Olivier Giroud was on target for Arsenal as the Gunners came away with a narrow 2-1 victory over Newcastle United at St. James’ Park. After a dominating first-half performance which included a brace from Giroud, Arsene Wenger’s men resisted a Newcastle onslaught in the second half to claim the victory and go back to within a point of Manchester City in second place. Here are the player ratings:
Ospina – 8.5 – It was another impressive performance from the Colombian. He was commanding in the air and looked assured throughout. The highlights were his brilliant reflex saves from Sissoko and Perez.
Chambers – 7 – I honestly didn’t expect him to start this game but he put in a decent shift, he was full of running. He was assured in the tackle and was decent going forward. He can improve his positioning though.
Koscielny – 8 – Another good game for the Frenchman. He showed his aerial prowess on a number of occasions, made clean tackles and chipped in with crucial interceptions at the back.
Gabriel – 8.5 – For me, he was the pick of our defenders, it was a truly brilliant performance from the former Villareal man. He showed good physical strength in the challenge, made strong tackles and read the game extremely well and was at the heart of Arsenal’s resilience.
Monreal – 7.5 – Tidy performance from the Spaniard. He can perhaps take a little of the blame for the Newcastle goal, but overall, he was solid and contributed significantly to the team offensively as well.
Coquelin – 8.5 – Very good performance from Francis! He gave the ball away a few times and can be held partially responsible for the Newcastle goal but he also made countless successful tackles, shrewd interceptions and broke the play up very well, especially in the first half.
Ramsey – 7 – I would say he had a pretty average game today. He was full of running till the very end and combined beautifully with the forwards, but he missed a few good chances and I felt he can be a little stronger on the ball. He’s still getting back to his best though.
Cazorla – 7 – It was his set pieces that led to both the Arsenal goals. However, I felt Santi had a pretty average game today. He struggled to influence the game in a way that is expected of him.
Sanchez – 7.5 – This guy works so hard that it’s hard to criticize him when he has an off game. He really has impeccable work-rate. The highlight of his performance was that beautiful flick over the head of to get to the byline and cut it back to Welbeck.
Welbeck – 8 – The Englishman had a good game. It was his flick-on that led to Giroud’s first goal and he got into some really good positions, showed brilliant pace and contributed significantly in defence as well. He could do better with his finishing though.
Giroud – 9 – Man of the match without a shadow of a doubt! Olivier had two well-taken goals, linked up beautifully with his teammates, held the ball up brilliantly and put in a solid defensive shift as well. He could have easily had a hat-trick had it not been for Ramsey who got in his way on two occasions.
Rosicky – 7 – He chased the ball around a lot and kept the ball moving when in possession.
Flamini – 6 – He looked a little clumsy immediately after coming on but did what he was brough on to do, sat alongside Le Coq and shielded the defence.
Bellerin – N/A