Arsenal suffered a disappointing first-leg defeat at the hands of BATE Borisov in Belarus in the Europa League round of 32.
Stanislav Dragun scored the only goal of the game to seal the win for the hosts, who were good value for the victory.
On the other hand, Unai Emery’s men lacked creativity, didn’t have much penetration and conceded from a set-piece.
The goal was scored at the stroke of half-time when Dragun evaded his marker to find space in the box to head the ball into the back of the net. Igor Stasevich’s delivery was perfect to dovetail with the run made by the midfielder.
Arsenal had a goal disallowed early in the second half when Sead Kolasinac found Alexandre Lacazette, who dispatched it into the net but the offside flag went up. The Gunners were fuming. However, it was the right decision.
The Frenchman got sent off five minutes from time when he was grappled by Aleksandar Filipovic, and he responded by lashing an elbow at the defender. The referee had no choice but to brandish a straight red card.
At the end of the day, Arsenal didn’t deserve much and now will not have Lacazette for the second leg in a week.
Here’s how we rated the players:
Petr Cech - 5
He couldn’t have done much to save the goal. Stood up to everything that came his way.
Shkodran Mustafi - 4
The German international was nervy and slow in possession. Didn’t look comfortable defending as well.
Laurent Koscielny - 4
He nearly allowed Nemanja Milic to score by switching off. The experienced Frenchman didn’t have a good night.
Nacho Monreal - 4
Not very different from the other two defenders and looked a yard short every time.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles - 4
There were signs of threat down the right-hand side but he picked the wrong option time and time again. Many still don’t know his best position. Subbed off 20 minutes from time.
Matteo Guendouzi - 5
Worked hard on and off the ball and always tried to be available to help the team in possession. His final ball wasn’t great though.
Granit Xhaka - 3
He did his average reputation no harm by delivering another awful performance. He was out-thought by BATE’s midfielders. Deservedly subbed off for Lucas Torreira.
Sead Kolasinac - 5
The Bosnian star was a threat all game long but didn’t do much when the opportunity arrived in the final third. He is not a very good defender and left Monreal exposed on several occasions. Subbed off 15 minutes from time.
Alex Iwobi - 5
When he was running at the BATE defenders, they were retreating, but unfortunately, those moments were few and far between. The winger always tries to play an easy pass.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan - 4
Missed a great chance early on and was invisible throughout the game.
Alexandre Lacazette - 4
The striker had only two bites at goal in the 90 minutes and he let his frustration out by lashing an elbow at the defender. He will miss the return leg now.
(SUB) Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang - 4
Came on for the last 20 minutes but didn’t have a chance to score.
(SUB) Lucas Torreira- 4
He was brought on when Arsenal were chasing the game – this speaks volumes about their problems. The Uruguayan tried his best but nothing happened.
(SUB) Denis Suarez - 4
He looked neat and tidy in possession without really hurting the BATE defenders in the last 10 minutes.