EPL 2016/17: Arsenal 3-2 Swansea - Player ratings
Theo Walcott continued his fine form with another brace for the Gunners. A mistake from Xhaka which led to a Sigurdsson goal got Swansea back in the game but it looked like Mesut Ozil had sealed all 3 points for Wenger’s side when he latched on to a cross from Sanchez to volley home in the 57th minute. That was not quite the case however as Borja pulled another one back for the Swans. Xhaka was then sent off for a cynical tackle which left Arsenal clinging on for dear life.
They managed to survive a spell of pressure from the visitors though to hold on for the win which moves them joint top with Manchester City.
Take a look at how the players from each side fared:
Petr Cech: 6/10
The Arsenal keeper did not have much to do in goal until the final 10 minutes. Even at that stage, he was hardly tested at all as the Swansea strikes were mostly off target or straight into his hands. He was, however, a commanding presence from corners and had a relatively decent game in the end.
Hector Bellerin: 6/10
Bellerin had one of his quieter games in an Arsenal shirt tonight. He was bright in the early stages of the game and linked up well with Walcott on the right. His final delivery was poor by his standards, though. Defensively he was solid and prevented Cork and Amat from generating attacks from the left-hand side for the most part.
Shkodran Mustafi: 5/10
The German international had a great chance to get on the scoresheet in the first half but his header struck the crossbar. Mustafi had an extremely good first half where he made a number of key challenges to break up the Swansea attacks. In the second half, though, his performance was questionable. Caught out of position on a number of occasions, he was lucky that Swansea did not get an equaliser in the end.
Laurent Koscielny: 7.5/10
Koscielny again showed why he is so highly rated in the league. The Frenchman had Barrow in his pocket for the entire first half and most of the second. A number of critical challenges, notably on Barrow in the first half and Ki in the second half ensured that Swansea could not get an equaliser. With 4 interceptions and 6 clearances on the night, Koscielny was easily Arsenal’s best defender.
Nacho Monreal: 4/10
Monreal had a poor game tonight on both ends of the pitch. In the offensive third, his link up with Alexis and Ozil was not great and left a lot to be desired. Defensively, after Barrow switched to the right, he was completely clueless as to how to deal with the Swansea attacker’s pace. He was often shredded by the winger and had no answer. The Spaniard was at fault for Swansea’s second goal.
Granit Xhaka: 3/10
Xhaka had possibly his worst game for Arsenal tonight. A number of sloppy passes in the first half probably lowered his confidence a bit. Add to that his mistake which led to the Swansea goal and it is no wonder why he gets a 3 rating. His second half performance was even worse and he was ultimately sent off for a poor challenge on Barrow. Not a great day in the office for the Swiss international.
Santi Cazorla: 7/10
Santi controlled proceedings from the center for the Gunners as always. His 57 passes were second only to Ozil. The Spaniard often got his side out of trouble with his quick feet and exquisite dribbling ability. With 77 touches on the ball, the Spaniard was involved in most of the good that Arsenal did on the night.
Mesut Ozil: 7.5/10
The midfield maestro was involved in most of Arsenal’s attacks and had a fine game tonight. His passing was exquisite as usual and he also managed to get on the scoresheet courtesy a fine left-footed volley in the second half. The German played a number of key passes in behind the Swans defense and was unlucky with a couple of offside calls that went against him. Ozil played a total of 5 key passes, the highest by any player in the game.
Theo Walcott: 8/10
Theo was at his best in the first half and scored both of Arsenal's goals. Both his goals were made possible only by his positioning and that is something he has improved upon this season. Walcott could've had a hattrick in the end but missed a couple of sitters late in the second half. Ultimately though he was Arsenal's best player on the night.
Alex Iwobi: 7/10
Iwobi blew hot and cold for most of the game. He started the game extremely brightly driving at the heart of Swansea's defense but his final ball often let him down. The highlight of his game would have to be the jinking run he made in the second half which saw him drive past 2 Swansea defenders before nutmegging a third. Although nothing came of it in the end, the Nigerian showed why he is rated so highly at Arsenal. The 20-year-old had a passing accuracy of 94%, by far the best on the night.
Alexis Sanchez: 7/10
The Chilean continues to impress game in game out. His work rate was tremendous as always and it was his magnificent pass over the Swansea defense that found Ozil for Arsenal’s third. Although his passing was slightly off tonight, his desire to win the ball back after he lost it more than made up for his mistakes.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain: 6/10
The speedy winger was brought on in the dying stages of the game and his pace proved to be too much for a tiring Swansea defense. The Englishman could've had an assist to his name but Walcott spurned a golden opportunity in stoppage time. Overall, a great performance after coming on by the 23-year-old.
Kieran Gibbs: 5/10
Gibbs was brought on to provide Monreal with some support on the left and he did his job well in the end. With just 7 minutes to play when he replaced Ozil, Gibbs was solid at the back and prevented Rangel and Ki from causing any damage.
Francis Coquelin: 5/10
Coquelin replaced Iwobi with 20 odd minutes to go and helped shield the defense effectively. The Frenchman made 4 tackles which was the highest by an Arsenal player in just 27 minutes that he was on the field, showing why he is now a regular starter for the side.