Arsenal 1-0 West Ham United: Player ratings from the Gunners' crucial victory | Premier League 2019-20
- Arsenal secured an important 1-0 win over relegation-bound West Ham. Here's how Arteta's men fared.
We’re now entering the crunch phase for the top 4 race. Several teams including Arsenal are gunning for the two spots behind Liverpool and Manchester City, with only 11 games to play. Arsenal came into this game knowing that nothing other than a win would be good enough. As for West Ham United, their potential Premier League survival rested on the result of today’s match.
You’d be surprised to know that this game was between two teams at opposite ends of the table. The number of chances each team had was even as both teams fought for every inch. In the end, the first and only goal of the game was scored by Alexandre Lacazette in the 80th minute as he smashed home from close range.
Here are Arsenal’s player ratings from their 1-0 win over West Ham.
Bernd Leno: 7/10
In his last outing against Olympiakos, many blamed the German for the Greek side's extra-time winner. By the end of today’s 90 minutes, all was forgiven as Leno made several crucial saves to keep Arsenal in the game. In a good performance, the keeper made six saves.
It’s hard to understand Mikel Arteta’s thinking behind playing Sokratis as a right-back, especially with Hector Bellerín on the bench. From the first minute, the Greek international showed why he’s not a right-back as he was constantly found out of position. But like the warrior he is, Sokratis ensured he wouldn’t be a weakness for the Gunners, regularly matching Antonio and Aaron Creswell for pace.
David Luiz: 6.5/10
In recent games, David Luiz has taken up the responsibility of being a defensive leader. Once again, the Brazilian was a rock at the back, ordering his teammates around in regards to their positioning. In another solid performance, the 32-year-old made seven clearances, one interception and won two aerial duels.
Pablo Mari: 6/10
Today, the Spaniard got a real introduction to English football. At times the 26-year-old couldn’t handle the physicality of Michail Antonio, as the Englishman bested him for pace and strength severally. It was a true baptism of fire for Mari as he made eight clearances and three aerial duels.
Bukayo Saka: 6.5/10
Saka has been the one redeeming feature of Arsenal’s dire campaign, as the 18-year-old has had an amazing breakthrough season. However, in the first half, the youngster was unable to connect with one of his crosses, regularly hitting the first man. It was in the second half that the left-back started to affect the game in the final third with a few mazy runs to destabilise West Ham’s defence.
Granit Xhaka: 5.5/10
From the opening minutes, the Swiss international was giving the ball away in dangerous positions. As the supposedly more defensive-minded midfielder of the pivot, it was Xhaka’s job to screen the back four and plug the holes, however, time and time again the Hammers found ample amounts of space in behind Arsenal’s midfield. The 27-year-old misplaced 11 passes in a performance to forget.
Dani Ceballos: 7/10
Another week, another well-rounded performance from the Spaniard. Ceballos was not only a key figure in Arsenal’s progression up the pitch, but he also contributed to the break-up of several West Ham attacks. The 23-year-old completed 86 passes, created one chance, made five tackles and six interceptions.
Nicolas Pepe: 5.5/10
Under Arteta, the Ivorian has gradually begun to showcase more consistent performances. Apart from a few flicks and tricks, Pepe didn’t seem himself today as he struggled to influence Arsenal’s attacking play.
Mesut Ozil: 6/10
Up against a low-block West Ham team, the German struggled to find the pass to unlock their defence. Today, Ozil must be credited for his work off the ball today as well as on it. The attacking midfielder constantly found himself cutting off passing lanes and chasing West Ham’s midfield. After putting in such a shift, he was able to retain composure in the six-yard box as he cushioned down a header for Lacazette to score from.
Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang: 5/10
It’s all but confirmed that Aubameyang is now seen as an inside forward by Arteta. Alongside Nketiah, the 30-year-old looked to play off the striker as he cut inside. In a rare outing, Aubameyang put in a poor performance where he constantly gave the ball away and struggled to get the better of his opposing right-back.
Eddie Nketiah: 5.5/10
In what has become a normality, Eddie Nketiah started another PL game for the Gunners. Unfortunately, the youngster didn’t have the best of performances as he was unable to influence any phase of the game.
Alexandre Lacazette: 7/10
The Frenchman has been heavily criticised for his lack of goals this season, but in today’s game, he netted the vital winner. It was an emphatic finish by the 28-year-old who was set up by the delicate Mesut Ozil. The striker’s hold up play was refreshing to see in a time where the Gunners needed to hold onto the ball as much as possible.
Reiss Nelson: 6/10
As he proved on Monday night, Nelson can affect games from the flanks. Against West Ham, Nelson didn’t have that much time to influence the game offensively, but he definitely contributed defensively.
Hector Bellerín: N/A
Despite not starting the game, the Spaniard was brought on to sure up the defence, turning it into a back five. He made a few vital interceptions and clearances in a time where the Gunners had their backs to the wall.Published 07 Mar 2020, 23:18 IST