Arsenal Times
Player Ratings v Benfica as Nelson Impresses
By Matty Sadler
July 29 2017

An enjoyable enough game to watch. Arsenal looked dangerous going forward throughout but were typically poor defensively in the first half. Nelson, Kolasinac and Walcott were the standouts.

Ospina - 7. One decent save in each half. Unlucky to see two deflect past him. Otherwise bread and butter.

Holding - 5. First game back and was (understandably) rusty.
Mertesacker - 6. Sloppy first half where his lack of pace was an issue. Nothing to do second half.
Maitland-Niles - 6. Struggled in the first half, at fault for Benfica's second, but looked much better in the second half. Played out well from the back. but obviously not a centre back.

Nelson - 8. Looked bright, skillful and fearless. Impressive assist for Giroud's goal. Great prospect. Should get a chance this season.
Xhaka - 7. Calm presence in the middle. His diagonal passes were a highlight. Also threaded a great ball through to Walcott for the third goal.
Coquelin - 6. Some good contributions going forward before going off, including assist for Walcott.
Kolasinac - 8. Looked very good, particularly going forward, where he got an assist and was always involved. Based on what I've seen so far I prefer him at LWB to LCB, but obviously can't judge this early.

Walcott - 9. Said before kick off this role was his best chance in this formation, and he made it his own. Comfortably our best player, always looked dangerous. Scored two and was involved in another two, but should've scored a third in the second half.
Giroud - 7. Didn't get into the first half much but was much better in the second half, where he scored, got an assist and was much more involved.
Iwobi - 7. Some bright moments but need more from him consistently. Took his goal well.

Subs:

Elneny - 6. Passed it well but still don't think he offers enough.
Chambers - 6. Completely untested defensively but played out from the back well.
Ramsey - N/A. Not on long enough to rate.
Ozil - N/A. Not on long enough to rate.
Monreal - N/A. Not on long enough to rate.
Lacazette - 5. Saw more of the ball than the other late subs and I wasn't impressed. Playing off the striker in this formation isn't his best role. Some poor touches/ passes.
Oxlade-Chamberlain - N/A. Not on long enough to rate.

More discussion on ratings here