EPL: Arsenal 1-0 Newcastle - Player Ratings
Arsenal capitalized on Leicester City’s setback by beating Newcastle 1-0 to go 2 points clear at the top of the Barclays Premier League table. It was one of those hard-fought, gritty victories that a team that aspires to lift the title has to grind out, and the Gunners will be buoyed by how they have coped recently despite the injuries to key players such as Alexis Sanchez and Santi Cazorla.
In an end to end encounter, Arsenal were carved open numerous times by Newcastle, but Petr Cech was in imperious form to keep the Magpies at bay. Eventually, Laurent Koscielny snuck in to score off a Giroud layoff following a scramble after a corner.
We take a look at the individual player ratings from this game:
Petr Cech – 8/10
When he was signed by Arsenal, John Terry claimed that Petr Cech was worth an extra 10-15 points. The Czech goalkeeper is well on his way that total, saving his teams blushes with several saves, especially denying Giorginio Wijnaldum twice, when the Dutchman was one-on-one with the Arsenal keeper.
Hector Bellerin – 5/10
He provided a good outlet in attack on the flank, but his delivery was very poor. He was jittery at the back against the lively Ayoze Perez and Aleksandar Mitrovic.
Per Mertesacker – 7/10
As always, the lanky German positioned himself very well to make up for his lack of pace. His heading and distribution were on point too. One of Arsenal’s better performers in this game.
Laurent Koscielny – 7/10
Not his best game. Struggled to deal with the physciality of Mitrovic and couldn’t close down the channel between himself and Monreal. However, he made up for it in the end with another crucial goal for Arsenal, a true poacher’s finish as he was first to the second ball.
Nacho Monreal – 5/10
He struggled to cut out the crosses from Moussa Sissoko or Daryl Janmaat at times, and failed to provide an attacking option for his team.
Mathieu Flamini – 5/10
He failed to deal with the directness of Wijnaldum, as the Dutch international motored past him with ease. Could have positioned himself better and was not helped by Ramsey’s lack of support as well. Booked for a nasty challenge.
Aaron Ramsey – 5/10
Arsene Wenger had earlier said that the reason to keep Ramsey away from the double-pivot was because he leaves the defence too open. That was abundantly clear yesterday. Continously caught out of position as Newcastle charged forward, Ramsey also was off in his distribution. He missed two crucial chances to kill the game, trying to shoot when his team-mates were in a better position.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – 4.5/10
Given a recall in the side, Oxlade-Chamberlain showed no signs towards reclaiming his old form. He made a couple of threatening runs, but his decision making was well off the mark and he faded in influence as the game went on. Taken off early.
Mesut Ozil – 7/10
While it wasn’t the performance we have seen in recent weeks from Ozil, he was still Arsenal’s best attacking player. While he struggled to influence the game when it was goalless, he came to life as the game opened up after the goal. Was unlucky to not get a goal or an assist.
Theo Walcott – 5/10
Definitely not one of his sharpest games. Defensively suspect against Janmaat who kept getting the better of him, Walcott failed to provide an attacking presence.
Olivier Giroud – 7/10
Isolated for the majority of the game, Giroud did well to try and fashion up some chances for himself from what little support was provided to him. Ultimately made another crucial contribution for his team as his desire led to the goal.
Joel Campbell – 6/10
Was a bigger threat than Chamberlain, and got into some good positions as Arsenal looked more threatening with him on the field. Made his frustrations clear when Ramsey elected to shoot rather than play him in for a tap-in.
Kieran Gibbs – N/A
Came on as a second left-back as has been his role this season to help Monreal defend against Janmaat to help Arsenal see out the game.
Calum Chambers – N/A
Came on late and sat alongside Flamini in front of the defence.
Rob Elliot – 7/10
Did not have much to do in the first half as he organised the defence well, but could have read the play better and closed the angle more quickly for Koscielny’s goal. Saved some good chances in the end to keep his side in the game.
Daryl Janmaat – 7/10
Drove on past Walcott and sent in some dangerous crosses which were not converted. Was not troubled a lot defensively.
Chancel Mbemba – 7/10
A solid outing as he was comfortable on the ball. Dealt well with Giroud, never getting beaten by his movement or aerial ability.
Fabricio Coloccini – 7/10
The captain stepped up big time for this game, and probably deserved at least a point for his efforts. Marshalled Giroud well and kept throwing his body on the line to block. Would be frustrated with the way his team conceded the the goal.
Paul Dummett – 6.5/10
Was troubled by Bellerin initially, but improved as the game went on and dealt well with Oxlade-Chamberlain.
Moussa Sissoko – 7/10
Put in a hard-working performance as he troubled Monreal all game and sent in a lot of dangerously deliveries from the right. Unfortunately for his side, none of them were put in the back of the net.
Jack Colback – 7/10
Was a menace for Arsenal in midfield with his energy. Intercepted the ball on a few occasions and was spot on with his tackling as well.
Cheick Tiote – 7.5/10
Recalled into the side after Anita’s injury, Tiote put in a brilliant performance. Disciplined in the holding role, he kept a check of Ozil and even had a couple of chances down the other end. His passing was brilliant as well. Staked his claim for inclusion into the side for future matches.
Ayoze Perez – 6.5/10
Had his lively moments and sent in one realy dangerous pass that Mitrovic scooped over. Put in a hard-working shift, however, it was his error that led to the goal. He was too slow to react to the second ball and allowed Koscielny to nip in behind him to grab the winner.
Georginio Wijnaldum – 8/10
By far Newcastle’s most dangerous player in attack, Wijnaldum caused Flamini all sorts of troubles with his running, strength and technical ability. He found himself in 1v1 situation twice, but failed to beat an inspired Cech. He also got on the end of some crosses, but was unable to direct it towards goal.
Aleksandar Mitrovic – 6.5/10
Troubled the Arsenal centre-halfs all game and kept getting in good positions to shoot or fashion chances for his team-mates. In the end, however, Mitrovic had his chances and failed to convert any of them. Needs to add more goals to his game if he is to help Newcastle stay up.
Florian Thauvin – 5/10
Didn’t sparkle after being brought on.
Siem de Jong – 6/10
Brought on late as his side searched for an equaliser. Had an overhead attempt late in the game that was saved by Cech.