FA Cup: Arsenal 1-2 Watford: Player Ratings
Watford stunned holders Arsenal by 2-1 at the Emirates in the quarterfinals of the FA Cup. Striker Odion Ighalo gave the visitors the lead after the break, but it was midfielder Adlene Guidioura's stunner that caught the eye of the neutrals and the Watford fans. Danny Welbeck pulled one back for the Gunners in the 88th minute, but there could not be a proper comeback for the hosts as they bow out of the FA Cup.
Here is how the players from both sides fared:
David Ospina – 6
The Colombian did not have a commanding game at the back. His teammates also did not give him proper cover. Hence, he could not be said to be at fault for any of the two goals. The second one from Guidioura was struck at a lightning pace and there was nothing Ospina could have done. His handling was good, but it was not a good day at the office for his team.
Calum Chambers – 4
The Englishman had a game to forget. He was disappointing whenever he went forward. Even in the latter stages of the game, when the Gunners were piling pressure, Chambers were seen giving away the back too often. He was disappointing in defence as well, as he let the crosses go in from Watford's left flank. He lacks the composure to be a top player, and his crossing was also not upto the mark.
Per Mertesacker – 4
The German was poor on the day as he let Deeney and Ighalo run past him far too often and easily. He started the game brightly by making some good interceptions and clearing the ball, but as the game progressed, the center back was seen being very slow to react to the runs made by Deeney and Ighalo. He let Deeney pass the ball to Ighalo for the first goal, when he should have stopped any build up play.
Gabriel Paulista – 5
The Brazilian was also very nervy throughout the game dealing with Deeney and Ighalo. He put in a few outrageous tackles in the game and was lucky to escape any punishment. But as the game went by, he became better on the ball, and did not give any space for Ighalo to run into with the ball. He will have better days at the back, the first goal was a neat turn from Ighalo, and there was nothing Gabriel could do.
Kieran Gibbs – 6
The Englishman played brightly throughout the game and seemed disappointed at the lack of cover given to him while defending by Alexis Sanchez. Gibbs had an okay game, but he should have been closing down Guidioura when the ball broke to him at the edge of the box. He did go forward, but did not produce any real chances for his strikers.
Francis Coquelin – 7
The Frenchman had a good game in the middle of the park. He broke up the Watford attacks regularly but it was not enough to restrict 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.
Mohamed Elneny – 7
He was also good on the day but could not make the most of the goalscoring opportunities he was presented with. He was set up by Campbell in the first half, where he should have given Arsenal the lead, and he came back after the break to strike from long range, only to be stopped by Pantilimon. He did well to win back possession along with Coquelin.
Mesut Ozil – 7
He was not in the game much in the first half, but showed his true colors in the second half as he got more involved in the passing and play. He did not have his best game but managed to assist Danny Welbeck in the latter stages of the game to get a goal back for the hosts. He looked frustrated on many occasions due to Arsenal's inability to break Watford's defence.
Alexis Sanchez – 5
The Chilean had a difficult game, and as the game progressed he looked more and more frustrated. The former Barcelona man has been struggling with his form ever since he returned from injury. He does not look so threatening anymore as he used to. He did try to create opportunities late in the game, after Welbeck had scored. But it was all too late in the end.
Joel Campbell – 6
It was a typical Joel Campbell performance again, he started the game brightly and made some darting runs. He was never really in control of the midfield but linked up well with Calum Chambers and Mesut Ozil on the right flank to create a couple of opportunities in the first half. He was taken off prematurely and was replaced by Danny Welbeck.
Olivier Giroud – 5
The French striker did score early on in the game but only to be adjudged offside by the linesman. Other than that, he had very scarce opportunities to produce anything.One notable chance came when he directed Gibbs' cross at goal from a very tight angle, but Pantilimon was already in the way to make the save. He was taken off and replaced by Theo Walcott.
Alex Iwobi – 7
The Nigerian came on as part of the triple change by Wenger and replaced Elneny. He looked very lively and helped create constant pressure on Watford.
Theo Walcott – 5
Walcott came on to replace Giroud and was almost anonymous during his spell on the pitch. He did not create much for his side and was not involved as much as his teammates were.
Danny Welbeck – 8
The Englishman scored again after coming on as a substitute and he was very lively. He could have had one more as he shot wide when the ball deflected to him late in extra time.