[Player Ratings] Sunderland 0-1 Arsenal: Sagna & Szczesny Ensure Vital Win

By on February 9, 2013
Wojciech Szczesny

Szczesny – Match winning performance

Arsenal ground out a superb win over Sunderland at the Stadium of Light on Saturday afternoon to keep in touch with the top-four. We were excellent in the first half and played some beautiful football. Cazorla finished off a great team move involving Jack Wilshere and Theo Walcott to give us a deserved lead midway through the first half and only the brilliance of Mignolet kept the score at 1-0 at half time as we dominated proceedings.

We almost paid for the missed opportunities as Carl Jenkinson handed Sunderland the initiative after being sent off for two bookable offences on the hour mark. The last 30 minutes was a rollar-coaster affair with the home side going close on several occasions but Szczesny pulled off a number of stunning saves, but we also had a few chances on the break with Theo hitting to post when put clean through by Cazorla.

But we held on for a vital three points and kept pace with Chelsea and Tottenham, who both also won on Saturday. Here are my player ratings for the game:

Arsenal Ratings:

Szczesny – 9 – Stunning display. Superb save to deny Fletcher who was clean through in the 77th minute, made another stunning save to deny a Fletcher header before tipping Johnson’s low effort round the post as the hosts pushed for the equaliser. A proper match-winning performance.

Jenkinson – 4 – Booked for an early tackle on Colback, then showed his immaturity with a crazy lunge from behind on Sessegnon to get a second yellow card on the hour mark. Looked rusty all afternoon. Must do better if he’s to usurp Sagna from the team.

Sagna – 9 – A true warrior. Moved into the centre of defence after Koscielny picked up a problem in the warm up and Bac produced his best performance of the season. Put his head on everything and made several vital clearances and blocks. Back to his best.

Mertesacker – 7 – Like his partner, Mertesacker got himself on the end of several crosses and held the backline together as we came under increasing pressure.

Monreal – 6 – Poor piece of defending allowed Sessegnon to power into the box early on and was generally given a tough time by the Sunderland man in the first half but improved after the break when the tricky attacker switched flanks. Settling in well in England.

Wilshere – 7 – Bursting run through midfield created the first goal and was combining well with Cazorla, Walcott and Arteta in the first period. Picked out for some rough treatment from the home side and was forced off early in the second half. Hopefully it’s nothing too serious.

Arteta – 7 – Showed his attacking instincts in the first half but went back to his ‘protector’ role after the break as Sunderland got on top.

Ramsey – 7 – Forced a superb save from Mignolet on the half hour mark with a rasping drive from the edge of the box but missed a golden chance to add a second just before the break. Sloppy play lead to a great chance for Fletcher but generally Ramsey had a good game and showed his versatility by moving to right back when Jenkinson was sent off.

Cazorla – 8 – Ran the game in the first half and was back to his attacking best. Lovely strike for the opener and played a superb through ball to send Walcott clear late on. Much better from Santi.

Walcott – 7 – Lively start and went close with a couple of decent efforts. Got himself an assist with a neat lay-off for Cazorla’s goal. Dragged a shot wide from the edge of the box just before half time and hit the post when clean through with 15 mins to go. Got himself in some great positions but just wasn’t his day.

Giroud – 6 – Missed a glorious chance to open the scoring after 20 minutes but dragged his shot wide from a tight angle. Didn’t have his shooting boots on all afternoon but he showed his importance to the team with some important headed clearances from corners at the other end.

Subs:

Diaby – 5 – On for Wilshere but unfortunately didn’t have the same impact as the youngster. Put a tame effort on goal straight at Mignolet but was generally very quiet.

Miquel – N/A – On too late.

So all-in-all a superb result in the end, despite the wasted chances. We showed our resilience and held on for an important three points. Next up is Blackburn in the FA Cup. If you didn’t watch the Sunderland game you can see highlights here.

What were your thoughts on the game and what were your player ratings? Get involved in the comments section below.

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21 Comments

  1. WiseMan

    February 9, 2013 at 7:29 pm

    Cazorla and Jack both outstanding – kept going no matter now hard Sunderland tried to whack them. Bacs as you say had his best game so far – brilliant.

    Giroud and Theo both hasty in shots – both need to settle their heads a bit and start thinking. I think Podolski would have done a better job upfront today.

    Diaby was very disappointing – he seems to have a knack of constantly losing the ball.

    Szceschny was brill too and saved the match for us.

    • Tjmaruff

      February 9, 2013 at 8:37 pm

      Hello gays u did a wonderful job welldon. Up gunners.

  2. zakariyau jelyll

    February 9, 2013 at 8:24 pm

    UIt was afantastic outing infact all d players perform wonderfully 2day excluding Diaby dat perform blow expectation.
    I dove my cap 4 Sagna 4 d job well done he’s even more better in dat position dan d RB although d score line is 1 goal win wit 10man on d field dey defended very well 2day.
    Also l salute Cazola, Jack nd Walcot 4 deir great partnerdhip, understanding, pearing nd combination. I wish my great Jack nd other players on injury quick recovery b4 our next CL next wk.

  3. Zubair.hammed1

    February 9, 2013 at 8:30 pm

    2days game was every hard 4 us but we came out in 1 -0 win.10ks 2 our goalkeeper,sagna,and other players,kudos 2 all our player

  4. Zubair.hammed1

    February 9, 2013 at 8:33 pm

    2days game was every hard 4 us but we came out in 1 -0 win.10ks 2 our goalkeeper,sagna,and other players,kudos 2 all our player.

  5. Akande Taiwo Olushola

    February 9, 2013 at 8:48 pm

    I saw the best of Szeceny & Sagna today. Per too, not leaving out the other players except Jekinson, Diaby & Giroud. Why dont we permanent Sagna at that Centre Back. He actually fitted well in it. We grinded out the result today. Im a Nigerian Gunner from Ibadan city

  6. tunde adeyemo

    February 9, 2013 at 9:36 pm

    sagna should converted to centre back and kos. Up gunner. Batunde 4rm ikirun

  7. Rob

    February 9, 2013 at 10:28 pm

    Lol

  8. Haley

    February 9, 2013 at 11:11 pm

    Ramsey 7 ?

    You people are a joke!!

    Pathetic. Repeated sloppy giveaways and cost us many counter attacks !

    A reject on any team with dignity.

    English twats worship him cos he’s welsh.
    Sad and desperate.

    • Goonerboyo

      February 9, 2013 at 11:31 pm

      Blind as a bat you are pal.
      Twll dyn

  9. Iskour

    February 10, 2013 at 12:42 am

    schez, sag,per,santi,jack,aron and theo were all smashing…

  10. Ogunbunmi

    February 10, 2013 at 1:09 am

    It was a fantastic game for us yesterday afternoon kudos to all the players. Best performance of the season for sagna. Wish Jack a quick recovery. Gunners till i rest in peace>>> Ogunbunmi from Sagamu.

  11. bradguns

    February 10, 2013 at 3:38 am

    Credit needed 4 girouds defending – i agree his fwd performance was poor

    Wallcott and carzorla both should have put the game away

    Diaby wasnt that bad

  12. Abraham emmanuel

    February 10, 2013 at 4:49 am

    Kudos to d guys, now i know dat we have arrived, who said we can not make top 4? I believe we can even do better. Up GUNNERS.

  13. LESAN

    February 10, 2013 at 5:02 am

    Gud play sagna. Szcezeny da best. Up gunners

  14. Samuel chima Agbo

    February 10, 2013 at 7:01 am

    Kudos to all gunners players for their outstanding performance, but we need to add striking force in our team

  15. Amaka

    February 10, 2013 at 9:01 am

    I didd not watch d game but from all d comments, i believe that our team play excellent game expecially in defence. Glory be to God for answering Arsenal fans prayers. K………U………D……..O………S

  16. Gunner land

    February 10, 2013 at 10:21 am

    My best players yesterday were scny, sagna and ramsy. Others played very well but besides these three players we could have conceded one or two goals after jekin bagged a red card in the second half.

  17. Victor Jerry

    February 10, 2013 at 2:52 pm

    Well done guys, thought didn´t watch the game but am happy that we pocketed the 3 points which is the most important thing. I wish Jack quick recovery cos we need him for champion league game.

  18. LB

    February 10, 2013 at 4:51 pm

    I love Ramsey!!!

  19. deepaj

    February 10, 2013 at 7:10 pm

    i think people dont give ramsey applause where he deserves

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