Making 6 changes to the side that beat AC Milan, Wenger clearly is focusing on the Europa League. However, the team was still more than strong enough to push Watford aside, winning 3-0 at the Emirates.
Petr Cech – 9
Poetic justice called for Cech to save Deeney’s penalty in the 62nd minute. He had 3 other saves as well. Minus a wonky throw and knocking the ball back into danger once, he more than deserved his 200th Premier League clean sheet and MOTM.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles – 6.5
Made a clumsy foul to give Watford a penalty and was a little careless with the ball. But his work rate and attacking power proved that he is the clear runner-up right-back.
Shkodran Mustafi – 8.5
Fantastic game from Mustafi. His opening goal was very similar to the header he scored against Spurs. He kept Deeney completely out of the game all day and didn’t make a single mistake. Let’s hope his groin injury doesn’t keep him out too long.
Rob Holding – 7.5
A good return to the starting lineup for Holding. This was the type of performance that saw him start several games towards the end of last season. He seems to do very well with less speedy/more physical strikers.
Sead Kolasinac – 7
Another improved performance from Kolasinac. He continues to look very dangerous in the final third and he almost provided an assist for Aubameyang. His decision-making has been getting better and he doesn’t seem to get caught out as much as he did early on in the season.
Mohamed Elneny – 7.5
Nearly got an assist with a good pass to Ozil but don’t let his bare stat sheet fool you. He was incredibly clean and decisive with the ball all day and helped dictate the tempo. Yes, Mohamed Elneny was quick and helped a lot going forward. It’ll be interesting to see if he can perform like this consistently.
Granit Xhaka – 7.5
Another game, another stellar performance from Xhaka. Any hate he receives is clearly misguided and comes from people who don’t pay attention to the game. His defensive work is improving and he took care of the ball all day.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan – 8.5
Sometimes his game is off, but he was up for it today. It doesn’t appear that he’ll ever be as clean of a passer as Xhaka or Ozil, but he’s always pushing the envelope, looking for that killer pass that some are too risk-averse to make. He assisted his buddy Aubameyang and then scored the 3rd goal from one his passes. Thank you, Manchester United. Sincerely, all Arsenal fans.
Mesut Ozil – 8
He is now the quickest player to reach 50 assists in the Premier League. He didn’t control the game throughout, but he shouldn’t have to. He seems to perform better when our midfielders have a firm grip on the game, allowing him to find open space in the final third. My only criticism is that he should’ve put away a great chance he had.
Alex Iwobi – 5.5
Despite the whole team performing well today, it doesn’t appear Iwobi got the memo. Perhaps the left-wing is just a cursed position. More realistically though, he just seems to be low on confidence at the moment. His iffy passing and slow decision-making suppressed several of our attacks.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – 8
A goal and assist for Aubameyang to match Mkhitaryan’s stat line. He could’ve had 2 or 3 goals had he been more clinical with his shots and positioning.
Danny Welbeck – 6
A decent shot on target, I repeat, a decent shot on target for Welbeck. Did well coming on for Iwobi.
Calum Chambers – 6
I was a little worried to see him back there with Holding because of how they performed in the Ostersunds game, but he put in a good shift after replacing Mustafi.
Jack Wilshere – N/A
Wasn’t on long enough to rate but it’s truly shocking that Wenger would bother bringing him on in a game that’s already been won instead of a youngster.