That was one of our best games, and not just because of a good second half or that we played against a poor Newcastle United. It was such a good game because we had control over all proceedings from the start. We lacked quality in our final balls and finishing in the first half, but Arsenal were dominant in all areas and it was only a matter of time before they would start scoring. The Magpies were poor in midfield and attack but they know how to defend and Arsenal just had to keep going at them and cracks would eventually appear. When they did the boys finished well and they could even have scored a few more.
Leno: 7 – kept his gloves clean and had nothing noteworthy to do.
Tierney: 7.5 – good game in all areas of the pitch. Couple of fab crosses and tenacious in defence and the one to ones.
Luiz: 7 – not much to do in defence but he formed a calm and organised partnership with Holdingho all game long. Really ambitions at our corners but just lacked a bit of composure after making the good runs.
Holding: 7.5– a very tidy shift from Robbo. Solid in the air and on the ground and did not allow any attackers any time on the ball.
Soares: 7.5 – started off a bit rusty but once he got into the game Cedric was very effective, both in defence and attack. Great determination and control for his assist and he also put some very sharp crosses in.
Xhaka: 7.5 – absolute ball magnet through his great positioning and anticipation skills. So much went through him in this game. First signs of a good partnership with Partey in the making.
Partey: 7.5 – less involved in the first half but even then he was positionally strong with great protection of the defence. More involved in the second half in which he had a great assist and a pre-assist (for which he gets an extra half point).
Auba: 8 – MOTM at times painful to watch on the ball and a lack of form and confidence can clearly drag down even the best, but a superb first goal with his left made an end to it; and his second goal followed soon. Is Auba back? Well without those goals he would not have received more than a six…
ESR: 8 – MOTM a great battling performance and an extra whole point for his assist for the Saka goal. That was the best moment of the game. His link up play energises the team and makes others better footballers.
Saka: 8 – MOTM good run and fine finish for his goal for which he gets an extra point. So many good attacking contributions during the game and always a joy to watch.
Laca: 7 – worked his socks off and created passing opportunities and space for others all game long. But no goals or assists which will frustrate him a bit.
Elneny: 6 – tidy job.
Willian: 6 – tried to keep it going but without much impact.
Martinelli: – not long enough on the pitch.