock was on target for Arsenal as they saw off Dundalk at the EmiratesCredit: AP:Associated Press

Granit Xhaka played at the heart of a three-man defence between Shkodran Mustafi and Sead Kolasinac.

And after a tricky opening 40 minutes, it was in the end a comfortable evening at the Emirates.

SunSport’s Tom Barclay assesses the Gunners players’ performances…

Alex Runarsson – 6

Debutant goalkeeper made a solid early save to tip wide Patrick Elneny’s shot but had almost nothing else to do.

Shkodran Mustafi – 6

First chance since July for the returning German. Came off on the hour which suggested he could feature at Old Trafford given Mikel Arteta’s defensive woes.

Granit Xhaka – 6

Was deployed in a back three, which seemed overly cautious given Dundalk’s limited abilities. Was untroubled.

Sead Kolasinac – 6

Arsenal took a while to break down their opponents, summed up by the fact the Bosnian provided their first effort on target with a 34th-minute header.

Cedric Soares – 6

Making just his ninth Arsenal appearance, the Euro 2016 winner provided good width at wing-back. Lashed a wild effort over from distance early on.

Mohamed Elneny – 6

Dundalk showed such little attacking ambition, he had little to do defensively, but was solid in his passing. Dependable.

Joe Willock – 9

The star of the show. Clever movement, willing running and technical ability, he used all three to score a belter of a goal just before the break.

Ainsley Maitland-Niles – 7

Almost got in on the act himself with a blast at goal with 20 minutes to go, but was denied by a strong save.

Granit Xhaka enjoyed a comfortable evening at the heart of a three-man defenceCredit: Sportsfile – Subscription

Nicolas Pepe – 7

A night that probably summed up his Arsenal career so far. A few frustrating moments, such as smashing a corner straight into the side netting, but then struck the goal of the game with a stunner.

Eddie Nketiah – 7

For the England Under-21s, he is the ultimate fox in the box, and he used those qualities to sniff out the opener here, capitalising on a goalkeeper error.

Reiss Nelson – 8

Fans would have been off their seats watching the ex-Hoffenheim loanee, if they were allowed to attend. Electric with the ball at his feet, caused multiple problems.


Dani Ceballos: 6, Willian: 7, Kieran Tierney: 6, Folarin Balogun: 6

Willock found the top corner to make it 2-0 before half-timeCredit: AP:Associated Press

Nicolas Pepe produced an emphatic finish on a night which largely summed up his Gunners careerCredit: News Group Newspapers Ltd

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