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Portsmouth 0-2 Arsenal: Player Ratings from the Gunners' comfortable victory | FA Cup 2019-20

  • Arsenal eased past Portsmouth to seal their place in the quarter final of the FA Cup.
FEATURED WRITER
Feature
Modified 03 Mar 2020, 07:00 IST

Arsenal cruised past Portsmouth
Arsenal cruised past Portsmouth

Arsenal eased past Portsmouth 2-0 at Fratton Park in the 5th Round of the FA Cup to seal a place in the quarter-final of the competition. The hosts began the game energetically and immediately began on the front foot.

However, despite putting the Gunners under pressure, they failed to create anything of note, meaning that the visitors emerged unscathed. Consequently, the Premier League outfit regained their passing rhythm and surged ahead in first half stoppage time when Sokratis thumped the ball into the bottom corner.

Six minutes after the restart, Eddie Nketiah added to Arsenal’s advantage when he got onto the end of Reiss Nelson’s cross and prodded the ball into the roof of the net.

Here is a look at how each of the Gunners’ players fared at Fratton Park.


Emiliano Martinez – 6

The Argentine barely had anything to do throughout the encounter and though he looked a tad shaky under crosses in the opening quarter of the game, he ensured that there weren’t any further hiccups.

Sokratis – 6.5

Sokratis was put under the cosh defensively by Marcus Harness as the latter turned him inside out on more than one occasion in the first half. However, the Greek defender displayed the requisite composure to slot home the Gunners’ first goal and propel them into the ascendancy.

David Luiz – 7

The Brazilian was asked to deputize in an unfamiliar right-sided centre-back role and the defender responded with a solid display. Though his forward passes were a little wayward at times, he was largely untroubled as Arsenal kept their 4th clean sheet since the start of February.

Pablo Mari – 7.5

Pablo Mari (R) impressed on his Arsenal debut
Pablo Mari (R) impressed on his Arsenal debut

The Spaniard was finally handed his Arsenal bow against Portsmouth and the centre-back gave an extremely good account of himself. He looked dominant in the air and was on hand to sniff out danger and get himself in the line of several shots. Most promisingly though, he seemed composed on the ball and passed his way out of the back with aplomb.

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Bukayo Saka – 6.5

The youngster’s defensive capabilities came under the scanner in a frenetic first half as Portsmouth attacked down the flanks with pace. However, once those waves were tided over, the Englishman grew into the game and got forward on plenty of occasions, although he couldn’t combine it with a tangible end product.

Matteo Guendouzi – 6

Matteo Guendouzi started off the game patchily as the hosts’ midfielders swarmed all over midfield and imposed their high-tempo identity on the encounter. Akin to the rest of the Arsenal side, the Frenchman also improved in the second half and cruised after the break as Portsmouth ran out of steam. Also, picked up a needless booking when his sarcasm wasn’t particularly appreciated by the referee.

Lucas Torreira – N.A

The Urugayan didn’t have much of an impact on the game before he was stretchered off following a strong challenge from James Bolton.

Joe Willock – 6

Willock got into some promising positions and wasn’t afraid to drive through midfield. However, his performance lacked the killer pass as he frequently failed to link up with the likes of Gabriel Martinelli and Nketiah in the final third.

Reiss Nelson – 7

The Englishman looked a touch rusty at the start of the contest as he remained on the periphery for much of the first half. However, he sprung to life towards the end of the period to set up Sorkatis’ strike. After the break, he produced a similar cross to help Nketiah double the Gunners’ tally.

Gabriel Martinelli – 6.5

Martinelli produced an enterprising performance as he chased every loose ball and put in a shift. He kept drifting in-field to allow Saka to overlap whereas he was also on hand to help the Englishman defend Portsmouth’s threat on the wing.

Eddie Nketiah – 7

Eddie Nketiah
Eddie Nketiah

The English striker produced a wonderful performance at Fratton Park as he seamlessly slotted in as the Gunners’ attacking focal point. Nketiah showcased excellent movement as he dropped deep and also ran into the wider channels to create space for his teammates. And, fittingly, he bagged a well-deserved goal when he portrayed exemplary awareness to stab the ball home from close range.


Substitutes

Dani Ceballos – 7

The Spaniard was called upon to replace Torreira after 16 minutes and Ceballos did extremely well to adapt to the pace of the encounter. He looked calm on the ball and helped Arsenal establish a foothold in midfield. Additionally, he kept things ticking over in the centre of the park and invariably found pockets of space in between the lines. 

Granit Xhaka – N.A

The Swiss international came on in the dying minute and didn’t have enough time to leave an imprint on the match.

Ainsley Maitland-Niles – N.A

The Englishman was brought on too late as Arsenal saw out the game. 

Published 03 Mar 2020, 07:00 IST
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