Arsenal got back into Premier League action with a bang, extending the lead at the top of the table to four points with a hard fought win over this season’s surprise package, Southampton. So how did each individual Gunner perform?

Szczesny – 8
He did his job very well today. Made a couple of very good saves and was very commanding in his box. He adapted well to the pressure that Lambert and co. put him under when on the ball as well.
Sagna – 7.5
He was defensively sound for the majority of the game but did struggle at times when Jay Rodriquez would run at him. Also, his crosses could’ve been slightly better as his build up play and overlapping runs put him in some good positions.
Mertesacker – 8
What a centre back we have. Commanding and organised. I also liked that cheeky Cruyff turn. He just oozes class.
Koscielny – 8
Did very well against both Lambert and Osvaldo. Gave them little space and pressed them well when they countered. Also did well in forcing Lallana wide.
Gibbs – 8
A very good game by our English left back. He was such a threat attacking wise and defended well against the likes of Lallana and James Ward-Prowse.
Arteta – 6.5
He had quite a poor game for me. Defensively struggled and was very sloppy with his passing today.
Ramsey – 7
Not his best game but did well on the ball and almost scored another beautiful goal after his back-flick hit the post.
Wilshere – 7.5
A much improved game from Jack. He’s still lacking consistency but he’s improving and it’s important he continues to do that this season. We saw more of those bursting runs forward and he was intelligent with his passing.
Özil – 7
Struggled at times with the physicality of Wanyama and Schneiderlin. But he was able to orchestrate a few chances that didn’t go in. He’s still learning.
Cazorla – 6
Surprised at how poor he was today. Went invisible during parts of the game and was sloppy when passing. His only redeeming quality was when he was on the ball. He was able to take us out of tricky situations with his immense close control.
Giroud – 8.5 (MOTM)
What a transformation from last season. He completely dominated Southampton’s defence and thanks to his phenomenal work rate, he forced Boruc into a mistake for our first goal.
Walcott – 6
Didn’t get on the ball much and when he did, it was clear he was very rusty. But it’s important he got 30 minutes today. Same against Marseille and he could start against Cardiff on Saturday.
Rosicky – 7
Injected some extra pace and dynamism to our midfield when he came on for Arteta. Southampton were becoming a bit too dominant and his substitution helped us regain control.
Monreal – 7
He really is a versatile player who has the ability and experience to play when needed. He came on today and was very good on the ball as well as providing us width.

Southampton was always going to be a very difficult game and I’m very pleased we came out with a win. We now have to focus on Marseille. A win against them could mean qualifying for the last 16.

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