Arsenal twice came from behind to beat Vitoria S.C. 3-2 in an enthralling Europa League game at the Emirates Stadium, with one player seemingly going unnoticed during the match.
Former Tottenham Hotspur academy player Marcus Edwards scored the opening goal of the game from inside the penalty box to give the Portuguese side the lead.
Arsenal struck back through a combination of Kieran Tierney and Gabriel Martinelli with the Brazilian heading in. However, Vitoria once again took the lead after Ainsley Maitland-Niles gave the ball away at the halfway line.
The introduction of Nicolas Pepe proved crucial with the summer signing scoring two free-kicks to win the game for Unai Emery’s side.
Pepe enjoyed a brilliant cameo when coming off the bench. The Ivory Coast international scored from just two shots on goal and completing the joint-second most dribbles (via WhoScored).
However, despite conceding two goals, it was the performance of Shkodran Mustafi which may have been missed by the masses of fans and pundits.
The £16.2m-rated (Transfermarkt) German was in brilliant form for the Gunners as he completed the highest number of passes of any player on the pitch, proving neat and tidy in possession. However, when he was asked to, the 28-year-old also provided the most number of long passes, showing a good variety when in possession.
It seems Mustafi has also developed into a much better defender during his time away from the first-team squad this season, as he won a mind-boggling 11 aerial duels yesterday out of a total of 43 by both teams.
The Mirror agreed with the assessment of Mustafi as they gave him a six out of 10, commenting positively on his defensive display.
They said: “Solid defensively but missed a difficult headed chance for a winner late on which left him visibly angry with himself.”
Arsenal fans, what did you make of Mustafi’s performance? Let us know your thoughts!
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