Two goals from striker Olivier Giroud secured the three points as Arsenal saw through a tense second half at St. James Park, and won the game 2-1 against an impressive Newcastle United. The win allowed them to keep pace with second placed Manchester City, who won in the early kick off game, and moved within 4 points to leaders Chelsea, who have two games in hand. This win showed us a shaky side of Arsene Wenger’s men, who were a bit tired after their game against Monaco in the Champions League. However, their dedication in the second half was strong to keep them in a winning position. Here are the player ratings for the Gunners:
David Ospina: 8/10
He stepped up with some crucial saves when he was really required. He had some average moments in the game where he wasn’t much decisive in his movement while collecting crosses or otherwise, but his reflexes were top notch on a grueling day.
Calum Chambers: 5.5/10
He was average overall, and was pretty disappointing in defense. He let down the back four with continuous exposure against Cabella and Ameobi. He was average while moving forward, but it is certain that he would enjoy more by playing in central defense.
Was up to the task and was there protecting the Gunners’ goal along with his partner Koscielny. He did well to dig in and hold fort when Newcastle came charging in the second half. He looks like a decent buy from Arsene Wenger.
Laurent Koscielny: 7.5/10
He played an important part in the second half stopping Perez and Cabella from running riots. The Frenchman was exposed on many occasions but he dealt it well by stepping in with tackles and interceptions. He was lucky to escape conceding a penalty for a foul on Cabella.
Nacho Monreal: 6/10
Solid and straightforward, yet an anonymous or unspectacular game from Monreal. He had a decent game where he wasn’t in the limelight much.
Francis Coquelin: 7/10
His nosebleed because of a knock to his face, once more, has become pretty iconic to his heroic rise to Arsenal’s defensive midfield stardom. He had a good first half, and a tough second one like most of his teammates.
Aaron Ramsey: 6/10
In the first half, he was lively and contributing in attack but in the second half, Ramsey was anonymous in midfield. He could perhaps benefit from taking more initiative in midfield and have more dominance on the game.
Santi Cazorla: 6/10
He had an assist to his name, but looked a bit leggy and off-focus on the day as he was very involved in Arsenal’s midweek game against Monaco. He was substituted later in the second half.
Alexis Sanchez: 6/10
He had a decent game in the first half, but seriously went anonymous in attack in the second half. He was always there working super hard by tracking and pressing, but he does looked a bit subdued since January.
Danny Welbeck: 5.5/10
A poor game by Arsenal’s summer signing. On some occasions he should have done much better with the ball at his feet, and overall, he lacked the decisiveness and influence on offensive proceedings by Arsenal. Though, he was pretty hardworking as usual.
Olivier Giroud: 8/10 MOTM
Singlehandedly won Arsenal the game with two crucial and quick goals in the first half. He was in good touch as he showed composure and strength to hold possession in the second half. He almost scored another goal late on.
Mathieu Flamini: 5/10
A poor game as a substitute, as he was put under pressure every time he had possession. It looked that he did not add anything positive when he was brought on.
Tomas Rosicky: 6/10
Did his job and helped to keep the ball rolling with some neat passing. He brought some calmness to the game for Arsenal.
Hector Bellerin: N/A
A very late substitute to help Arsenal see the game off.