Arsenal managed to keep the pressure on for a top four finish ahead of Liverpool yesterday with a 2-0 win against already relegated Sunderland. The team didn’t perform as well as they did against Stoke, but they were still able to get the all-important three points.
Petr Cech – 7.7
At 0-0, Cech helped Arsenal out a lot intervening before a ball met Defoe, as well as making a smart save from the striker later on in the first half. He also did very well to react quickly to a strange Monreal back-pass early in the second half, even though it resulted in an indirect free kick.
Rob Holding – 6.8
Holding seemed to have mixed fortunes yesterday, a highlight being him bringing the ball out of the back, exchanging passes with Ozil before getting a shot off. But the defender really should have opened the scoring on the stroke of half-time, with a free header from a corner.
Shkodran Mustafi – 6.7
Like his centre back partners, Mustafi wasn’t much of a commander at the back but got through the 90 minutes with a clean sheet. The German also could’ve made it 3-0 with a powerful header but, one of a catalogue of amazing Pickford saves, tipped the ball onto the bar.
Nacho Monreal – 6.5
After what was a quiet first half for the Spaniard, he introduced himself in the second period in almost the worst way possible. Not concentrating he played the ball back to Cech who was out of position and had to scramble back to prevent the ball going in.
Hector Bellerin – 6.5
Bellerin seemed to get forward well, but like so many times before, the end product was just lacking a bit. A prime example being the shot he ended up having which hit the side netting after taking too long to decide what to do.
Aaron Ramsey – 7.2
Ramsey was quite quiet but did shine on a couple of occasions going forward, slipping Alexis through after a good run and having a shot saved by Pickford after nice combination play with Ozil. This type of driving forward carried on in the second half with the Welshman getting a good shot off before being substituted due to injury.
Granit Xhaka – 8.2
After looking a tad frustrated in the first half, Xhaka continued to showcase just how good of a passer he is. Time and time again finding wide players, the Swiss international’s lofted passes finally paid off in the 72nd minute when he found Ozil deep in the box who assisted Sanchez’s opener. Xhaka was unlucky not to get on the scoresheet himself as he saw a well hit effort saved by Jordan Pickford.
Kieran Gibbs – 6.3
Yet again Gibbs failed to make any real impression on the game but he wasn’t terrible either. He did manage to get himself into good forward positions but nothing came of this.
Mesut Ozil – 8.4
Ozil was one of the better performers in what was a mostly frustrating game. He kept on creating chances (12 in total) despite having the door shut on him time and again, most impressively with his outside of the boot pass that was inches from meeting Ramsey in the box. The pass-master finally got his assist after being found by Xhaka and he expertly cushioned the ball across the six-yard box to put the ball on a plate for Sanchez’s first goal. The German also contributed defensively, recovering the ball for his team on four occasions.
Alexis Sanchez – 7.7
Alexis was back at it yesterday adding another two goals to his name. After having a goal unluckily chalked off because of a Giroud handball, the Chilean was pretty ineffective until the 72nd minute. Call it striker’s instinct if you will but Sanchez found himself in front of a virtually empty net for both goals, as he finished Mesut Ozil’s pass across the six-yard box and then making sure the rebound from Giroud’s shot was scored after Pickford did well to save the initial effort.
Olivier Giroud – 6.4
It just didn’t seem to be Giroud’s night for the most part, from unintentionally redirecting Sanchez’s shot with his hand after eight minutes to have the goal scrapped, to sloppy link up play, the Frenchman just wasn’t able to follow up his form from the weekend. However, if it weren’t for Giroud, Arsenal wouldn’t have doubled their lead as the striker’s acrobatic effort kept the ball alive which was spectacularly saved before Alexis turned the rebound home.
Danny Welbeck – 6.3
Thankfully Welbeck made a bit of an impression almost as soon as he came on, bringing Pickford to yet another save but that was the only notable thing he did once on the pitch.
Alex Iwobi 6.6
Iwobi seemed to get himself about a bit more that the other subs as he popped up tracking back as well as getting a couple of shots off too.
Theo Walcott 6.2
Having the least time on the pitch Walcott didn’t do much to write about.