We look at the Arsenal player ratings as they cruised to a 3-1 victory over Manchester United in the Premier League. Goals from Nuno Tavares and Bukayo Saka put the Gunners in the driving seat before Cristiano Ronaldo halved the deficit. However, a Granit Xhaka stunner sealed a very successful week for Mikel Arteta’s men. Arsenal reclaimed fourth place, two clear of Tottenham Hotspur. Manchester United remain sixth, and their hopes for Champions League football next season are rapidly diminishing.
Aaron Ramsdale (GK) – 5: Ramsdale had an unconvincing game. The Englishman was shaky in possession and completed only 26 of 47 pass attempts. He was also caught in no man’s land for Ronaldo’s goal, failing to leave his line quick enough. However, the former Sheffield United shot-stopper also made 3 good saves against Manchester United and was a vocal presence behind the Arsenal defence.
Cedric (RB) – 5: Back in the starting XI, Cedric too had a night to forget. Heavily involved in the build-up, the Portuguese offered little in terms of progression or penetration. Cedric was also dribbled past 3 times, the worst by any Arsenal player. The 30-year-old will count himself lucky that United were anonymous on his side in attack, and failed to exploit his shortcomings.
Ben White (CB) – 8: An absolute rock at the back, White did spectacularly throughout the game. Ever reliable in defence, the Englishman affected 2 tackles, 2 interceptions, and 3 clearances. White was also one of Arsenal’s best outlets to bypass United’s high press.
Gabriel (CB) – 6: Gabriel had a few nervous moments, especially in the first half. However, he quickly settled into the game and put in a solid display. Gabriel made 10 recoveries and blocked 2 shots. He also won 3 fouls, tied for most among all Arsenal players.
Nuno Tavares (LB) – 6: Playing in place of injured Kieran Tierney, Tavares scored his first goal in an Arsenal jersey in the third minute of the game against Manchester United. Tavares looked bright in the opposition half and was a useful presence on the left wing. However, the 22-year-old struggled sorely in defence.
Tavares was constantly caught off position, and troubled by Elanga on the flank. The former Benfica wing-back heaved a sigh of relief when a penalty call against him was waved off in the first half. However, Tavares conceded a needless handball in the box and was lucky to see Bruno Fernandes’ effort go off the post.
Mohamed Elneny (DM) – 7: Another solid showing for Elneny. The Egyptian was excellent defensively and shielded the backline well. Elneny made 12 recoveries, 2 interceptions, and 2 tackles. In possession, the 29-year-old did not take many risks and was a very safe option. He also nicked an assist for Xhaka’s goal in the second half.
Granit Xhaka (DM) – 8: A masterclass performance by Xhaka. The 29-year-old completed 68 passes against Manchester United, the most by any Arsenal player. Xhaka was precise in passing and also made 5 progressive carries. He capped off the performance with an absolute beauty of a shot from 28 yards out. This shot incidentally, marked the last attempt of the game by either team.
Emile Smith Rowe (LW) – 5: A subpar performance by Smith Rowe’s standards. With just 26 touches, the Englishman was Arsenal’s least involved starter in the game. Smith-Rowe also failed to register or create a single shot. Arteta hooked off the 21-year-old for Gabriel Martinelli shortly after the hour mark.
Martin Odegaard (AM) – 9: Odegaard had 2 shots and created 2 more, but was unlucky to finish without a goal or an assist. He also had 5 passes into the box, 1 through ball, and 6 progressive carries. Odegaard constantly found space between the lines and was a constant menace around the United box. The 23-year-old also displayed a tremendous work rate without the ball. A superb performance from the former Real Madrid playmaker.
Bukayo Saka (RW) – 9: A Man of The Match performance from Saka. He played a large part in the opening goal, forcing De Gea into a fingertip save. Saka then won and confidently converted a penalty to double Arsenal’s advantage. The 20-year-old constantly terrorized United’s left-back Alex Telles and caused several problems down the wing. Saka had 4 shots and played a role in the creation of 5 more. He looked uncomfortable after going down in the second half and was withdrawn in the closing stages of the game, and Arteta will be praying that the Englishman has not suffered any sort of injury.
Eddie Nketiah (CF) – 5: Nketiah showed great desire and effort, especially while defending. Only Odegaard attempted more pressures than the 22-year-old. However, Nketiah constantly made poor decisions in the final third. He had only one shot and lost possession 7 times.
Gabriel Martinelli – 6: Came on for Smith Rowe, and had very little to do. Made all 6 of his passes. As play became restricted to the middle third as the game wore on, Martinelli did not get much of a chance to demonstrate his attacking capabilities.
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Rob Holding – 6: Although Holding played just 17 minutes, he had a telling impact on the game. Arteta shifted to a conservative 5-man back shape to see the game out. The Englishman managed 1 tackle and 4 clearances to ensure there were no late twists to the tale.
Takehiro Tomiyasu – NA: Came on in the dying minutes of the game to rapturous applause. And Tomiyasu marked his presence by winning a cheeky foul after beating Cristiano Ronaldo. Fans have been eager to see the former Bologna defender back in action, and Arteta could reinstitute Tomiyasu to the playing XI soon.
Do you agree with the player ratings? What would you change? Let us know in the comments.
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