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Mesut Ozil guilty of massive miss as Arsenal lose at Watford

Mesut Ozil guilty of massive miss as Arsenal lose at Watford


Arsenal were the victims of a dodgy penalty and an injury-time winner as they threw away a 1-0 lead to lose 2-1 away at Watford.

Per Mertesacker headed Arsenal in front from a corner on 39 minutes, but the second half played out in disastrous fashion for Arsene Wenger's side.

Minutes after Mesut Ozil had missed a huge chance for 2-0, Richarlison clearly dived to win a penalty which Troy Deeney tucked away on 71 minutes. As Arsenal timidly tried to close the game down, Tom Cleverley struck in injury time to move Watford, not Arsenal, fourth.


For just over an hour this looked like an efficient and professional away performance from Arsenal -- unspectacular, admittedly, but effective. It all unravelled from there.


The result, clearly, and the nature of the performance in the second half, which bordered on insipid at times. Arsenal lacked quality in the final third and looked utterly unconvincing as they attempted to manage the game towards the end. Oh, and injuries to Danny Welbeck and Laurent Koscielny.

Manager rating out of 10

4 -- Marco Silva showed how to turn a game as his introduction of Deeney in the second half transformed this as a contest. By contrast, Wenger's substitutions were ineffective. He was completely outfoxed by his opposite number.

Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)

GK Petr Cech, 6 -- Could do little about a well-hit penalty from Deeney but was made to look a little foolish by Cleverley's scrappy winner.

DF Laurent Koscielny, 7 -- Defended as stoutly as usual as Watford were restricted to few chances on goal, but a late injury saw him withdrawn, which will be a big concern.

DF Per Mertesacker, 7 -- Wenger should consider giving his captain more game time on this evidence as he defended impressively for most of the match and scored the opener with a towering header. However, he was relieved to see a big deflection off his chest hit the post with seven minutes left and ended the match as an auxiliary forward in desperation.

DF Nacho Monreal, 7 -- Continues to impress. Monreal always looked alert and stuck his boot in when required. Even stepped into midfield on occasion.

MF Hector Bellerin, 6 -- The Spaniard could consider himself very unfortunate to concede the penalty as Richarlison clearly made the most of minimal contact. Didn't do enough elsewhere.

MF Granit Xhaka, 7 -- Showed his intent after 13 minutes when lofting a gorgeous ball over the top. Xhaka was in confident mood and his corner for Mertesacker's goal was a fantastic delivery.

MF Mohamed Elneny, 5 -- Kept the ball moving in midfield but Arsenal are crying out for something more than Elneny offers.

MF Sead Kolasinac, 5 -- Charged around the pitch as usual but he didn't bring enough quality in the final third of the pitch.

FW Alex Iwobi, 6 -- Had one of the best chances of the game when his near curling effort was tipped round the post on 63 minutes. Too quiet though.

FW Alexandre Lacazette, 5 -- Worked hard enough but his decision-making was suspect at times, particularly when wasting a great counterattack with a poor pass on 54 minutes. Arsenal wanted more effective link-up play and introduced Giroud.

FW Danny Welbeck, 6 -- The forward was playing his first game in almost a month after returning from injury and put in a good shift, almost connecting from close range on 34 minutes, before being forced off with yet another muscle injury.


FW Mesut Ozil, 5 -- Arsenal lacked quality with the final pass before his arrival but he almost set up Iwobi for a goal within minutes with a perfectly judged pass. But when Iwobi returned the favour minutes later, his finish was poor with Heurelho Gomes at his mercy. Watford promptly scored.

FW Olivier Giroud, 6 -- Got a header on goal but didn't make the impact required.

DF Rob Holding, N/R -- Jack Wilshere was primed to come on for the closing stages but when Koscielny was injured, it was Holding who made it on. He was poor for Watford's winner.

Tom is one of ESPN FC's Arsenal bloggers. You can follow him on Twitter @tomEurosport