(Photo by Rui Vieira – Pool/Getty Images)
After conceding another early goal due to a defensive error, it looked like Arsenal could be in for another disappointing result against Leicester today. However, much to the delight of the fans, a controlling performance led to an impressive turn around- and all three points heading back to North London. Here’s my player ratings from today’s game…
Leno – 6 : Another game for Leno where he had little to do, and yet could not have done anything to deny Tielemans’ early goal for Leicester. Did what he had to do, well.
Soares – 7 : I was pleased to see the Portuguese international in the lineup, what with Bellerin’s painfully average form of late. I thought Cedric did exactly what he had to do today. He was effective in combining with Pepe as swiftly as possible, a pleasant change from Bellerin’s seeming preference to slow it down and play in to midfield. Brought the best out of Pepe today. Will be interesting to see who Arteta favours in coming weeks.
Luiz – 8 : The Brazilian scored a very impressive header to bring us level, in what was a very positive individual performance from David Luiz. He was secure defensively, physically imposing and fulfilled everything we wanted of him. Solid.
Mari – 5 : Very much at fault for the Leicester goal. It is basic defensive knowledge that the first priority has to be the man on the ball, as opposed to focusing on runners. Should have pressed Tielemans. To be fair, his performance after that was solid, and crowned off with a clever recovery run to shut out Vardy late on.
Tierney – 8 : It seemed clear to me today that the Scotsman is back to full fitness. As always, he was electric up the left flank, combining well with Willian and offering great security on the ball. As we have come to expect from Tierney at Arsenal, this was another impressive performance.
Xhaka – 8 : Another great performance from Granit today, who has been on top form since he returned from his red card against Burnley. The midfielder had the most touches, passes, duels won, ball recoveries and tackles made today. While his slow style of play can frustrate when we are losing, he controlled the game well when we went ahead.
Elneny – 4 : The overriding feeling that I get when I watch him is that he is a painfully average footballer. Whilst Elneny is normally secure on the ball, it feels like most, if not all, of his passes are sideways or backwards. Frustrating to watch. He didn’t do much wrong, but didn’t give Arteta any reason to give him more game time going forward.
Pepe – 9 (MOTM) : For me, this was one of the best performances we’ve seen from Nicolas Pepe at Arsenal so far. He absolutely ran the Leicester left back ragged in the first half, forcing them into an early change. Won the penalty for Lacazette to convert, and topped off a positive outing with a neatly worked goal and simple finish. A sign of what he can do when he’s at his best.
Smith Rowe – 6 : Prior to his injury and substitution in the dying minutes of the first half, I thought Emile played well. His neat linkup play, clever movement and all-round creative influence was present throughout the half. Sad to see him go off.
Willian – 8 : Alongside Fulham on the opening day of the season, this was clearly his best performance in an Arsenal shirt. Added on a strong substitute performance on Thursday with another two assists- and a performance that looked much more like a player trying their very best. Need more games like today from Willian.
Lacazette – 8 : For me, this was another excellent performance from the striker- who has seemingly been on top form when started recently. The way he brings others in to the game with neat passes or by clearing space is incredible. Took his penalty emphatically.
Ødegaard – 7: After coming on for the injured Smith Rowe just on the stroke of half time, the loanee had a very pleasant outing. Bar one stray pass, Ødegaard was secure on the ball- and showed his class by effectively creating the third goal. Top stuff.
Partey – 7 : The overriding feeling when Thomas steps on the pitch is that he really does ooze class. Dominated the midfield and kept everything secure. Great to have him back.
Aubameyang – 5 : Came on and didn’t really have much to do. Standard five, did nothing wrong but made no meaningful impact.
A controlling performance, and great result- but most importantly, the three points. We go on to the next one.