EPL 2017/18: Arsenal 2-0 Brighton & Hove Albion, Player Ratings
Arsenal had not lost a home league match in the month of October since 2002 heading into today’s game, and that record is still intact as they beat Brighton 2-0 at the Emirates.
The game sprung into life very early on as Alexandre Lacazette’s thunderous effort from outside the box rattled the post, showing what Arsenal were capable of early on. Then, just 16 minutes into the game, Nacho Monreal, the surprise goalscorer, got the opening goal as he tapped into an empty net after lots of blocked efforts by Brighton.
This did lead to a Brighton revival, however, as the Seagulls came out of the blocks and shocked Arsenal, as Solly March, similarly to Lacazette, had an effort from outside the box that ricocheted off the post.
In the second half, Arsenal looked to kill the game off, creating chance after chance, and did so when a beautiful back heel by Alexis Sanchez set up Alex Iwobi to score Arsenal’s second, in what would be the final goal of the game.
Here are the player ratings from today’s game:
Petr Cech – 7/10 – Cech did extremely well to deal with Brighton’s set pieces all game, catching and punching lots of Brighton’s crosses. It was a solid performance despite him not having a lot to do.
Hector Bellerin – 7/10 – The Spaniard did a fantastic job of providing width for Arsenal. He created lots of chances with some dangerous crosses, an area of his game which seems to have improved.
Rob Holding – 7/10 – Despite some shaky performances in recent weeks, this was a game where Holding finally got back to the level which he was at last season, comfortably playing out from the back and defending well.
Shkodran Mustafi – 7/10 – Mustafi looked very solid in the central role in a three at the back, a position he has yet to play in. His composure on the ball makes him a useful asset as a centre-back, and he was strong in the air on set pieces all game.
Nacho Monreal – 8/10 – Monreal’s calm finish with plenty of Brighton players surrounding him made it 1-0 to the Gunners and it was a highlight of another strong performance from the centre-back, who continues to get better at centre-back.
Sead Kolasinac – 6/10 – Kolasinac has created quite high expectations in his short time in England, standards which he didn’t quite live up to today. He performed solidly, but in comparison to fellow wing-back Bellerin, he wasn’t anywhere near as effective.
Aaron Ramsey – 6/10 – A great save from Ryan denied Ramsey a goal in the first half, but his movement was still very good all game. The only thing his performance was lacking was a goal or an assist, with his game being mainly based around that.
Granit Xhaka – 7/10 – Xhaka flourished in a game where Brighton sat very deep as it allowed him to pick up the ball and comfortably spread the play all game, something he did effectively throughout the 90 minutes.
Alex Iwobi – 9/10 – Iwobi looked very sharp and linked up well with Lacazette and Sanchez throughout the first half. He was a key focal point in Arsenal’s attack, finding good positions and creating chances. He also got his just rewards for his performance by scoring with a good finish over Ryan in the second half. He was Arsenal’s standout performer.
Alexis Sanchez – 9/10 – A delightful backheel earned Sanchez an assist for Iwobi’s goal, an assist which was only a small part of a fantastic performance. The Chilean carved open Brighton’s defence with ease and got away from Duffy on numerous occasions. He was unfortunate not to score as a Dunk clearance on the line denied him.
Alexandre Lacazette – 8/10 – He played a crucial part in Arsenal’s opener, heading the ball back as it looked destined to go out of play. His link-up play seems to be improving by the week too, as him, Sanchez and Iwobi played some fabulous intricate football.
Olivier Giroud – 6.5/10 – The Frenchman was only given 19 minutes to play with the game pretty much over already. However, he did nearly round off the scoring at the end, but his header went just wide.
Theo Walcott – N/A – Similarly to Giroud, it was hard for him to have an impact with little time on the pitch and the way the game was going.
Mohamed Elneny – N/A – With eight minutes to play, Elneny was only brought on to keep the ball and slow down the game.