Arsenal analysis: Junior Fernandes the star man in Zagreb as Olivier Giroud loses his cool in Champions League opener

Gunners get European campaign off to terrible start

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The Independent Online

STAR PLAYER

Junior Fernandes. The Chile forward was a handful for Arsenal's defence all night with his pace and positive mindset. Showed great strength to leap through a crowded six-yard box and power home a header for the crucial second goal.

MOMENT OF THE MATCH

Having earlier seen two good chances missed, Giroud lost his cool to collect a needless second yellow card and leave his team up against it chasing a match they should have already been in complete control of.

VIEW FROM THE BENCH

Dinamo manager Zoran Mamic had warned his side would not be sitting back against the Gunners, and despite riding their luck in the opening exchanges, the hosts grew in confidence to execute that positive game plan - helped in no small part by Arsenal's inefficiencies at both ends of the pitch. Gunners boss Arsene Wenger, meanwhile, opted for half-a-dozen changes, aiming to freshen the starting XI up ahead of Saturday's trip to Chelsea. But on this evidence, he will have plenty more adjustments to make to find the right balance again.

 

MOAN OF THE MATCH

Olivier Giroud should have known better than to trip Pinto when already on a yellow card. Whether or not either caution was soft, in the Champions League you cannot afford to give the referee a decision to make.

WHO'S UP NEXT

Chelsea v Arsenal (Premier League, September 19)

Hajduk Split v Dinamo Zagreb (Prva Liga, September 19)

PA

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