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Arsenal 2 - West Ham 1: player ratings

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These won’t be pretty.

Arsenal v West Ham United - Premier League Photo by Will Oliver - Pool/Getty Images

Arsenal did not look convincing in their 2-1 win over West Ham, but at the end of the day, a win is a win. I don’t think I can put it better than Mikel Arteta did in his post match press conference:

I am really happy with the three points! I need a team to analyse properly because we have a lot of issues that we created ourselves in many moments & it reminded of the game we had when we played them last year. We have to improve in many things.

Without further ado, my player ratings. What do you think (poll embedded below, too)? And because you all don’t have half scores, I’ve not given half scores.

Bernd Leno - 7
I’d bet I’ve got him higher than most people would after today. I was pleasantly surprised at his increased aggressiveness in coming for aerial balls, and his punches were mostly better than what I’ve seen from him in the past. Not going to blame him for spilling a ball after going head over heels and landing basically on his face, and he made a very nice kick save on the sequence too.

Hector Bellerin - 6
Didn’t really do much well or poorly. West Ham didn’t attack down his side that often, and the Arsenal attack flows down the left because of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Bukayo Saka.

Gabriel - 9
Was fantastic again. He physically imposing and matched Michail Antonio for strength, which isn’t easy to do. His positioning was good, and he got in a critical block in the second half. Hit a couple very nice passes both on the ground and over the top to boot.

Rob Holding - 5
Thought he was alright, but marking him down pretty significantly for getting beat to the ball on the West Ham goal. Did well enough contesting Tomas Soucek in the air, but wasn’t exactly an aerial force either.

Sead Kolasinac - 1
He doesn’t have the quality to play for Arsenal and was particularly bad today. Poor passing and poor defending.

Granit Xhaka - 5
This was a tough one for me. Saw on Twitter something to the effect of, “he’s the metronome for this side, and today, he was not on beat.” His passing was off, but I thought he defended well, and that’s enough to earn the “average” mark from me.

Dani Ceballos - 8
Looked rusty in the first half, but boy did he have a great second half. I continue to be impressed with how far his defensive play has come since Mikel Arteta took over. Picked up an assist on the winner to boot.

Bukayo Saka - 8
Hockey assists (2nd assist) on both the Arsenal goals today. He brings much-needed creativity to the Arsenal attack, and that was on full display. He did most of his damage when he tucked a bit further infield and picked up the ball between the lines.

Willian - 4
Like most of the Arsenal side, he just looked a bit off today. Took a few too many touches a few too many times for me. To his credit, he still got himself involved in the play. Too often attackers will disappear completely, and he didn’t do that.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang - 7
It’s nice to have a guy whose “meh’ games are still pretty good. And maybe I’m being unfair to describe it as such. He had a fantastic assist on the first goal and was involved in most of Arsenal’s attacks on an off-day for the side as a whole.

Alexandre Lacazette - 5
Scoring the first goal salvages what otherwise would have been a lower score for the striker (definitely a 4, maybe a 3). He looked slow, both of foot and on the ball, and like Willian took too many touches too many times.

Nicolas Pepe - 4
Made one or two nice runs, but you’d like to see more from your talented players who you’ve brought on when you need a goal.

Eddie Nketiah - 8
He’s a goal-poacher, and he showed it again today — was in the right place at the right time to get the winner. He did well on a couple other attack moves to boot.

David Luiz - NA
Came on for the last few minutes to see out the match. Don’t think he touched the ball or did anything. It’s nice to see that he’s recovered from his neck injury, especially when the initial worry was that he could be out more than a month.