Arsenal cruised to a 3-0 victory over London rivals Chelsea to leave them five points behind Premier League leaders Manchester City.
Goals from Alexis, Walcott and Ozil helped Arsene Wenger’s men to another three points, in what was a superb performance to mark the boss’ 20th anniversary in charge.
We’ve rated each player from today’s performance, and have commented on their main involvement in a game that never looked to finish any other way.
Petr Cech – 7
Considering he was going up against his old side who he’d won so much silverware with, Cech would have been easily mistaken for thinking he’d have a busy evening. The fact is that until Michy Batshuayi broke away into the box in the 84th minute, Cech didn’t have a direct save to make. Comfortable when needed and prevented a dangerous set piece just before half time.
Hector Bellerin – 7.5
Another standard performance from Bellerin who was always gonna have it tough with Eden Hazard on the left wing. The Spaniard silenced the former PFA Player of the Year though, and his build-up play with Walcott allowed us to streamline defence to attack in seconds.
Shkodran Mustafi – 9
By far the best game he’s played in an Arsenal shirt, this could possibly be the most important signing in Wenger’s 20 years at the club. We mentioned in our preview that how he coped against Costa would pay tribute to the scoreline. He was level-headed throughout, threw himself into everything and was a nuisance in the air.
Laurent Koscielny – 8.5
What more can we say about the vice-captain that hasn’t already been said. Again, he’s no longer having to do the job of two centre backs and that means he has a lot more freedom in his play. His mentality has upped since being given the armband too and he’s a leader we’ve been searching for.
Nacho Monreal – 7
Struggled to get forward at times and gave the ball away in silly areas. Early stages of the game his link-up play with Iwobi was ropey but that will come with time. Still no signs of why he should be dropped, his performances will be frustrating Kieran Gibbs.
Francis Coquelin – 6.5
Subbed in the 30th minute for what looked to be a minor knee injury. With Wenger unwilling to take chances he immediately brought Xhaka on. From what we saw of him, another good display so let’s hope that injury isn’t too serious.
Santi Cazorla – 8
We saw another side of Cazorla today, a real fighter that was willing to get in amongst the nasty stuff. That’s what we like about him, his consistency to add fluidity between the defence and midfield is mind-blowing, and it looks like he’s really finding his 2012/13 form again.
Theo Walcott – 8
Got his sixth goal against Chelsea in all competitions and was so good to watch at last. Confidence picks up when the whole squad is in the mood and he got a really important strike today. He’s currently Arsenal’s second top goalscorer with three, and is keeping players out of the team.
Mesut Ozil – 9
If people were still concerned as to whether Ozil turns up in the big games, then this is the cherry on the top to shut them up. Another magnificent performance that was rounded off with an unconventional goal. Worked his ass off across all areas of the midfield which ran Chelsea out of the game.
Alex Iwobi – 9 (MOTM)
He doesn’t get half of the hype that surrounds the players with the big price tags, but Iwobi really is a special talent and is maturing with every game. Before the match many complained that Alexis should be in Iwobi’s spot but he’s silenced those critics. If you haven’t seen his involvement in the second goal then make sure it’s the first thing you do after reading this.
Alexis Sanchez – 8.5
Really got a chance to see what having Alexis is like in the centre forward position. With the Emirates behind him and the competition stepping up following Lucas’ mid-week brace, Alexis put himself out there to chase everything down and make Chelsea uncomfortable from the off. Got himself his first goal against the Blues and there’s no reason to put him back at left-wing yet.
Granit Xhaka – 7.5
Was introduced after Coquelin’s injury and took it as his chance to show he really can perform in fixtures like this one. His discipline has been questioned but against a fiery Chelsea attack he was the coolest player on the pitch. Has the energy to cover the midfield so Cazorla can push on.
Kieran Gibbs – 7
Doing his job effectively and when called upon is ready to put a shift in. As we’ve seen so many times before when Arsenal go ahead Wenger brings him in to see out the last 20 minutes.
Olivier Giroud – N/A
Brought on essentially to allow Alexis to get his standing ovation. Giroud struggled to get a hold of the ball though, and we’re more likely to see Lucas at centre forward on Wednesday night.