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Player ratings: Arsenal 2-0 Newcastle

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Welcome to what we are aiming to have as a regular post-match feature - player ratings. Is it unique to us? No. Is it still fun to do? Yes. Is it fun to read? We hope so! We’re going to be trying some new things as we close out the season, so let us know what you like and what you’d like to see.

Anyway, here’s how I rated today’s team:

Starting 11:

Bernd Leno – 7

Not too much was asked of Leno thanks to the sporadic, at best, Newcastle attack. A clean sheet and a few good plays starting from the back deserves something nonetheless.

Ainsley Maitland-Niles – 7.5

He was Arsenal’s best defender in the attacking third on the night, rarely being caught out of position defensively. He was a constant threat down the right-wing and put multiple dangerous balls into the box.

Shkodran Mustafi – 7

A surprisingly poised performance from Mustafi on the night, having little to no mistakes. Where he usually would be caught out of position, he seemed to be there and making well timed tackles.

Sokratis – 6.5

The only reason this is not the same rating as Mustafi and Monreal is the tug of the shirt called in the box to disallow Aaron Ramsey’s first goal. He was there when Arsenal needed him defensively, outside of that incident, in what little attack Newcastle could produce going forward.

Nacho Monreal – 7

Nothing too fancy from Monreal, as he played a less attacking role with playing as a converted third center-half. Did what needed to be done to keep the clean sheet, and played as a smart outlet out of the back.

Sead Kolasinac – 6

Kolasinac did well going forward and joining the attack from the wing, but could never complete the final pass. Almost every cross or attempted ball in led to miss-hit ball over the top or a free-for-all in the box. This left Arsenal vulnerable to a few out of position counter attack opportunities down the left side.

Matteo Guendouzi – 5.5

Doubling the teams foul total on the night and taking slightly too big of touches every stint on the ball sums up the teenager’s night pretty well. To be fair, Guendouzi might have touched the ball as much or more than anyone on the pitch, but only few plays started from Guendouzi. A lack of creativity is also a concern, while short passes and movement off the ball seemed to improve over time for him.

Aaron Ramsey – 8.5 MOTM

A goal from our captain, and a high pass completion rate in the final third earns him the MOTM. Nearly every play began with Ramsey, being Arsenal’s most creative player in the attacking third on the night. Ramsey fills a role of connecting the midfield and the attack, and the fluidity in his passing and runs off the ball allow him to do the job flawlessly. An unrightfully disallowed goal (thanks Sokratis) is the only the only thing that stood between Ramsey and a brace.

Alex Iwobi – 6.5

Nothing flahshy from Iwobi, and perhaps that was for the best. Did what was asked of him and nothing more, producing decent balls into the box and played dangerous diagonal balls into Alexandre Lacazette, at times before getting subbed out for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Mesut Ozil – 7.5

Ozil was creative as usual, providing the threat that is expected from him in the box. This includes countless chances created from balls in behind, a few good shots on goal for himself and just being his dangerous self. All those things combined earns him the high rating.

Alexandre Lacazette – 8

A beautiful finish to top off the 2-0 win solidifies a solid performance from Lacazette. He did decently well in playing a hand in the attacking plays for the first 60 minutes of play, but became a whole different player when joined by Aubameyang up top. The two flooded the Newcatle defense with creative plays and accounted for the stint that resulted in the goal for Lacazette off the flick from Auba.

Substitutions:

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – 7.5

Started the night on the bench with an apparent “low fever”, but that could just be cover for providing him a bit of rest as a key piece to Arsenal’s attack in the important last stretch of the season. An assist off the bench is never a bad thing, especially when the beneficiary of said assist is Lacazette. The bromance continues, and it is so beautiful.

Elneny – 6.5

Subbed on late for an injured Aaron Ramsey and did exactly what was asked of him defensively. Actually did well on the ball as well, switching play in his time on the pitch and completing passes across the back.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan – N/A

Only played about eight minutes, and didn’t have time to really do anything either positive or negative.

What did you think? How would you rate the team after that win?