Arsenal 3 – 1 Chelsea
Well that was a refreshing game and a great result for the boys. I felt strongly that Arsenal would have a good game, but to see us actually taking the bull by its horns and converting our chances was just bliss. We will do a bit of analysis of the game in the next few days but, for now, here are my player ratings:
Leno: 8 – Close contender for MOTM with that superb penalty safe at a crucial moment in the game. We did much less of the playing out from the back torture and that seems to suit Leno well. Really enjoyed the protection of the tall, no-nonsense CBs in front of him.
Bellerin: 7.5 – some good interceptions and clearances and a constant support for the attack. His final ball in an attacking move remains below par, and had this been better we would have had one or two more goals (just ask Martinelli! 🙂 ). Captained the team well.
Mari: 8 – solid in the air and good positioning – seemed to work well with his fellow team mates and offered presence on the pitch. Extra half point for his discipline to stay on the pitch after being awarded a yellow card early on.
Holding: 8 – played with that real determination not to concede a goal and to give it to the Chavskis. Offered real presence on the pitch and this was one of his best games. Just let him be a classic CB and Rob will be okay.
Tierney: 8.5 – awesome performance from start to finish. We have not had such a good FB on the left since Ashley Cole strutted his stuff for us. Just such a determination about him and nothing of his energy is wasted; Kieran is Mr Efficiency in all that he does, almost menacingly robotic – The Terminator.
Elneny: 7.5 – Elneny was in his element. He is the nr.2 central midfielder. Don’t ask him to make play, just ask him to be tidy and let others shine. Such a player is of course key in midfield and today Mohammed had an understated good game.
Xhaka: 8.5 – Extra point for the goal. Quietly directed the game and helped us to maintain shape throughout.
Saka: 8.5 – Brilliant game with an extra point for his bullseye dart. This boy is so good.
Martinelli: 8.5 MOTM – he had no goal or assist but he could have had with better service, especially from Bellerin. But his performance was special in as much as he gave Arsenal its soul back. I believe we would not have won this game without him. Like Tierney, the Brazilian just does not give up and is very determined and efficient in his efforts. A joy to watch, our heartbeat.
ESR: 7.5 – really helped with connecting the lines of midfield and attack, and defence and midfield. Industrious and at times too keen perhaps, but he added energy to our game as long as he was on the pitch. Just don’t forget to breathe, Emile.
Laca: 8 – with an extra point for converting the pen – there was a lot of weight on Alex’s shoulder at that moment. Industrious and really enjoyed the free attacking role surrounded by the eager puppies. Should have added the fourth goal when gifted a golden chance.
Willock: 6 – struggled to settle in and take over adequately from ESR.
Pepe: 5 – struggled to settle in and help the team to see out the game.
Mustafi: not long enough on the pitch to make a judgement.