Arsenal 3-1 Sunderland: Player Ratings
Arsenal returned to winning ways in the Premier League with a 3-1 win against Sunderland at the Emirates. Goals from Joel Campbell, Olivier Giroud and Aaron Ramsey moved the Gunners up to second in the table, two points behind Leicester City with a Giroud own goal ensuring Sunderland denied Petr Cech a clean sheet.
Here are the player ratings from the game.
Petr Cech – 8/10
Assured and composed, it was an excellent outing from the experienced shotstopper. He made a couple of good saves to deny Fabio Borini and Steven Fletcher’s header from a corner. Overall, he was calm and his usual self but could not keep the clean sheet he needs to equal David James’s EPL record.
Hector Bellerin – 6/10
He was troubled by Van Aanholt late in the second half and almost granted him and Sunderland a way back into the game. But. fortunately for the right-back, the Sunderland player blasted his shot over the crossbar. He worked hard to help in attack but never found the right ball.
Per Mertesacker – 7/10
Cultured and solid at the back, the big man made it difficult for the likes of Borini and Fletcher to get past him. He never looked nervous coming up against Fletcher’s physicality and footwork on most occasions.
Laurent Koscielny – 6/10
Although Koscielny had suffered an injury last weekend against Norwich, he came back into the team and put in yet another aggressive and assured performance at the back. He made a few crucial headed clearances out of the box and, together with Mertesacker, kept the Sunderland attack in check.
Nacho Monreal – 7/10
He made some good marauding runs down the left wing but was not rewarded as his crossing was not up to the mark. However, the Spanish left-back was very good defensively. He did make up for Koscielny’s lapses in the second half.
Mathieu Flamini – 7/10
The experienced Arsenal man showed better tempo on the ball in the first half and played a wider sort of role in the second half as Wenger made changes. He was up against a disciplined midfield and did well to deny Toivonen and M’Vila space to channel their attack from the middle.
Aaron Ramsey – 8/10
The Welshman worked hard throughout the game and controlled the midfield alongside Flamini. He controlled the tempo of the game very well and always looked to play quick forward passes. He grabbed an assist for Giroud’s goal and then scored one himself in second half added time. Ramsey’s work rate meant that Sunderland’s midfielders could not pose a threat.
Mesut Ozil – 8/10
Ozil has been the best player at Arsenal this season and he showed exactly why. He was precise in his passing, finding his teammates with delicate touches. He played well for the most part and created the first goal of the game when he released Joel Campbell on the left side, who produced a cool finish into the Sunderland goal. Ozil looked like the player who could make the difference in the game and Wenger played him for the full 90 minutes.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – 6/10
The player returned from injury to make his first start and he seemed out of match practice. But short bursts of pace were enough to get him a tag of a fair performance. He was taken off near the hour mark as Wenger wanted to save him for the midweek tie against Olympiakos.
Joel Campbell – 8/10
Campbell showed why he can be a regular at the club. His decisive run and then a crisp finish gave Arsenal the lead in the game and the Costa Rican was in good form, linking up well with Ozil and Ramsey. His second goal for the Gunners will give him confidence to shine further.
Olivier Giroud – 7/10
Giroud was a frustrated figure for most of the first half. He was unfortunate to score the own goal near the half-time break. But he did not disappoint as he scored from a header from an Aaron Ramsey cross. He was marked well by the three central defenders of Sunderland.
Kieran Gibbs – 6/10
Gibbs came on for Joel Campbell with about 15 minutes to go. He was calm and composed, assured Arsenal of the win and was good going forward.
Theo Walcott – 6/10
He had little time on the pitch and was sharp and speedy. But he could not utilize the opportunities presented to him although he played a hand in Ramsey’s goal by holding up the ball in the box. A bit of game time did not cause him any trouble.
Calum Chambers – 6/10
He came on late in place of Olivier Giroud. He was seen playing on the right wing and also added cover for Bellerin.