Arsenal – Chelsea: player ratings – Gibbs by miles my Man of the Match!

A very disappointing result that will need further analysing in the next few days, but here are my player ratings for now:

Mannone: not much to do during the game and not at fault for the first Chelsea goal. The second goal was conceded mostly as a result of Koscielny’s bad timing, but the goalkeeper should still have dived towards the corner with more conviction. 6.5

Jenkinson: super, positive performance today with a number of good crosses in and defensively very sound throughout the game. He was always willing to go forward and seldom or never gave the ball away. 8

Thomas Vermaelen: he did not do much wrong today and made a few good interventions, as we have come to aspect from the Belgian warrior. However, as a captain I found him a little bit too quiet again. 6.5

Koscielny: he will want to forget this game as quickly as possible. He should have been stronger against Torres for the first goal and the timing for his intervention from the Mata free-kick that led to the second goal, was not good enough. He lost the ball a few times when under pressure during the game as well. 4

Gibbs: superb performance. Confident, applying good pressure, winning the ball back all the time, and pushing on constantly. Great link-up play with Podolski until the latter was substituted. My Man of the Match by a mile. 8.5

Ramsey: good start on right side with winning balls well and keeping possession. He did ok when taking over from Diaby but was unable to help the midfield gain control over that all important area. At the start of the second half he seemed to tire again (as he did against MC) and a couple of passes went missing. His substitution made sense. 6.5

Arteta: decent first half in which he fought hard to get control over the midfield (together with other midfielders). In the second half he seemed to tire initially, only to come back strong towards the end. He lost the ball under medium pressure at one point in the second half, which led to TV having to intervene by conceding a free-kick – from which the second goal was scored. Not his best performance but still ok. 7

Cazorla: was not given much space in midfield by the hard working and disciplined Ramires and Mikel, and did often not get enough support from our other midfielders. As a result he was isolated, especially in the first half. In the second half he became more involved, but unfortunately he did not have his shooting boots on, and he should have done better in the last few minutes of the second half. Good lay-off though to Giroud, who should have done better. 6

Diaby: started off ok but not long enough on the pitch to rate him. Such a shame he went off injured, as we really missed him.

Gervinho: energetic, could be found all over the pitch helping his team, and full of confidence. He showed great movement for his first goal, with a good first touch and clinical finish as well. He produced a good ball for Cazorla late in the game from which the latter should have at least hit the target, but he did manage to be off-site a few times too many. Very close to my Man of the Match. 8

Podolski: he had some good moments but was absent a lot during the game. His link-up play with Gibbs is getting better and better and he almost scored with a header from a difficult angle (from a Gibbs cross). 6

The Ox: he had periods of good wing-play with a nice variety to his crossing/putting the ball in the box. One of them led to Gervinho’s goal, which was very well spotted by him. 7.5

Giroud and Theo did not play long enough to give them a fair rating, although Giroud should have done better with the chance he was given by Cazorla in extra time. Theo had no impact.

Total Arsenal.

Man City – Arsenal: in-depth player ratings


What a great team performance by Arsenal on Sunday!

Here are my individual player ratings:


He was at fault for the goal, although if he had stayed on his line, he would not have been able to save Lescott’s header anyway. He did, however, misjudge the flight of the ball. Fine saves from Aguero’s and Dzeko’s shots on target. He acted calm and professional with all that was thrown at him throughout the game, which is very impressive for someone with so little PL experience: 7.5.


I must admit I had my doubts whether he would be ready for the first team at the start of the season, but boy has he been good until now! At the start of the game he was not tight enough on Aguero, allowing the Argentinean to have an unchallenged shot on goal (which Mannone saved well). After that, he had a solid, energetic, fighting performance, both in defence and upfront; including a fine ball in for Podolski at the halfway point of the first half. 8.


He started rusty, with a couple of wayward balls from defence into the midfield. However, as the game went on we saw gradually the return of the Koscielny we rated so highly last season. Towards the end of the second half, he had simply become unbeatable with a fighting performance and desire to win of the highest order. He took his chance to score our only goal as a proper striker, and his strike could easily turn out to be vital towards the end of the season. Absolute phenomenal second half: 8.5.

Mertesacker – Man of the Match:

Unbelievably good performance: his positioning is just so good. He sniffs out the danger before anybody else and was so many times at the right place at the right time. He brings calmness to the team I have not seen since the departure of Sol Campbell: an absolute rock in every aspect: 9.


Once again, a committed and energetic performance by Gibbs. Especially during the start of the game, we saw again that the most important area for him to work on is putting in accurate crosses and passes, once he has done all the hard work to get himself in a promising position on the left wing. But his defensive work was very good today and he made a very fine and crucial block on Aguero at the start of the second half: 7.5.


A very fine, yet often less visible performance by our Basque Beast. He does the simple things so well and reads the game with great expertise. Just like Mertesacker did in defence, Arteta brought calm and shape to our midfield. He also made a few fine passes today, notably the one to Gibbs in 13th minute with which the young Englishman should have done better: 8.


Cazorla simply conducted our attacking efforts during most of the game today. He plays with such ease and composure and always with a smile on his face. His vision/ability to see attacking pictures/options in front of him is fantastic, and this combined with his technical ability, makes him a joy to watch. He made David Silva look pedestrian in comparison at times. He had a number of shots on target, and the one in the 82nd minute could/should have been a goal but Hart saved brilliantly: 8.5.


Abou had a good game, especially in the first half. His added physical strength and impressive timing were a necessity in this game, and he helped out our defence many times. He did not contribute as much going forward this time, but there was less need for it, as Ramsey was effectively an extra midfielder in our team. I thought he collaborated really well with Arteta: 7.5.


Aaron had a fantastic first half and second part of the second half. At the start of the second half he lost the ball a few times unnecessarily, and he did seem a bit tired. However, his general performance was fantastic. His through-ball to Gervinho in the 16th minute was exquisite, and he made many positive runs and passes. He oozed confidence and was calm and full of desire, and he worked his socks off. His energy, drive and composure in the last 25 minutes of the game was vital for us in terms of turning the game round: 8.


In this game, Lukas was less dominant and ‘present’ compared to previous ones. He worked hard enough and helped out our defence a lot, but there was not the usual goal-threat coming from him this time: 7.


I thought he worked unbelievably hard today but lacked a bit of composure to end up on the score-sheet once again. Including today’s game, he scored three goals in his last three games and that is very impressive. Today, he could and possibly should have added another goal to his tally, but it was not to be. At the end of the game, he showed some fine footwork with his undoubtedly very tired legs at the edge of the MC box, which got him in a prime shooting position. Unfortunately, he misplaced his shot horribly, and he also did not see that Giroud was in a perfect position to score the winner. But, at least he made the runs and got himself in dangerous positions regularly, and his all-over contribution to the team was immense: 7.5

Please note:

As a general rule, I don’t score substitutes unless they have had at least 30 minutes on the pitch. If it’s less than that, I don’t believe it is possible to judge a player’s performance fairly/accurately.


What do you make of my ratings, and would you like to add some of your own observation? …. Be my guest!


Total Arsenal.