[Player Ratings] Arsenal 2-1 Newcastle: Watch Out Spurs!
Arsenal moved within one point of Spurs after an injury-time winner from Thomas Vermaelen secured a comeback to beat Newcastle 2-1. Here’s my player ratings
I’m not sure my heart can take much more of this! Another comeback and another late winner to move a point behind the scum. Third place is well and truly on!
The first ten minutes were pretty even but the visitors took the lead after some sloppy play at the back. Vermaelen’s poor pass eventually fell to Ben Arfa and Gibbs allowed the very left-footed Frenchman to cut inside and get a powerful shot off on his preferred foot which flew past Szczesny at his near post. Next time Gibbsy, just show him down his right side!
But we were level within seconds, Theo set up van Persie who took two delightful touches before firing home for 1-1. From this point on, it was all Arsenal. We knocked the ball about well, defended resolutely and created chances. But it took until the 94th minute until the winner arrived, Vermaelen charged in at the far post to fire home a Walcott cross to send the Emirates wild. Watch video highlights here.
This was another very good display by Arsenal against a decent Newcastle side who worked tirelessly. We ended up creating 23 chances to Newcastle’s 4, and had over 60% of the possession. It may have been a last-gasp winner, but we certainly deserved it. Here are my player ratings.
Szczesny – 6.5 – Should maybe have done better with the opener. Got beaten too easily at his near post, but otherwise solid. Didn’t really have many other saves to make but kicking was good and collected a few crosses.
Gibbs – 6.5 – Very poor defending for the opener. Should never have allowed Ben Arfa to cut inside so easily to score. But got forward well in the second half as we pressed for a winner.
Vermaelen – 8.5 – Sloppy pass lead to Newcastle’s goal but apart form that moment, he was superb. His attitude is priceless. He never gives up and ran the full length of the pitch to pop up at the far post to score an injury-time winner.
Koscielny – 8 – Another fine display. Battled well with the awkward Ba and made several key interceptions. Forming a fine partnership with Vermaelen.
Sagna – 8 – Superb throughout the game as he and Walcott ran riot down the right hand side. He seems to work well with Theo
Song – 6.5 – Relatively quiet game from Song. He broke up play well but his forward passing was a little below par by his standards. Seemed to be holding his defensive position more and dropped back whenever Vermaelen went forward.
Arteta – 8 – A ‘busy’ performance from Mikel. He seemed to be everywhere and always showing for the ball. 94% pass completion rate.
Rosicky – 8.5 – Close to being MOTM for me and can’t see why Arsene decided to sub him with 15 minutes to go. At that point he was running the show in the middle of the park. Maybe he was tiring a little, i don’t know, but it was another terrific performance from Tomas.
Walcott – 9 – Excellent in the first half, and very good in the second. Everything was going down his wing and he set up both goals. More of the same please Theo!
Chamberlain – 6.5 – Indifferent display from AOC. He was very quiet in the first half but just as he began to get in the game and look a danger in the second half, he was subbed. Maybe trying a little too hard at times, and sliced a shot wide from a decent position.
Van Persie – 8 – On another day he’d have bagged a hat trick. Superb touch and finish for the equaliser and went close on at least three other occasions. Loved to see his passion at the final whistle as he was clearly fired up after the vital winner. Shows just what it meant to him.
Gervinho – 5 – Un-impressive cameo from Gervinho. Lost the ball on a couple of occasions, before fluffing an excellent chance to score at the far post. Needs to show more composure.
Ramsey – 6 – Brought on for Rosicky as we looked to use his energy to find a winner. He look eager and full of running and was tidy in possession, but still lacks that cutting edge in the final third.
Crowd – 9 – Special mention to the Emirates faithful. Another fine display and the volume level seems to have cranked up a notch or two in recent weeks. Got right behind the team and you can see the players react positively. Keep it up!
So these are my player ratings, what would your ratings be? Get involved in the comments section….
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