[Player Ratings] Sunderland 1-2 Arsenal: All Hail King Henry
Arsenal came from a goal down to secure a vital 2-1 victory over Sunderland on Saturday afternoon, with Thierry Henry scoring the winner. Here’s player ratings
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.
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!
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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