Soccer

Player ratings: Arsenal out of Carabao Cup as attack can capitalise and debut GK struggles

Arsenal’s hopes of lifting their third Carabao Cup came to an end as the Gunners suffered a 3-1 defeat to fellow Premier League side Brighton & Hove Albion at the Emirates.

After a nervy start, Mikel Arteta’s men went in front when Arsenal forward Eddie Nketiah struck after brilliant work by Reiss Nelson, but it didn’t last long. Minutes later, Brighton’s Danny Welbeck picked himself up to level from the spot after he was taken out by a slip from debutant Karl Hein.

From then on, Arsenal seemed to take control, but they were left stunned when Kaoru Mitoma finished off a neat passing move before Tariq Lamptey beat Hein from close range to hand the Gunners their first defeat on home soil this season. With the result, Arsenal are out of the Carabao Cup.

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Positives

Nketiah showed great composure to open the scoring with his first real involvement, which should give him a big confidence boost while Nelson threatened to run the Seagulls ragged in spells.

Negatives

The Gunners failed to make their pressure pay, and they were made to suffer as they shipped two goals in 13 minutes. With just four shots on target from 23, that pretty much tells the story.

Manager rating (out of 10, 10 = best)

Mikel Arteta, 6 — Not his night. His side dominated for most of the tie but just couldn’t put the visitors to the sword, despite a flurry of changes from the Arsenal boss. Still, if the Gunners can maintain their league start then this will be quickly forgotten.

Player ratings (players introduced after 70 minutes = no rating)

GK Karl Hein, 3 — Looked like a rabbit in headlights on his debut. Gifted the visitors an equaliser when he slipped and clattered into Welbeck, which saw him go into the book, and he was hesitant again as Lamptey squeezed the ball through his legs.

DF Rob Holding, 6 — The stand-in skipper was called upon to provide a calm head, but Arsenal looked nervous early on and his first clearance was up rather than out. Headed straight into the arms of Steele late on when a goal would have piled on the pressure.

DF William Saliba, 7 — Another steady display from Saliba, who is enjoying himself this season. Stunning to think he’s only 21 given his calmness at the back. Withdrawn for the final half hour to save his reliable legs for another day.

DF Kieran Tierney, 6 — In the right place to clear as Brighton started strongly. Injected some vital energy when he stormed forward before the Scot was halted illegally by March. Produced plenty of trademark bursts in an energetic display and set up Nketiah who smacked the post.

DF Cédric Soares, 5 — Swung in some inviting crosses from the right, the best of which saw Gabriel’s header kept out by Jason Steele, but for the most part the Seagulls stood firm. Looked a bit shaky defensively though, particularly in the early stages.

MF Fabio Vieira, 6 — Tugged back on halfway as Moisés Caicedo picked up an early booking for a professional foul and he got plenty more kicks as the night went on. He played some neat passes, but nothing extraordinary and he fired his best chance well over the bar.

MF Albert Sambi Lokonga, 6 — Added some much-needed composure in midfield and fired off plenty of shots too as Arsenal looked to impose themselves after the restart, but he curled his best opportunity just wide.

MF Mohamed Elneny, 7 — Picked up a booking for his first foul of the game with referee Jarred Gillet clearly not in a lenient mood. Settled into the game as it progressed, which helped Arsenal to take control. Saw a decent strike deflected behind after cutting in nicely.

FW Reiss Nelson, 8 — Ran the show for the Gunners. Showed immense strength and balance to power forward and thread through Nketiah to open the scoring and later saw his header brilliantly kept out by Steele.

FW Marquinhos, 5 — A little sloppy early on as he gave possession straight back to Brighton with a misplaced header, and he was outwitted by Lamptey. Gradually grew into proceedings and looked to pull the trigger whenever he got the opportunity.

FW Edward Nketiah, 8 — Showed great composure to open the scoring having hardly seen the ball prior to that moment, and he went close again when he rattled the post after the break.

Substitutes

DF Gabriel, 6 — Replaced the impressive Saliba, who was likely being saved for bigger occasions given Arsenal’s strong start in the league, only for Arsenal to concede eight minutes later. Went close when his downward header was well saved by Steele

DF Oleksandr Zinchenko, NR — Replaced Tierney but didn’t really have much opportunity to make an impact.

MF Gabriel Martinelli, 6 — Replaced Marquinhos as Arteta turned to one of his big guns to dig his side out of trouble. Fired a decent chance right down the throat of a grateful Steele but didn’t really threaten the Seagulls’ goal after that.

MF Granit Xhaka, NR — Replaced Lokonga and was welcomed by rapturous applause, but even the tussling stalwart couldn’t drag Arsenal back into the game.

FW Gabriel Jesus, NR — Replaced Vieira. Produced a nice feint before laying the ball off to fellow Gabriel, Martinelli, who struck straight at the keeper.

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