Monday, 25 October 2010

Arsenal player ratings

Hart His penalty save from Cesc Fàbregas was his best single moment since opening day. He had a few other good saves to make, too, and could not have done better with any of the goals. Tendency to kick to Tévez as if he were Edin Džeko is a touch frustrating but it was a good game overall. 7

Richards His best game this season. He was an attacking threat throughout - our most assertive wide player given the narrow formation - and created (and missed) our best chance of the game. Defensively he did well although he did switch off for Bendtner's goal. 7

Kompany I had been waiting for him to make a mistake all season, and it finally came. His tackle on Fàbregas was uncharacteristically late and a certain penalty. That aside, it was another good performance with some important interventions in our third. 6

Boyata Picking Boyata over Lescott was one of Mancini's boldest selections for a while. And unfortunately it failed. Boyata was caught flat-footed by Marouane Chamakh, lunged, brought him down, and was sent off. One could argue that the smart decision would have been to let Chamakh through: he's a good player but a very right-footed finisher and the chances of his scoring would not have been far beyond 50-50. But it was a rush of blood of the sort that typifies nineteen year old footballers. 3

Boateng The hardest test he's had so far. Started off at left-back but moved to centre-back and played there for most of the game. As with Kompany, he was very good but for one glaring mistake: when he tried to let the ball run out for a goal-kick but was shrugged off by Chamakh. That aside his positioning and tackling were very good. 6

de Jong Did an important job trying to stem the flow of Arsenal attacks through the middle of the pitch. Tried to puncture Fàbregas with a rather nasty lunge early on but after that he was very good, running hard, closing off space and making six successful interceptions. He even showed some decent footwork of his own in the Arsenal half as we tried to get back into the game. 7

Silva For the first half an hour he was the equal of Fàbregas and Nasri, showing some excellent touches and jinks, inducing a sharp save from Fabiański in the first few minutes. He rather drifted out of the game in the second half, as Arsenal stifled possession, but had our best effort of the second half with a low drive. 7

Yaya Touré Briefly moved to centre-back after the sending off but soon moved back into midfield: his physicality was important to link with Silva and Tévez. Threatened on the break once or twice but again looked like he was playing at 70% and came off at half-time. 5

Barry Like Yaya, he started in midfield, had a brief spell in defence and then moved back into midfield. It was his negligence in allowing Nasri to run beyond him that cost us the first goal, which was a shame. That aside he had a decent game, covering ground and working hard before coming off for a more exotic option. 6

Milner Worked as hard as anyone to make up for our deficit in midfield. I think he will be increasingly useful as the season goes on, here he was tasked with covering most of the pitch and while the quality wasn't always there he did characterise our application and intelligence. 6

Tévez Threatened Johan Djourou in the first half, getting a good shot in and linking well with Silva, but picked up a knock with saw him withdrawn early in the second half. Needs to be fit for the derby. Needs to be fit for the derby. 6

Subs:

Bridge Still struggles with the basics, unfortunately. It was his block (either trap it or clear it, don't split the difference), that teed up Alex Song for the goal that ended the game. That aside there was not much else to talk about. Nothing in the final third. 4

Adebayor Ran hard without the ball, which suggests that his Europa League hat-trick was the boost that he needed. Had two good headed chances and missed both of them, but I do think he'll get more games in the next week or so as Tévez is protected. 6

Balotelli His first touch at Eastlands was excellent, as he brought the ball down from the air. Not much more to say. n/a

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