Arsenal produced an excellent all-round performance to record their first win of the season with a 2-0 win over Liverpool at Anfield.
The Gunners midfield trio of Arteta, Diaby and Cazorla bossed the middle of the park for the majority of the game, with Diaby in particular putting in an impressive shift. The powerful Frenchman was complimented beautifully by the silky touch of Cazorla, who pulled the strings for the visitors.
The Spaniard and Podolski combined well for both the goals but Liverpool will feel disappointed with their contributions, with Gerrard losing possession for the first and Reina at fault for the second.
But take nothing away from Arsenal’s performance. They look far more solid at the back and are getting better and better going forward as the new players start to gel. Here are the player ratings from the game:
Reina – 5 – Another error from the Spaniard as he let Cazorla’s effort from a tight angle squirm under him and into the net.
Johnson – 5.5 – Failed to track Podolski and Cazorla for both their goals. Needs to concentrate for the full 90 minutes.
Agger – 6.5 - Dealt with Giroud well on his comeback. Could have done better with a first half header though, heading over from a Gerrard corner when well positioned.
Skrtel – 6 – Steady performance at the back, looked a lot happier next to Agger again.
Enrique – 5.5 – Kept Chamberlain quite but offered little going forward. When he did venture into the opposing third his final ball was poor.
Allen – 6 – Tidy in possession but offered very little penetration going forward.
Sahin – 5 – Slightly off the pace but to be expected on his debut. Will take some time to adjust but you could see he’s an excellent passer of the ball. Subbed.
Gerrard – 5 – Disappointing from the captain. Gave the ball away for Arsenal’s first and didn’t control midfield like we’re used to seeing.
Borini – 4.5 – Poor. Offered little down the right. Subbed.
Sterling – 7 – Liverpool’s biggest threat in the first half and hit the outside of the post with a fine effort. Faded slightly in the second period but another mature display.
Suarez – 6.5 – Missed a decent chance in the second half, when he elected to try a chip from close range. Had two penalty shouts turned down.
Shelvey – 7 – Did well when he came on and went close with a couple of long-range efforts.
Downing – 6.5 – Offered more of an outlet down the wing than Borini.
Mannone – 5.5 – Couple of decent stops, in particular a powerful effort from Shelvey in the second half, but looked very uncomfortable any time the ball was crossed into the area and failed to collect the majority of high balls.
Jenkinson – 7 – Steady again from the youngster. Looking more and more comfortable at this level.
Mertesacker – 7 - Very shaky in the first half and was lucky not to give a penalty (or two) away, but improved in the second half as Arsenal kept Liverpool at bay.
Vermaelen – 7.5 - Marshalled the back-line well for Arsenal. His organisational skills looked to have improved, probably through the influence of Steve Bould. Lead his defence to a third clean sheet in three games.
Gibbs – 7.5 – Got forward on occasion and was a threat but final ball was not always up to scratch. Looks far better positionally at the back though.
Diaby – 8.5 – MOTM. Superb. Completely ran the midfield. If he stays fit, could be a very important player for Arsenal this season.
Arteta – 7 – Kept things ticking in the middle and made some important tackles and interceptions.
Chamberlain – 6 - Slightly disappointing from the youngster. Never really had a go at Enrique, opting for the safe option of passing inside instead of taking the full back on. Feel his best position is in the middle where he can influence the game more.
Cazorla – 8 – Another excellent display. Superb assist for Podolski’s opener and good strike to open his own account for the club. Looks a real player.
Podolski – 7.5 – Great finish for the first and nice assist for the second. Will score goals for the Gunners this season, no doubt, and works hard tracking back as well.
Giroud – 5.5 – Lacks confidence and pace. Missed a couple of sitters but at least he was putting himself about up front. Badly needs a goal.
Ramsey – 6 – Not a lot of time to impress but kept the ball well in the final stages.
Santos & Koscielny – On too late to make a real contribution.
What would your player ratings be? Get involved in the comments section.
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