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Arsenal player ratings: White enhances England World Cup chances but it’s EIGHT games without scoring for Jesus

ARSENAL won their Europa League group by beating Zurich but their performance was far from convincing.

Mikel Arteta named a fairly strong side but the likes of Gabriel Jesus and Fabio Vieira did not hit their usual heights.

Kieran Tierney opened the scoring with his first goal of the season

It is possible fatigue is catching up with the Gunners with this their tenth game since the start of October.

But there were other concerning signs for Arteta as fringe players Albert Sambi Lokonga and Fabio Vieira did not impress.

Kieran Tierney was the matchwinner on his return to the side and he should be fit to play Chelsea on Sunday – a big boost for the Gunners.

And with key players such as Granit Xhaka enjoying a rest tonight and the likes of Martin Odegaard, Bukayo Saka and Thomas Partey appearing from the bench, Arsenal should be fresh for their trip to Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

Here is how SunSport’s Kealan Hughes rated Arsenal’s display in their final Europa League group game

Aaron Ramsdale – 6

One smart save to keep out a deflected effort in the first half and showed brilliant reflexes to keep his side ahead midway through the second half.

Ben White – 8

Was a lot more ambitious supporting the attack than he was against Nottingham Forest and it was his cross that resulted in Tierney’s goal.

He roamed forward on several occasions, with and without the ball and was taken off for the final 20 minutes to rest his legs.


Rob Holding – 6

Another assured European display from the centre-back who cut out Zurich’s counter-attack all night long.

In truth he had little to do as Arsenal dominated possession for much of the night and the defence was well protected by midfield.

Gabriel – 6

A quiet night for the Brazilian which he will be grateful for given this was his tenth game in just over a month.

Kieran Tierney – 8

Returned to the side with a bang as he fired in from 20 yards out to open the scoring with a finish Jesus would be envious of.

Played a lovely ball into Vieira and the midfielder should have buried the chance. He was a little sloppy in possession but that is to be expected as he has not played much recently.

Mohamed Elneny – 6

Got on the ball time and time again and was effective in playing the holding role despite this being only his second game of the season and first since August.

Taken off on the hour mark with Arteta not wanting to push the Egyptian too much following his injury lay-off.

Albert Sambi Lokonga – 6

He was okay in Granit Xhaka role as he snuffed out danger and kept possession flowing for his side.

The 23-year-old was tidy if a little unadventurous on the ball and Xhaka’s absence was felt with Arsenal’s midfield rather flat overall.

Fabio Vieira – 5

The Portuguese had two great opportunities to score in the first half, one was blocked by Jesus and the other was a tame effort blocked by a Zurich defender.

Took up clever positions in the box as usual but snatched at chances all night.

Reiss Nelson – 5

Played a lovely cute pass to cut open the Zurich backline in the build-up to the opening goal.

But he was wasteful on the ball and did not threaten enough to show why he deserves a place in the side, although the Swiss side sat deep which prevented him from taking on players and causing problems.

Eddie Nketiah – 7

A constant thorn in the side of Zurich playing down Arsenal’s left flank. He almost got on the scoresheet when his near-post header from a corner was well saved.

Was a little quiet in the second half until he moved centrally, but Arsenal carved out few chances for the striker.

Gabriel Jesus – 6

Handed the captain’s armband in the absence of Martin Odegaard but his problems in front of goal continued.

He fluffed his lines on several occasions against Nottingham Forest and somehow had an effort from four yards saved when it looked easier to score.


Thomas Partey (for Elneny, 63mins) – 6

Broke up play effectively and was a commanding presence as Arsenal held onto their 1-0 advantage.

Bukayo Saka (for Jesus, 63mins) – 5

Provided an injection of pace without being able to find a key pass or shot to increase the Gunners’ lead.

Takehiro Tomiyasu (for White, 73mins) – 6

Dealt well with Zurich’s pressure in the last 15 minutes before going off injured.

Arsenal 1 FC Zurich 0

Tierney goal sees Arteta's side through to last-16 of Europa League

Martin Odegaard (for Vieira, 73mins) – 5

Did not have an effect on the match when he should have put his foot on the ball and tried to dictate play to run the clock down.

Cedric Soares (for Tomiyasu, 88mins) – 5

Came on for the injured Tomiyasu and helped to see the game out but provided one brilliant cross which Nketiah almost headed in.