First things first. I know many people are going to write about how Roy Keane has instilled great resilience into his squad and how they fought back brilliantly. I think that is a load of bullshit. It was not as if Sunderland was pressing us. We committed two rank mistakes in the defence and were punished for it. If Sunderland really had steel we would have seen it as soon as the match started.
Almunia– I think Almunia had a decent game. But that is what he can always have. He will not commit stupid mistakes. But do not expect a single moment of brilliance from this chap. A yard either side of this guy is a goal. We need a good keeper badly. Almunia is never going to save you any matches or win you any either. I will shock myself if he is ever above average in a match. A good keeper would have saved the second goal. Jens when in his senses would have saved it. 6/10
Arsene, please buy a keeper!!
Clichy- A bad performance from him in an Arsenal shirt in a real long time. He was at fault in the first goal and had committed a mistake earlier too. It affected his performance even while going forward. In the second goal, I don’t expect Clichy to win headers against two huge players, so can’t really fault him. The entire shape of the defence was lost for the second goal. Hope he puts it behind him and comes back in a big way. 4/10
Senderos- Looked good in the midweek and did so even today. He could probably keep Gallas out with a clean performance like this. A decent goal too. 6.5/10
Toure- Looked solid as usual. Had one very good shot and never lost his man. 6.5/10
Sagna- A steady performance from him as expected. Was not getting enough freedom to break forward in his usual way. Was actually surprised when he was substituted. 6.5/10
The defence overall was at fault in both the goals. Sunderland also had a chance or two after we scored our third. The defence did show a little vulnerability in long balls whipped diagonally from the right. Hopefully we sort it out before the big games come by.
Hleb- The best midfielder in the game. Looked very creative and looked the most possible source for a goal in the game. Nicked possession from his opponent very neatly. He seems to have finally put his disastrous end to last season behind him. Looked very comfortable on either wing and has a great understanding with both our full backs. 7.5/10
Flamini- Was not really called upon to do much since Sunderland hardly pressed. Did well in breaking up some attacks. Could have been sent off like McShane for a similar challenge. 6/10
Fabregas- His passing was not upto his usual standards. Lotta misplaced passes and did not control the game like usual. Sunderland midfield closed him down well enough to not allow him shoot any thunderbolts. 6/10
Diaby– On another day, he would have scored two goals. Found it difficult to get involved in the game. Has a really good shot about him, but struggles on the left hand side. 5.5/10
Adebayor– Is finally looking the part of a holding striker for which he was bought. Some very good chest controls and ball control in the box. Should have scored in the end, but that’s Ade. 6.5/10
Van Persie- Easily the best player on the pitch. Not only for the two goals but his general involvement in the game was good. Took all his opportunities well. His second goals was a good striker’s finish. A thundering free kick, a good shot from long distance and a couple of shots just wide makes him my man of the match. 7.5/10
A special word for Theo. Have been very critical of him. But played with great confidence today. Set up the third goal today and unlucky to not score himself. His pace can allow Arsenal to play on the break. He just needs to improve his decision making and he will be fine.