[Player Ratings] Arsenal 2-0 West Brom: Wilshere Runs The Show
Arsenal got back to winning ways with an impressive 2-0 win over high-flying West Brom at the Emirates on Saturday afternoon. Here are my ratings from the game
Arsenal got back to winning ways with an impressive 2-0 win over high-flying West Brom at the Emirates on Saturday afternoon.
The goals came in controversial circumstances with Santi Cazorla awarded a penalty after Reid appeared to clip him in the box, but replays showed there was little contact. The second goal was also debatable with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain winning this one but West Brom wanted a foul in the build-up. Both spot-kicks were converted by Arteta and it was good to see him step-up after missing his last penalty against Fulham.
While many will highlight the two controversial penalties, the fact is we were by far the better side and were in total control throughout. We may have lacked a killer touch in front of goal, only hitting the target three times from 20 attempts, but i’m confident we’d have won the game even if we weren’t awarded the penalties, such was our dominance.
It was a much-improved display from the side, there was more hunger and determination and the players had clearly been told to close the opposition down quicker. The passing was more crisp and more fluid, especially in the second half, and we looked solid at the back. Overall it was a professional performance from the lads. Here are my ratings:
Szczesny – 6 – Late save from a long-range Rosenburg effort was just about all he had to do during the game.
Sagna – 6.5 – Steady performance from Bac. Solid at the back and got forward, but crossing was pretty poor. Ended the game limping and looks like he picked up a knock.
Mertesacker – 6 – Relatively untested by the toothless West Brom side.
Vermaelen – 6 – Marshalled the back-line well and we looked far more solid than in previous weeks.
Gibbs – 7 – Very good display from Kieran. Got up and down and linked up well with Gervinho on occasion, but like many others, the final ball wasn’t always there.
Arteta – 8 – Cooly slotted home both penalties capping a very good all-round performance. More aggression in his game today and he is clearly refreshed after his rest in midweek. Much better from the Spaniard after a couple of below par performances in recent weeks.
Wilshere – 9 – Ran the show. Superb display from Wilshere. Great driving run early on set the tone and he was back to his best. He went close to scoring in the first half but couldn’t quite connect enough to convert Gervinho’s cross but was central to everything positive.
Cazorla – 7.5 – Will no doubt be castigated for his dive and while it’s never nice to see a player go to ground too easily, let’s not pretend Santi is the first man to do it. Sadly i think the boys on MOTD are going to have a field day though. Besides the dive, the little Spaniard played well today, showing some neat touches and incisive passing and linked up well with Wilshere.
Gervinho – 6 – Missed a great early chance, scuffing his shot with the goal gaping and also missed a golden chance to score but completely missed the ball when unmarked five yards out in the second half. But there was some positives to his play, his powerful running caused the visitors problems and a good run and cross almost found Wilshere, but his end product is still largely wasteful. Subbed.
Chamberlain – 7.5 – Much better from Chambo. He’s been pretty poor of late but was involved far more today, putting in some useful crosses, almost scored with a spectacular scissor kick and good work won the second penalty.
Giroud – 6 – Had few decent crosses to work from and wasn’t involved as much as he should have been. Looked like he was carrying a knock having been kneed in the back towards the end of the first half though, so we’ll let him off.
Coquelin – 6 – Did little after replacing Chamberlain with 15 minutes to go.
Rosicky – 6 – Little time to make a real impact but good for him to get more minutes under his belt.
Podolski – 5 – Blazed over from 5 yards out with the goal gaping. Luckily it didn’t prove to be an important miss.
If you haven’t seen them, you can watch highlights and the goals from Arsenal 2-0 West Brom here.
The win takes us up to sixth in the league and only two points off Tottenham and WBA, but we still remain five behind Chelsea who beat Sunderland 3-1. Bradford up next in the League Cup on Tuesday, lets hope for more of the same.
What were your ratings from the game? Get involved in the comments section below.
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