Football can be a funny old game sometimes. Arsenal set up to counter attack Newcastle on Saturday afternoon and started very brightly, but after the hosts lost Mitrovic to a red card 16 minutes in, the whole set up needed a re-think as Newcastle dropped back.
Luckily for Arsenal they managed to breakthrough and nick the win, but it was a frustrating game at times. Again we squandered big chances to score more, which will concern Arsene Wenger.
Here are the player ratings based on the fan average that you voted for on our Player Rater.
Petr Cech – 7.0
After getting his first clean sheet on Monday with a man of the match performance against Liverpool, Cech will be pleased to get a clean sheet again today. He literally had nothing at all to do in terms of shot stopping, but looked confident and quality when coming off his line and claiming crosses. I expect he got a bit bored mind.
Hector Bellerin – 7.4
Bellerin looked solid today as his pace helped nullify Newcastle’s ability to catch us on the break. Had a couple of really promising runs inside to try and help open up the hosts, nearly worked.
Laurent Koscielny – 7.0
Not a lot to do, stayed back, kept things calm. Carried the ball forward on a couple of occasions to try and encourage Arsenal’s attack. Him and Gabriel could be a top class partnership for a while..
Gabriel (Man of the Match) – 7.7
A brilliant performance from the Brazilian, albeit rarely tested. It will be hard for Wenger to now leave out Gabriel, after he came into the team and has helped the side to two clean sheets. Wenger has already spoken very highly of Gabriel’s talent.
Nacho Monreal – 7.1
This guy is Mr.Consistent. Although he didn’t have a lot to do, what he had to do he did extremely well. No complaints for Monreal and Gibbs will be getting itchy feet on that bench.
Francis Coquelin – 7.4
Another solid game from Coquelin. He must have been very tempted to get aggressive following several hard tackles on him from Newcastle players, it was almost like they were told to wind him up… but he kept calm and was quality today.
Santi Cazorla – 5.3
Wasn’t great against Liverpool and wasn’t great again today. His influence was very limited as Newcastle shut him out of the game. Some Arsenal fans may like to see Ramsey back in central midfield when Ozil returns from injury after the international break. The Spaniard also picked up a harsh yellow card.
Aaron Ramsey – 5.9
Ramsey worked hard, kept making some good runs but was visibly out of position in that number 10 role. It’s clear his qualities lie deeper in midfield, especially when we are trying to break teams down, his ability to run into the box as an extra man cannot be underestimated. Hopefully we eventually see him back there.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (off 81) – 7.4
Although wasteful in possession at times, Chamberlain is the reason we have the three points today. He takes a chance, tries to beat a man, tries a shot from distance – and it was his deflected shot that got us the vital goal today. Still lots of areas to improve for him, but his ability to help us score is a quality asset to have on the pitch.
Alexis Sanchez – 6.6
Alexis is still waiting to click into top gear, but he showed signs of quality today. He gives us something different and came close to scoring twice, with the excellent Tim Krul denying him. The Gunners fans though, as desperate to see the Chilean back to his best. Hopefully after the international break he will be fully fit.
Theo Walcott (off 69) – 4.1
Walcott wants to play every game but with a performance like this then he won’t be able too. He looks useless as a striker when Newcastle sit back and sadly for Theo, they did just that for the whole game. He also had two great chances to score and a clinical striker would have buried those chances. It’s not his fault he’s not a striker, Arsenal need to go and sign one in these last three days of the transfer window.
Olivier Giroud (on 69) – 5.1
Came on and his presence helped us but missed one clear chance at the end and a couple of other half chances. Must do better.
Mikel Arteta (on 81) – 5.2