Arsenal vs Newcastle United - Player Ratings
Wojciech Szczesny : 7
Could do nothing about Ba’s goal because of the deflection off Wilshere. Did really well to keep off Marveaux and Tiote in the first half.
Bacary Sagna : 6
Moved forward well to support Oxlade-Chamberlain in the attack. Couldn’t cope with Obertan as he easily beat him. Sagna fouled him which led to Ba’s free kick and got his cross across for Marveaux’s goal. Looked a little out of sorts today.
Thomas Vermaelen : 6
Not exactly the rock at the back he once was as he wasn’t given a moment’s peace with Ba all over him. Regained his composure towards the end of the second half as most of the play was at the other end of the pitch.
Laurent Koscielny : 5
Stepped in for Mertesacker (out through illness). Failed to clear the ball as Obertan drilled his cross in and took a nick off him as it made its way to Marveaux for his goal. Never really was a force to be reckoned with and didn’t work well with Vermaelen.
Kieran Gibbs : 4
Showed lazy defending to let Ba run behind him for Newcastle’s third. Made a driving run into the Arsenal penalty box but wasted the opportunity by shooting wildly instead of trying to pick others who were in a better position. Tried linking up with Podolski but whenever he did he was just getting in the way of the German.
Mikel Arteta : 6
Kept his game tidy without doing anything spectacular although he didn’t make much of an impact through the proceedings. Tried to help out his rocky back four and left all the attacking to Wilshere and Cazorla.
Lukas Podolski : 8.5
Was devastating on the left, interchanged and linked up well with Walcott. His movement to win the ball and carry it forward was outstanding. Did well to be at the right place in a crowded penalty box to head home Arsenal’s third. Also provided the through ball for Walcott’s goal.
Jack Wilshere : 8.5
Pulled off a Nasri as the free kick from Ba took a big deflection off him as he ducked and wrong footed Szczesny as it went in. Made up for it by nicking the ball off Tiote and chippin the ball over Krul for Podolski’s goal. Was a true warrior in the midfield and an integral part of the squad.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain : 7.5
Was left a frustrated figured in the beginning but finished his goal brilliantly after doing well to make some space. Ran his heart out trying to pressurize the Newcastle midfield. Was replaced by Giroud in the 72nd minute.
Santi Cazorla : 7.5
Had a relatively unspectacular match. Was much better in the second half though as he worked tirelessly and linked well with his forwards. Came off for Francis Coquelin
Theo Walcott : 9.5
Silenced his doubters with an emphatic hattrick. Used his unnatural pace many a time to get past the Newcastle defense with ease. His first goal showed his ability for a good finish by beating Krul from a very tight angle (very reminiscent of a certain other number 14). Scuffed a shot when the ball fell to his weaker left foot though but the way he scored the second shows his calm head and clinical ability in front of goal when necessary. Danced his way through a host of Newcastle defenders as he kept going and chipped Krul to complete his hattrick. Provided a brilliant cross from the right for Giroud’s first. Still a lot to learn to become the prolific scorer he hopes to be but Wenger would do well to get his contract sorted out fast.
Olivier Giroud : 8
Showed good movement as he showed a striker’s instinct with a diving header for Arsenal’s fifth and blasted home their sixth. Hit the bar in the last few seconds as he came so very close to finishing his hattrick by beating the sorry Newcastle defense with his speed and positioning.
Aaron Ramsey : N/A
Came on for Podolski in the 81st minute.
Francis Coquelin : N/A
Came on with 4 minutes remaining.
Tim Krul : 5
Made some clever takes to deny Walcott, Podolski and Wilshere. But in the end, his team’s defensive lapses were too much for him to clean up.
Fabricio Coloccini : 3
Didn’t clear the cross by Wilshere but deflected the ball onto the path of Podolski for him to score. Was constantly subjected to the image of Walcott speeding past him with ease.
Davide Santon : 3
Just as Coloccini, he had no answer to Arsenal’s lethal attack at that pace. Took his frustration out on Giroud at the end and earned himself a booking for his troubles.
Danny Simpson : 4
Tried to keep Podolski in check and failed miserably. Podolski and Gibbs were just too much for him to handle. Came off for Shane Ferguson in the 83rd minute
James Perch : 3
Was terribly inadequate in defense. Walcott, Oxlade-Chamberlain and Podolski played around him as if he wasn’t even there.
Papiss Demba Cisse : 4.5
Was anonymous throughout the game as he barely touched the ball and if he did, it wasn’t something very meaningful.
Gael Bigirimana : 5.5
Played well and was involved whenever Newcastle did attack but was simply overrun towards the end of the match. Was replaced by Shola Ameobi with about 10 minutes to go.
Sylvain Marveaux : 6.5
Had an excellent long range attempt clawed away by Szczesny. Was completely unmarked at the far post to tap in his goal. Showed excellent pace and awareness to cross the ball for Ba’s second. But even doing so much, his side simply were at the wrong end of the scoreline.
Cheik Tioté : 5
Started the game well with his driving runs and work rate but started losing any effect as soon as Arsenal started scoring. He let Wilshere steal the ball away which led to Arsenal’s third. Was ball watching as he left Walcott free to score Arsenal’s fourth.
Gabriel Obertan : 6
Was completely in check by Sagna in the first half but came out totally different in the second showing some blistering pace and quick feet to completely turn Sagna inside out as his cross led to Newcastle’s second. Didn’t get much of the ball at the end as his defenders were getting slaughtered.
Demba Ba : 7
Sent his free kick on target but was lucky to get a hefty deflection off Wilshere to wrong foot Szczesny as the ball made its way into goal. Easily ran past Gibbs to stroke home his second, showing signs of the prolific scorer which terrorized defenses last year. Faded away towards the end as he barely touched the ball.
Shola Ameobi : 5
Came on to inject some drive into his team as they looked for the winner but was starved from service.
Shane Ferguson : 5
Tried to limit the demolition happening to his team with very little effect.
James Tavenier : N/A
Came on the 88th minute (not completely sure if he would have wanted to)