A chilly night in North London wasn’t going to put out the red hot performance this Gunners side put in on Saturday evening.
On the back of a last 16 place in the Champions League, Arsenal were looking to pick up on their poor Premier League form, after a series of setbacks to both Manchester United and Stoke City.
A 4-1 victory was enough to put a smile back on Wenger’s face, and a number of his players performed well today.
Wojech Szczesny – 7
Not much to do tonight, but he made vital saves when called into action. Looked impressive when our Arsenal defence looked shaky, a comfortable game for him to ease back into Premier League form.
Hector Bellerin – 7.5
Some really good stuff from Bellerin tonight and he really is a prospective youngster at the club. His yellow card was further evidence he still lacks maturity at the back, but in terms of getting forward and recovering, he has all the right attributes.
Matthieu Debuchy – 7
First game at CB in his professional career, and it came against his former club. Didn’t look out of place but then again he was never called into action very much. Positives can be taken from his partnership with Mertesacker, but Wenger will now know Debuchy is capable of filling in.
Per Mertesacker – 6
Difficult to rate Per today, simply because he wasn’t called into action a great deal. Steady performance from the German.
Kieran Gibbs – 6.5
It was always going to be a worry seeing Gibbs out there, seeing as the Englishman was carrying a knock from the start. Seemed quiet throughout the game but that was due to a lot of our play coming down the right side, as is reflected in Bellerin’s rating.
Matthieu Flamini – 6
Again, a steady showing from Flamini, didn’t put a foot wrong for the majority of the game and is learning to control his going to ground in the final third.
Oxlade-Chamberlain – 6.5
Looked to be struggling to get into the game, gave the ball away too many times in the first half but that may be down to playing in a new role tonight. Not too much action in front of goal, but showed Wenger he is capable of playing slightly more defensive.
Santi Cazorla – 8.5 (Man of the Match)
It is once again a joy to watch the little Spaniard. Grabbed two goals, one of them being a crafted shot when he could have easily gone down for a penalty, the second was a cheeky little chip to net the penalty. A cracking birthday present for Santi!
Olivier Giroud – 8.5
He just loves scoring against Newcastle, with six goals in five games against The Toon. His hold up play was yet again discovered and was a great way to draw cheap fouls. Once again showed he can link up with Welbeck. He and Alexis are beginning to understand each other now, and they work for one another brilliantly.
Alexis Sanchez – 8
Not on the goal records today, but picked up two brilliant assists and was effective throughout the game. Would have been nice for Wenger to take him off when we went 3-0 up, his job was done and a rest before next week will do him some good.
Danny Welbeck – 7
Once again so close to grabbing a goal for himself. He always looked active around the box and it didn’t take long for Giroud and him to start working the ball to one another. Struggled to hold up play at times, but is moments away from being back amongst the goals.
Lukas Podolski – 6
Didn’t really see anything from him in the 20 minutes he played. Plays much better when starting the game.
Francis Coquelin – N/A
Played just five minutes after being recalled from Charlton in the week.
Maitland-Niles – N/A
Played 2 minutes.