Much like my faith in Arsenal’s back line, I am back. Arsenal travelled to Leicester to commence the new game week in the early Saturday kick off; a tough test against a good side heading into the encounter on some decent form domestically and in Europe. Surprisingly, Mikel Arteta’s side took the three points in a convincing display, winning 2-0 in front of the Arsenal away fans. Let’s take a look at player ratings from that masterclass…
GK – Aaron Ramsdale – 10 – Wow. Just wow. Incredible. For all the excellent performances he’s put in since he joined Arsenal, today was still Ramsdale’s best. Eight saves, including one spectacular stop from a James Maddison freekick destined for the top corner, as well as some brilliant distribution and footwork. We could have lost this game were Ramsdale not playing so well. Man of the Match.
LB – Nuno Tavares – 7 – A solid performance from Kieran Tierney’s understudy, he seems to be fulfilling exactly the job we required from him when he signed in the summer. He’s raw and has room to improve, but he was good again today.
CB – Gabriel Maghalaes – 9 – Rose well to put us ahead within four minutes, and was defensively superb throughout. Unlucky not to win Man of the Match.
CB – Ben White – 8 – Equally as defensively secure as his partner. White looks settled now in this Arsenal back line. Him and Gabriel compliment each other superbly.
RB – Takehiro Tomiyasu – 8 – Another one of these solid performances we become accustomed to since his arrival. Tomiyasu is, simply put, a really good defender. Made one crucial interception to deny Vardy going through one-on-one, and performed well throughout.
LM – Emile Smith Rowe – 9 – One of the best players on the pitch today. Took his goal well and proved a great threat to Leicester within the first half. Very impressive one again.
CM – Sambi Lokonga – 7 – Coped well against a good Leicester midfield but ultimately didn’t have too tough of an afternoon. Solid. Nothing more, nothing less.
CM – Thomas Partey – 8 – Probably the better of the two central midfielders. Made some excellent defensive contributions and played a lovely switch ball in the build-up to the second goal.
RM – Bukayo Saka – 8 – Got his goal involvement just four minutes in with a lovely corner, and provided a threat from set pieces throughout; something it is clear he has improved on from last season. Linked up well and looked a threat whenever he was driving towards the Leicester defence.
ST – Alex Lacazette – 7 – Did exactly what he was asked and worked his socks off to lead the press. Looked absolutely knackered when he came off. I’m loving seeing him up top with Aubameyang in this 4-4-2.
ST – Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – 8 – Was unlucky not to grab his goal, after Schmeichel pulled off an incredible goal-line stop to deny him. Led from the front and had some moments of quality- with one particular volley across the box coming to mind. He’s been really good of late.
AM – Martin Odegaard – 7 – Came on after 55 minutes for Lacazette and did a job. Took the venom out of the game and slowed the tempo with his control. Pressed well. A decent showing.
RM – Nicolas Pepe – 5 – Didn’t have an awful amount of time to influence the game. Standard five.
LB – Sead Kolasinac – 5 – Came on in the 90th minute. Nothing more to say.
I said before the game that I hoped Mikel Arteta would stick with the 4-4-2 we saw in our previous game, and that he did. A really impressive victory today, extending our unbeaten streak to nine games.