Arsenal beat Swansea 3-2 today at the emirates. Credit to Swansea for keeping it close even though we could have easily won the game by 5 goals.
Here’s how I thought the players performed:
Petr Cech: 7/10– I can’t count the number of times he saved those headers from close range though Leroy Fer and some bloke called
wheel Barrow could have done better. He was not at fault for either goal as far as i’m concerned. Decent performance.
Hector Bellerin: 7/10– Very strong defensively today… I can’t remember any decent chance Swansea created from his wing. Could do much better from an attacking point of view.
Shkodran Mustafi: 7.5/10– I would have given him an 8.5 but he lost a whole point for his role in the second goal. While Koscielny defended the near post, Mustafi failed to get tight on Borja Baston who slotted in the low cross from close-range. He was seen apologizing to Kos after wards. He did have that header in the first half that hit the bar.
Laurent Koscielny: 7/10– Solid in defense as usual but faded towards the end… He needs a rest.
Granit Xhaka: 4/10– He can not play along side Cazorla. He is not a defensive midfielder. He is not very good at defending. Passed the ball around very well, but his sluggish pace saw him fail to get close enough to make decent challenges or break up play when required. No match for Coquelin from a defensive point of view in my estimation. The red card is part of his reputation, no surprise there.
Santi Cazorla: 7/10– He played well and moved the ball around nicely.
Mesut Ozil: 7.5/10– Scored a very delicious goal on his birthday. Made some nice exchanges with Iwobi, but has not really influenced games this season like he used to. Could it be due to how massively influential Iwobi has become?
Theo Walcott: 8/10 A brace for him in a day he could have easily scored 5 but I want to focus on his strengths now. He has gotten enough criticism in his creer to last him 2 life-times. I felt he has silenced his critics a bit this season, and any suggestions of a dip in form after his quiet performance against Slovenia, is wide off the mark.
Alexis Sanchez: 8/10 Lively, Electric, Mad at times, Ridiculously amazing at others. We have a world class player there and we know it. Didn’t get on the score sheet and made some bad choices at times, but his delicious overhead pass to Ozil for the volley finish was beautiful. I love him.
Alex Iwobi: 8/10 We saw a side of him today that we have not seen before, but many suspected he possessed. There is magic in those boots and who better to harness it than Arsene Wenger. I feel he gives us so much in attack. His movement is intelligent, and his passes pin-point. He opens up spaces incredibly, and we saw today that he can dribble like his uncle Jay-Jay Okocha too.
Coquelin: 6/10– Showed his doggedness in midfield as soon as he came on, closing down opposition players quickly.
Gibbs: 5/10– Wenger brought him on to stifle the threat of Barrow who was bossing Monreal all day. Barrow went off injured immediately however and Monreal could breathe again.
Chamberlain: 6/10– Perfect player to bring on in the context of things towards the end, as he broke quickly on at last two occasions to create two great chances. Walcott missed both.
Overall, it was a pretty disjointed performance. Looked so good some times, and so bad at others, especially defensively. Almost went away with a draw in a game we should have won easily. Something for Arsene to work on is how we close games out and keep it out of reach to avoid any heart breaking last minute equalizers in future because that could have happened today.