Ozil over Sanchez: Why L'Equipe get Arsenal ratings right

L'Equipe are famed for their tough stance on player ratings, but on Tuesday night they got their Arsenal grades spot on.

Before Arsenal’s second-leg match with Monaco at the Stade Louis II, hopes were hung on Chilean forward Alexis Sanchez being Arsenal’s hero in the principality.

However, the night was filled with frustration for Sanchez, only managing one of the 17 shots Arsenal had over the 90 minutes. He was constantly given opportunities on the ball, with 97 touches according to WhoScored.com, but he only managed to beat one player off the dribble.

French newspaper L’Equipe are famed for their often bizarre ratings system, but in the morning after the game, it is hard to argue with the grades they have awarded Arsene Wenger’s side.

In France, for having a normal, standard performance, you are awarded a five out of ten, it takes a good performance to receive at least a seven, with nines and tens very rare. It often baffles English readers, with the British press handing out sevens for bog-standard displays.

For Tuesday night’s game, Alexis was awarded 5/10, the same rating given to Per Mertesacker, David Ospina and Nacho Monreal.

The highest awards on the night were reserved for Santi Cazorla and the much-maligned Mesut Ozil.

On the night, the German midfielder did nearly everything he could to try and help Arsenal advance. He saw more of the ball than any of Arsenal’s other attacking options.

Ozil worked extremely hard, making runs down the left and through the middle, saw the ball 129 times and beat the Monaco defence six times off the dribble.

The only part of his game that let his performance down was his delivery from set-pieces, and perhaps having Santi Cazorla on duty instead near the end could have brought about a different result.

His performances have come in for criticism since his big-money move from Real Madrid, but the midfielder was one of Arsenal’s best players on Tuesday.

Arsene Wenger will be happy with Ozil’s performance, and will hope that this can be a catalyst for an impressive end to the Premier League campaign.

Here are the full L’Equipe ratings for the game against Monaco:

Ospina 5; Bellerin 3, Mertesacker 5, Koscielny 6, Monreal 5; Coquelin 6, Santi Cazorla 7, Sanchez 5, Ozil 7, Welbeck 6; Giroud 6

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