Arsenal 4-0 Watford: Player Ratings

alexis sanche
Sanchez performance against Watford was there for all to see

A re-energized third-placed Arsenal side thrashed Watford by four goals to keep up the pressure on the top two teams in the Premier League. Two goals each in both halves were enough to see off the struggling visitors.

Alexis Sanchez opened the scoring for the hosts inside 5 minutes and Alex Iwobi scored his second goal in as many games to put the Gunners 2-0 ahead at half-time. Hector Bellerin’s shot was deflected into the net at the start of the second period, whereas Theo Walcott scored at 90 minutes to get the Gunners a comfortable 4-0 victory.

The win puts Arsenal at 58 points, 3 points behind Tottenham and 8 points behind leaders Leicester City. Watford, meanwhile, slipped to their fourth defeat in a row in the league, dropping to the 14th spot on the table with 37 points.

Here is how the players from both sides fared:

Arsenal

David Ospina – 8

The Colombian shotstopper was very well protected by the outfield players throughout the game. He had very little to do and when he did have to make the efforts, he did so with full confidence and made the saves.

His most important contribution coming in the 70th minute when Troy Deeney found himself in the box, where he turned and shot at goal. The shot was well saved by Ospina and he kept the cleansheet.

Hector Bellerin – 8

The Spaniard was brilliant throughout the game on all fronts. He went past the Watford defenders on numerous occasions when going forward and defended well with his speed when required to defend.

He did not let many crosses get into the box from his flank. Bellerin managed to get a goal for himself when he linked up with Sanchez on the right in the second half and shot at Gomes’ goal, which was deflected into the net by Watson.

Gabriel Paulista – 7

The Brazilian was solid at the back and seems to have developed a good understanding with his partner Koscielny. He did not allow much space to Ighalo in the first half, but was at fault when Deeney got space to turn and get his shot away.

During the second half, when Amrabat came on, he did look rusty at times, but did well to protect the keeper. In the end it was an assured performance from the defender.

Laurent Koscielny – 7

The Frenchman was well tested throughout the game by the likes of Deeney and Amrabat. But he delivered when he was required to. He made some crucial interceptions and did not allow much space for the strikers to work with. He was quick to react to the runs made by Deeney and Ighalo. He had a good game along with his backline.

Nacho Monreal – 7

The leftback was very quiet when going forward in the first half. But as the game progressed, he made some darting overlaps to create chances for his team. His defending was up to the mark whenever Amrabat and Nyom had the ball. His clearance off the line in the early stages of the second half was crucial in keeping the cleansheet intact.

Francis Coquelin – 8

The Frenchman had a good game in the middle of the park. He broke up the Watford attacks regularly and got the ball back inside a few passes which restricted the visitors. He was quick to intercept and make tackles in the middle of the park, and won the possession back for the Gunners regularly. His no-look pass to Sanchez for Arsenal’s second goal was brilliant.

Mohamed Elneny – 7

He did well throughout the game in the middle for Arsenal. He was solid at the heart of midfield as he broke up the play and retained possession for the hosts with assurity. His passing and link-up play with Ozil and Sanchez was also worth noticing.

mesut ozil
Ozil’s early pass to Campbell in the dying moments got Arsenal their fourth goal

Mesut Ozil – 8

After having been in the news for his comments on Arsenal messing up the title challenge, Ozil had to put in a shift for his side. And he did that with flying colours as he produced a wonderful performance.

His vision and passing was always at the best, and he showed the crowd some tricks on the ball which was loved by the Emirates faithfull. He had two good chances to score but could not finish. However, his early pass to Campbell in the dying moments got Arsenal their fourth goal.

Alexis Sanchez – 8

The Chilean was going through a rough spell recently, but he has turned it around. His performance against Watford was there for all to see. He started the game on the front foot as he scored inside the first five minutes.

As the game progressed, he got more involved and was energetic throughout. His tricks and skills were consistent and gave the Watford players a headache. He assisted Iwobi for the second goal as well.

Alex Iwobi – 7

It was a typical Alex Iwobi performance again, he started the game brightly and linked up well with Ozil and Alexis. He was always in control and played on the righter side of midfield.

His pass to Alexis led to the first goal. And he rounded that up by scoring his second in two games for the Gunners when Alexis found him inside the box with a precise pull-back. He was taken off prematurely and was replaced by Theo Walcott.

Danny Welbeck – 6

The English striker could not manage to make the most of the opportunities but he was good throughout. He was sharp and helped in the attacks. He had a good partnership with Iwobi and had plenty of chances throughout the game. He was taken off and replaced by Olivier Giroud.

Substitutes

Olivier Giroud – 6

The French striker replaced Welbeck and did not have much to do except the one time he directed an Ozil corner at goal, which was saved by Gomes.

Theo Walcott – 7

Walcott came on to replace Iwobi and got a late goal for himself. He was always involved in the game and played well.

Joel Campbell – 7

The Costa Rican came on for Alexis and did not have many chances to impress. But he assisted Walcott in the fourth goal for Arsenal.

Watford

Heurelho Gomes
Gomes tried enough and made some great saves throughout the game, but it was not enough

Heurelho Gomes – 5

The Brazilian could not stop the Gunners from scoring four goals in the end. He tried enough and made some great saves throughout the game, but it was not enough. He could only limit the damage. He was to be blamed for the first goal and he made a double save, but the ball was in the net. He could do nothing on the third goal but could have done better on the rest two.

Allan Nyom – 3

Nyom was poor throughout the game. He did try to make tackles and stop the attack, but it was to no avail. Effort was there, but the results were not. So it was a poor performance. He did get forward but could not get past Monreal.

And he allowed space to Campbell to cross for Walcott’s goal, and also to Iwobi throughout the first half. He was also to be blamed for Bellerin’s goal as his poor clearance went straight to the Arsenal man.

Sebastian Prodl – 5

The Austrian had a nervy first half, and could not clear the ball when required. He could not make a comeback in the second half, allowing more opportunities to the Gunners. He was slow to read the attacks of his opposition.

Craig Cathcart – 7

The defender had a good game at the back, not giving away anything. He made some crucial interceptions and maintained balance in defence. He helped in limiting the damage for the visitors.

Nathan Ake – 4

The Chelsea loanee had a decent outing on a day where he left too much space behind him when going forward, and the Arsenal players made the most of it. He was never visible in attack, failing to help his forward players. He was exposed by Sanchez and Bellerin and had a tough time.

Mario Suarez – 7

The former Atletico Madrid player was one of the best players on the pitch for Watford but his performance was probably overshadowed by the loss. He kept the ball away from Ozil on some occasions and did a good job of limiting the German. But his efforts went in vain.

Etienne Capoue – 3

The former Tottenham Hotspur man was poor during the game, unable to make challenges and get the ball away from his opponents. He could not shield the back four as he played out of position on the left flank. He had to be taken off after just 41 minutes for the poor show.

Almen Abdi – 4

The midfielder had a poor game in midfield. He tracked back in phases when the Hornets lost the ball and could not help in regaining possession. He was ineffective in attack as well and did not contribute in any way.

Ben Watson – 5

He had to be at his best if Watford were to get anything from the game. But he was missing from the game. He did offer some creativity to the Hornets but the lack of possession did not work in his favor. He provided some good crosses from set-plays which were not capitalized but his teammates.

Troy Deeney – 6

Deeney was the man of the match the last time Arsenal were beaten by Watford in the FA Cup. But he could not repeat the performance as the visitors did not have the possession. But the forward played well and was committed throughout the game. He was physical in his approach and did well to create some decent chances in the second half.

Odion Ighalo – 4

He was not even the shadow of the player he can be when at his best. He played only the first half for Watford and he struggled to make any chances. He could not get in behind the Arsenal defence. He was taken off at half-time and replaced by Amrabat.

Substitutes

Ikechi Anya – 6

He came on for Etienne Capoue in the 41st minute and did better than him. He did get forward on the left flank and put in a shift to deny Arsenal more goals.

Adlene Guedioura – 5

Guedioura came on for Abdi in the 69th minute and had some long range efforts at Ospina’s goal but did not trouble him very much.

Nordin Amrabat – 6

He came on at half-time to replace Odion Ighalo and did well given the possession stats of the visitors. He created some chances for his side, but those were not enough to even get a goal.

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