First 15 minutes of this game were awful. We showed the Champions far too much respect and let them simply bully us. But then we did a bit of that to them with pressing them high and forcing mistakes… and soon we were 2-1 up. I was so pleased with this mentality turnaround. After that Pool tried to get a goal back but the boys fought like lions and the old and experienced players showed us why Arteta believes in them, whilst the youngsters played with guts and desire to succeed in Mikel’s revolution. In short, a very good preparation for our FA semi-final v Man City and three precious points in the League.
Martinez: 8.5 – MOTM a few nervous moments early on but after that as safe as a house. One word: Presence!
Tierney: 8 – nobody messes with this wee beastie. One word: tenacity.
Luiz: 8.5 – MOTM beast in the air and led the defence throughout. One word: experience.
Holding: 8.5 – MOTM beast in the air and keen to fill the gaps left in defence. One word: omnipresent.
Saka: 6 – worked hard to help the defence but struggled to get into our attacking game. One word: adaptable.
Cedric Soares: 6: see Saka. One word: adapting.
Torreira: 6 – struggled a bit with the tempo of the game but worked hard to cover the defence. One word: progressing.
Xhaka: 8 – a few mistakes but there is a reason Arteta just cannot sub him and he was awesome on the last 30 minutes. One word: warrior.
Nelson: 7 – one extra point for the way he took his goal. Youngsters assisting and scoring against top teams should never be underestimated. One word: coolheaded.
Pepe: 5 – the man is so out of place in Arteta’s team(s). A wonderful left foot when he gets a chance to use it but he is mostly away with the fairies. One word: lost.
Laca: 8 – one extra point for taking that goal and his work rate was admirable. One word: busy.