[Player Ratings] Sunderland 1-2 Arsenal: All Hail King Henry

By on February 11, 2012

Arsenal came from a goal down to secure a vital 2-1 victory over Sunderland on Saturday afternoon, with Thierry Henry grabbing an injury time winner.

The first half was about as poor a game as i’ve watched this season. Sunderland were unadventurous and Arsenal lacked any urgency. Not a surprise to see it 0-0 at the break.

The second half began in a more lively fashion and Arsenal were starting to find holes in the home sides 10-man defence. In fairness, the Black Cats began to push forward as well and Szczesny was forced in to a couple of good saves.

Then lady luck deserted us once more when Mertesacker, under little pressure at the back, twisted his ankle and collapsed with McClean on hand to pick up the loose ball, take a touch and fire home for an unlikely 1-0 lead. To make matters worse, Per was stretchered off with what Arsene Wenger fears is ankle ligament damage. Just when the injury problems began to subside, another serious injury is picked up. Unreal.

However, we got back on level terms within five minutes when sub Ramsey fired home from the edge of the area and the game was there for the taking. Enter Sir Thierry Henry.

With 92 minutes on the clock Andrey Arshavin sent in a pin-point cross for Henry to side-foot home from close range and sign off his Arsenal Premier League career in style.  You just can’t write this stuff can you? Some people were worried about Thierry damaging his reputation with this short term loan deal, but three goals, two of them winners, in just six games has without a doubt enhanced his legendary status at the club.

Overall, it was one of those games where few chances were created, Sunderland defended in numbers and we struggled to break them down. But we managed to grind out a vital win and now sit fourth after Chelsea’s defeat to Everton. Here are my player ratings for the Arsenal team.

Player Ratings

Szczesny – 7.5 – Made two vital stops with the score at 0-0 and could do little about the Sunderland goal.

Sagna – 7 – Solid display from Bacary. He got forward on occasion and took care of his defence duties. Great to have him back.

Meresacker – 6 – Looked a little shaky and lucky not to give away a penalty when he handled in the first half. Accidental slip lead to Sunderland’s opener.

Koscielny – 7 – We’ve seen far better displays from Kosielny in recent weeks, but he stood firm and dealt with most of what was thrown at him.

Vermaelen – 7.5 – Great performance from Thomas. He joined in the attack at any opportunity and did his bit at the back. Looks like he’ll be returning to his central role now that Mertesacker is injured.

Song – 8 – Excellent all round display. Took charge of the midfield and made some key interceptions. His through-balls weren’t quiet as impressive as last week though!

Arteta – 7.5 – Kept things moving in midfield but also showed off his defensive ability with some important tackles and blocks.

Rosicky – 7 – He was ok but just lacks that cutting edge. His final balls were off and he simply refuses to shoot when he has a sight of goal. We need more from our ‘creative’ midfielder.

Walcott – 5.5 – Most certainly an off-day from Theo. I don’t think he made one successful run or cross in the match. He did have a decent half chance in the first half but just couldn’t get in the game.

Chamberlain – 6.5 – Faired a little better than Walcott, but also struggled to make a real impact. Sunderland were defending in numbers so it was difficult for our pacey wingers. Better days ahead for Alex.

Van Persie – 6.5 – Struggled to see much of the ball as the home side were marking him tightly and cutting off the service channels. A rare occasion this season when we won and RVP didn’t get a goal or assist!

SUBS

Henry – 10 – Ok, a ten may be pushing it a little but he deserves it for all the memories he’s given Arsenal fans over the years. This guy is simply unbelievable. In his final minute of Premier League action he scores a winner. A true legend of not only Arsenal but the Premier League. Will be sadly missed by all.

Arshavin – 8 – Made a great impact from the bench with a superb assist for Henry’s winner. More of the same please Andrey.

Ramsey – 8 – Took his goal well at a vital time when we needed to get back in the game after Sunderland took a shock lead. Looked hungry to prove a point.

Watch video highlights and all the goals from Sunderland 1-2 Arsenal

Those are my ratings, feel free to leave your opinions in the comments section below…

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25 Comments

  1. Mr Arsenal

    February 11, 2012 at 9:17 pm

    Mertesacker didn’t slip, he got injured. Anyways, good to see us back in the top 4.

  2. Bradman

    February 11, 2012 at 9:17 pm

    Gotta disagree with rosicky 7 ? Best player in my opinion. He always keeps the ball moving and doesn’t dwell like numerous others in our side
    3 points well earned. 3 more in our next league game please

    • Jacobs

      February 12, 2012 at 6:29 am

      Supported guy. To me the best on the pitch. Distribute the ball and almost everywhere on the pitch. Forget the goals he intercepted, mark and attacked.

      Keep him on the bench an we will not be that resilient and pushy in attack. He must start against Millan to create chances.

      Our two other midfielders are holding and not attacking much to me.

    • Papa Andea

      February 12, 2012 at 9:00 am

      Best player in my opinion as well.

  3. Olatanimola

    February 11, 2012 at 9:31 pm

    Thiery henry is a great player in history of arsenal football club all gunners fans keep the faith

  4. B JOHNSON

    February 11, 2012 at 9:36 pm

    AGREE WITH BRADMAN, ROSICKY DID CERY WELL. I HAVE TO QUESTION A NUMBER OF YOUR RATINGS – RAMSEY(8) BECAUSE HE SCORES 1 GOAL? YOU MENTIONED THAT WALCOTT DID NOT MAKE ONE SUCCESSFUL RUN OR CROSS, BUT YOU GAVE HIM 5.5? WAS THE 5.5 FOR TURNING UP?

    • RVP10

      February 11, 2012 at 11:05 pm

      @B Johnson

      Ramsey scored a goal, yes, so deserves a good rating. Basic logic there mate.

      Walcott – What rating would you have given him then? 1? 2? It’s not realistic is it?! He didn’t play very well, and 5.5 is a low rating.

  5. Zakari Usman

    February 11, 2012 at 9:47 pm

    To my opinion,i think Rosicky is d man of d match.He was everywhere wit his passes.

  6. oliver mapukute

    February 11, 2012 at 10:19 pm

    tr7 played well.

  7. T2T

    February 11, 2012 at 10:19 pm

    Song, whom I really like, didn’t play well today. He misplaced a number of passes> He played better when he was moved into CB.

  8. con-kamp

    February 11, 2012 at 10:28 pm

    Have to disagree with the ratings as well…mertesacker was phenomenal today..he was the heart in the defense withhis clearing of aerial balls!am sure we shall miss him during FA cup.and really,5.5 for walcott!!for what…stop cramming football please

    • Fall River Gooner

      February 11, 2012 at 11:29 pm

      Agree with con, BFG was very solid in the back till the injury. several interceptions, won more aerials than he normally does. He even was up forward a few times. Shaky? No!

  9. atid

    February 11, 2012 at 11:11 pm

    Well done ramsey that will do him the world of good and resting him is showing the.benefit already. he is by far a better goalscorer and assister than rosicky. i just wish we would rotate him with arshavin and rotate rosicky with arteta if anybody. i think rosicky done ok but i thought wojech had as good a game as anyone with a couple of match winning saves. but our keepers never get man of the match awards and long mau that continue…….for the right reasons of course.

  10. Disagree

    February 11, 2012 at 11:37 pm

    Rosicky was definitely motm. Song should get a 4. His speed of play is way too slow for the Arsenal. Central midfielders should drive the team and play bright and lively. Song is a slow runner and slow mentally. He rarely has a plan of action before the ball gets to him, resulting in 5,6,7 touches sometimes. Coq or Frimpong should take his spot next year. This team is missing Gervs pace as evidenced by their lack of form when he left. As for Mertesacker, bad luck, hoping for the best. Everyone was slipping today, sunderland should be embarassed by the shape of the pitch, horrible conditions. Arsenal should be compensated for bfgs injury due to their neglegence.

    • caspagooner

      February 12, 2012 at 3:17 am

      maybe u should check to confirm ”slow” songs stats and compare to other CMs. One of our finest players this season (probably 2nd to only RvP) Thiery Henry. L E G E N D

    • the new invincibles

      February 13, 2012 at 7:56 am

      Very harsh on Song,verging on ridiculous to say Coq or Frimpong have shown enough to dislodge him. Song has shown himself to be creatuve with several assists and goals for AFC.He is also fearless and plays the on-pass where Ramsey conwstantly passes sideways and back. Yes does have a few inconsistent games but tell me how many haven’t this season? I would go as far as to say if Song played further forward this season we would have more of a cutting edge and we would create more goals and score a few too.

  11. arsenal4life

    February 12, 2012 at 3:55 am

    SOS from Jamaica, can somebody tell Walcott not to mark the opposing players when we are in position of the ball. I don’t why he likes to mark opposing players and he is not defending. Carry the players wide and use your speed. Let the full back track you all game and not you tracking him. So a rating of 1 is good enough for him.

  12. Damtel

    February 12, 2012 at 6:34 am

    Rosicky is our best player,he deserve a first team action pls!

  13. Vokes25

    February 12, 2012 at 7:20 am

    Thank goodnes that afcon is curtaining down,so gervs can come back & bench walcot,i wud lk to see gervs on the left & the ox on the right,then bring on curtain hospers.

  14. demetrio

    February 12, 2012 at 8:24 am

    i think rosicky was the man of the match,he did well with the ball,most of the pass completed,totally different with ramsey in that position as normally does.

  15. lol

    February 12, 2012 at 9:12 am

    TR7 very well done throughout z match also big big praises to andrey arshavin!!!!AA23 showed he’s world class and always remain as well as TR7

  16. anon

    February 12, 2012 at 10:10 am

    Not sure how seriously I can take you if you think our number 23 is called Alex Arshavin..

  17. reality

    February 12, 2012 at 10:20 am

    infact all the player did there best,i can ramsy improve when he start from the bench.

  18. EMERY

    February 13, 2012 at 7:27 am

    Rosicky did well to me walcott should play as a sub, he is not good at all.

  19. AMITH

    February 13, 2012 at 7:43 am

    Well Done Wenger with the subs.
    1) Ramsey scored the equiliser.
    2) AA managed to give a brilliant cross for the winner to be scored.
    3) Henry scores the winner..
    Hows that for great substitutions..
    N im sure most fans wrote of AA, but Wenger didnt..

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