Arsenal Player Ratings: MOTM played on the Left Side | Boys Did us Proud!

An almost perfect first half and dogged second one were just not enough to take all three points.

After a disciplined start in which the Foxes were given the initiative, Arsenal started to venture forward and soon we were in front. A fine throughball by Ceballos finds Saka who then finds Auba with a measured and deadly cross past the Leicester box. 1-0 to the Arsenal.

The Foxes are rattled and we produce a couple of good chances for the as always hard working Lacazette. He should have taken one of them to give us that all important second goal cushion; but as he didn’t we knew the second half would be hard. The visitors were slightly better in that half, even though they did not create much. Arteta tried to change the momentum of the game by making some substitutions and putting fresh legs on the pitch… but then Eddie gets a very harsh red card and we have to play 10 v 11 for at least 15 minutes.

This proves too much and the Foxes equalize soon with a dollop of offsite-luck through the most-fox-like-looking person on earth. After that we hold out for a point and the boys can be proud of themselves.

Player Ratings:

Martinez: 8 – solid, king in the air, and a good understanding between him and his CBs.

Tierney: 8 – solid, full of energy and intensity in his game. Final ball in the box always looks promising but a little bit more composure is still needed. A joy to watch though and truly un-droppable for Arteta now.

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Luiz: – 7.5 – led the team and read the game so well for almost the entirematch.

Mustafi: 7.5 – fought like a tiger and seems to feel at home next to Luiz.

Bellerin: 7.5 – much improved attacking play and unlucky not to have an assist to his name due to Laca’s aerial scoring limitations.

Xhaka: 7.5 – worked his socks off against a strong Leicester midfield.

Ceballos: 8 – same as Xhaka – with whom he forms a good partnership now – but extra half point for his fine throughball for Auba’s goal.

Auba: 9 – MOTM sublime team game and he scored the only goal. Great support to his left-sided defenders and just such a great leader to have in the team.

Laca: 6 – worked his socks off but did not fulfill the first line of his job description.

Saka: 8 – created chances and chaos in the Foxes defence and a very fine assist to boot.

Subs: none of them played long enough to score them fairly, and the reduction to ten men strongly influenced their ability to help us protect/extend the winning position we had.

By TotalArsenal.

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35 Responses to Arsenal Player Ratings: MOTM played on the Left Side | Boys Did us Proud!

  1. allezkev says:

    My feelings very quickly, Eddie rash tackle, red card, but why did VAR have to look at it 15 times and then bottle it by leaving it up to the ref, who then saw it slowed right down, shambolic officiating. Compounded by the equaliser which I thought was offside, but I guess that didn’t fit the narrative. Kavanagh is a very average referee, he let the Leicester centre backs kick our players for 90 minutes and then booked Mustafi for bugger all.

    Tierney put over a succession of quality crosses but they were all cleared because none of our attackers had the guile to attack the near post.

    Arteta summed it up for me when he said that you have to kill teams when you’ve got them down, and we didn’t, and therefore we paid the price.

    Disappointed but there’s still so much to be optimistic about with everything we’re currently witnessing.

  2. njk84sg says:

    We were mugged by the accidental boot to the head by Vardy and the equaliser is offside as the Leicester player clearly touched the ball before Vardy scored.

    But we did not score a second goal, so it was the fault of the team not to put the game to bed. Dogged teamwork, but we need more against spuds.

  3. Gunners forever, it was just an advantage of 11 men that enabled leicester to equalise otherwise things wont have been good

  4. Jim Readings says:

    Standard of refereeing in this country is not fit for purpose.Our many English refs officiated at the last World Cup?.
    None.

  5. TotalArsenal says:

    I didnt see any menace in the tackle, Kev, and it all happened so quick. A yellow card yes but red was uncalled for. It is another example of how teams are allowed to rough our players up constantly but we get the cards for doing the same.

    Good point about Tierney’s crosses needing to be met by our strikers. Yet I think the difference with Saka’s crosses is that he looks were the players are and then delivers the ball into their space more regularly.

    Leicester are a good side and we kept them quiet for most of the game and the boys gave a lot. Indeed so much to be optimistic about.

  6. TotalArsenal says:

    How is life in Singapore, 84?

  7. TotalArsenal says:

    Yes Jim it is poor.

  8. allezkev says:

    In real time Total yes I agree with you, it just looked like an accident, Eddie was a bit rash a bit too keen and initially the referee agreed, therefore he gave the yellow, but Stockley Park wanted their pound of flesh and when the incident is slowed down, Sam Peckinpah’ish, then it looks dangerous.

    I thought after one slowed down replay that Eddie was off, VAR had about 15 replays and wouldn’t decide, so they made Kavanagh go to the monitor and that kind of forced his hand, he’s a bang average referee but VAR hung him out to dry.

    Now if VAR had looked 15 times at the Vardy kick at Mustafi, then that would have been red, I’ve seen it from different angles slowed down and whilst initially I gave him the benefit of the doubt, I think in retrospect that it was deliberate and he should have been sent off.

    Also, how many times did VAR look at the equaliser, I thought he looked offside even before they put on the lines, but that was quickly done, which I thought was dodgy and I’ve not changed my mind on that.

    But we’re dealing with Riley here and he wasn’t going to allow us to push for a CL spot was he, not if it threatened his little darlings Man Utd. It’s all so bent it’s untrue, but the media are complicit I’m afraid and we have very few friends there or at the FA…

  9. allezkev says:

    According to some stats I’ve seen, Arsenal are the dirtiest team in the Premier League!

  10. TotalArsenal says:

    It stinks, Kev, that is for sure. But we have to move on and learn to deal with it. Laca should have put one of his chances away and then it would have been a different second half and possibly outcome.

  11. GunnerN5 says:

    Boy oh boy – how can two different teams show up in two different halves?

    Its easy to be critical of the officials but we should have had it wrapped up in the first half when we were so dominant and had a half a dozen good scoring opportunities.

    The red card to Nketiah was unfortunate but fully justified at any speed, but that was not changed the game – the game changed at the beginning of the second half the question is – why dd it change?

    I’m not being critical of the views of any of our posters – it’s just that the two halves were so starkly different – and we’ve seen that before – on many occasions.

    Arteta will have to take this into consideration during his half time talks – the team did not display the same dominance and desire in the second half and that needs to be sorted.

    It would be interesting to see opinions of the player rating in each half – It may be available on line – but I’ve never checked.

  12. TotalArsenal says:

    The intensity was high in the first half, and I don’t think we can play like that for 90 minutes right now. So we had to sit back a bit and invite pressure, but the boys did okay and gave their all, so I would not score them any different between the halves. Part of the problem is that we rely heavily on Xhaka and there is no like for like replacement, so he has to play game after game and at the end of games he starts to tire a bit. Torreira tries to step up and in but he is clearly not there yet. The youngsters do well but in a game like this we need an experienced midfielder to see us through (like Flamini or the little Mozart used to do). Cazorla would have been ideal for this…

  13. GunnerN5 says:

    Total, there was a distinct change in the second half and Leicester were the dominant team in the second and they must have been equally as tired as our players. Whereas we were constantly on
    the front foot and pressing Leicester every time they had the ball it was the reverse situation in the second half – and it leaves me bemused and disappointed?

    Did we change tactics, did we lose our aggression, did we change our formation, did we run out of gas? Or were Leicester simply the better team?. Obviously the red card gave them a greater advantage but we were fortunate that they didn’t score ahead of that.

    I’m just groping as we were top class in the first half and became an ordinary team in the second.

  14. Wedge says:

    No score for kola seems harsh

  15. TotalArsenal says:

    Ah well spotted, Wedge. I was waiting for someone to do it! 😉

  16. TotalArsenal says:

    I can see where you are coming from, GN5. I think it is about the psychology of leading and chasing the game after a break. It so often happens like this. We remain a work in progress in that respect.

  17. TotalArsenal says:

    I guess my big point is that we play a game every few days and it is hard to keep up this sort of intensity for 90 minutes. And we should not forget that Leicester are a good team and ahead of us right now.

  18. allezkev says:

    I’m not sure here, but I reckon a home game vs Crystal Palace is going to take less out you than an away game at Wolves and maybe that had an effect, you know, we just ran out of gas?

    Arteta is potentially a coaching genius, but he isn’t there yet, he’s still learning and the job of making subs I believe is not just about the tactical alone, even if that is the intention, there is an element of luck involved, sometimes it works for you sometimes it doesn’t?
    You bring on Lacazette and Willock at Molyneux and you’re a bloody genius.

    Leicester arguably have a better team than Arsenal, they did well to soak up all we could throw at them in the 1st 45 and it isn’t really just about Arsenal missing chances, Leicester are quite good at defending, then in the 2nd 45 we seemed to drop a level and they dominated us more than anyone else other than Man City since the restart.

    We now have a bit of a breather, Aubameyang and Xhaka and Ceballos need it, they all need it, maybe Arteta needs it, it must be mentally draining preparing for a game every 3 days, even Liverpool and Man City have stumbled. There’s 4 points covering Burnley , Arsenal, Wolves and Sheffield Utd with Tottenham hovering another point further below but with a game in hand. I can’t see any of that group breaking into the top five, which could be four if City win their appeal, so we’re battling it out for the UEFA Cup (I prefer the original title) and we need, really need a positive result at the Toilet Bowl on Sunday. It’s a seminal game on so many levels, NLD, europe, 1st visit to the new stadium, The Septic One, it’s all there, the drama, the pathos, the intrigue, a six pointer, 90 minutes of stress, I can’t wait… 😄

  19. Jnyc says:

    TA, I agree with all of your ratings. I thought Mustafi was excellent battling Vardy and all over, almost Koscielny-like. Bellerin seemed extra motivated going forward, hmmm, I wonder why, all of a sudden? …

    Also, no matter what’s happening in extension talks for Auba, he’s really giving his all for the team, working very hard, tracking back. I still can’t imagine why no other big clubs tried to get him from Dortmund at that time. We were lucky. Teams pay 120 mil now for far inferior players, let alone a proven star striker. Also let me recommend this YouTube Arsenal video, very high quality stuff Bergkampesquers will appreciate.

    An excellent discussion of Arsenal the best I’ve seen, not just Partey.
    The channel: the gooner talk.
    Title: Who is Thomas Partey? Ft Graham Hunter. The tactical breakdown podcast

  20. TotalArsenal says:

    Kev, I love Laca’s work rate and general involvement in our attack, but had he scored one of his more than decent opportunities we most likely would have won the game and the second half would have seen different tactics from Mikel. It was a tough call for him and yes he will learn from it too.

    Laca’s first chance was not taken cool enough for a CF. He snapped at it rather than placing it in a corner. The second big chance was the header and he really took that chance like a midfielder who never scores with his head. I just feel that Eddie would likely have scored one of them, and Arteta will have a choice to make for Sunday…

  21. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers J, maybe you should summary the content of the podcast for us in a post? 🙂

  22. TotalArsenal says:

    summarise the content and give your own view… just a thought

  23. allezkev says:

    Yes Total, Lacazette despite his goal at Wolves is still struggling for sharpness in front of goal, the offside goal really annoyed me as he could see right across the line of the defence, he’s an experienced international striker but he drifted offside and as you say Eddie probably would have taken one of those chances.

    Did you see the Tarkowski challenge yesterday, a leg breaker, but all he got was a yellow card and no VAR review, typical double standards by the PGMOL, but no comment on Match of the Day yesterday evening?

    I guess it didn’t suit the narrative and strangely no mention of the fact that Arsenal have been penalised with the most yellow and red cards this season, I mean isn’t that fact newsworthy. But then maybe it would mean having to ask awkward questions like why that is, when Arsenal are perceived still as such a soft touch?

  24. njk84sg says:

    A strong 6 for Kola will do him good, TA.

    We are not preparing for a reduced normal, meaning back to the pre-lockdown, and still with precautions. We are preparing for election tomorrow, so it will be an interesting one.

  25. njk84sg says:

    We are now**

  26. allezkev says:

    FIFA has taken full operational control of VAR’s, world football’s governing body has informed all associations.

    Mike Riley, your boys are going to take one hell of a hiding because Arsene Wenger is coming for you!

  27. TotalArsenal says:

    LOL, Kev. What goes round comes round! 😀

  28. TotalArsenal says:

    Seven for Kola, 84.

    Good to hear things are getting back to a certain normal for you.

  29. allezkev says:

    Gotta say that Mason Greenwood certainly knows how to finish, he’s got one hell of a shot on him.

  30. allezkev says:

    Another penalty for the PGMOL favourites.

  31. njk84sg says:

    Gutted for Eddie. The FA is always anti Arsenal and that will only continue. Unless Mike Riley quits his underlings will continue to go against us.

  32. TotalArsenal says:

    Game was killed by that penalty decision, Kevinski. It was ridiculous and I switched off the game soone after. Yes that boy has a sting in his shot.

  33. allezkev says:

    The whole thing is just a shambles Total, why not have retired referees and a select group of trusted ex players doing the VAR and therefore taking our current refs out of the firing line?

    We now have a problem where Michael Oliver has been recently involved in two contentious penalty situations with Tottenham not least the VAR in the Bournemouth game (typical short sightedness by the PGMOL) and with that hanging over him, the scrutiny and the pressure Mourinho will exert, Oliver is coincidentally in the middle for this Sunday in the NLD.

    Does that not worry you, because it bloody well worries me…

    Is Oliver going to give Arsenal any close decisions in this match and if a Tottenham player falls in the box don’t be surprised, expect a penalty. Mourinho will heap the pressure on Oliver and will instruct his players to play act and dive with gay abandone safe in knowledge that Oliver might just crack.

  34. TotalArsenal says:

    Yep Kev, I worry about that too. I think this may well be a foul game altogether. Not looking fwd to it at all.

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