Arsenal vs. Schalke: Score, Analysis, Grades and More

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Arsenal vs. Schalke: Score, Analysis, Grades and More
Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Arsenal and Schalke battled for the top spot in Group B of the Champions League and the Germans put themselves atop the table with a 1-0 victory. 

Schalke were the agressors for much of the match, but failed to break through the Arsenal defense until the 76th minute, when Klaas-Jan Hunterlaar's strike gave Schalke the advantage it had rightfully earned.

With the Gunners defense reeling, the Germans continued putting pressure down the wings and Jefferson Farfan's cross found Ibrahim Afellay ten minutes later to seal the victory. 

Schalke now moves ahead of Arsenal in Group B with seven points in the first three matches, compared to six for the Gunners.

 

Grades

Santi Cazorla, Arsenal: B-

Cazorla is the creative spark in the Arsenal attack, and his inability to break down Schalke's defense led to the team's offensive dud. 

When these two teams meet again, the Gunners must get Cazorla more involved and the Spanish star needs to be more aggressive with the ball at his feet.  

 

Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, Schalke: A

Huntelaar was waiting patiently for an opportunity in the second half after squandering his only shot in the first 45 minutes. When Arsenal's midfield failed to win yet another ball and header from Ibrahim Afellay put the Dutchman through on goal, he only needed one touch to put his team in the lead. 

It was a classic centre forward's goal as he was in the perfect position and did not waste time or touches in order to get the ball in the back of the net. He gets top marks for delivering a goal exactly when he needed to. 

Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

 

Lukas Podolski, Arsenal: C

Arsenal only managed six shots in this match and put just two on target. While other players can be faulted for inaccuracy with their attempts, Podolski did not fire once at the net before being subbed out in the 83rd minute. 

The Gunners attack has been stagnant in several matches this season and Podolski's performance was especially disappointing as he was suspected to succeed given his success against German clubs in the past. 

 

Ibrahim Afellay, Schalke: A

Schalke was able to get consistent pressure up the wings, and this was perfectly illustrated in Schalke's second goal. Andres Santos failed to prevent a cross from Jefferson Farfan, and Afellay was wide open for a tap in. 

Afellay was able to create constant pressure down the wings as the Schalke attack slowly wore down the Arsenal defense. 

Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

 

Thomas Vermaelen, Arsenal: B-

Vermaelen did an admirable job clutching to clean sheet as long as he did, but the back line looked out of sorts far too often in this match. 

Keeping the back line organized and disciplined is a difficult task for the Arsenal Skipper when playing with inexperienced players like Andres Santos and Carl Jenkinson, and every member of the Gunners back four will need to perform better in the team's next UCL match. 

 

What's Next?

These two teams will face off again to start off the second phase of play in the group stage. This time Schalke, who will host the Gunners, will try to get a different result in order to regain the top spot in the table. 

Kickoff is on November 6 at 2:45 p.m. ET. 

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