After a physical battle over the 90 minutes, Arsenal triumphed over Watford, claiming all three points thanks to Emile Smith Rowe’s third goal in three league games. Let’s take a look at my player ratings from the victory…
GK – Aaron Ramsdale – 7 – Had an easy time until the closing 15 minutes. Made one mistake going to sweep up but was solid aside of that. Another clean sheet in the bag.
LB – Nuno Tavares – 8 – Though Tierney was back in the matchday squad today, it was good to see Nuno keep his place. Another solid showing. His energy, pace and power is exceptional. Did well against tricky wingers.
CB – Gabriel Maghalaes – 8 – Denied by a great Foster stop from a corner. Defensively secure as always and impressive on the ball; he’s come on leaps and bounds with his distribution.
CB – Ben White – 9 – Though Sky Sports gave Man of the Match to Maitland-Niles, I’d say White was the best player on the pitch today. Great on the ball, strong in the air, made several dribbles to break the lines; including in the build-up to Smith Rowe’s goal. Roles Royce centre back.
RB – Takehiro Tomiyasu – 8 – Came up against a set of tricky wingers who knew they had him for pace, but he coped well. Kept Sarr and Dennis quiet for most of the game.
LM – Emile Smith Rowe – 8 – I didn’t actually think Emile was at his best today, but he still found a way to score; that is the mark of a top player. Three goals in his last three games simply cannot be overlooked. A decent display, not his best, and a goal to give us the win.
CM – Sambi Lokonga – 7 – Made a few loose passes but was alright aside from those. It’s hard to know what to say for Sambi- he’s a solid player with lots to improve on, he probably doesn’t make our best lineup with everyone fit, and yet he’s not done much wrong.
CM – Ainsley Maitland-Niles – 8 – Close to a nine. Came in for the injured Thomas Partey, played well, and left with the Man of the Match award. Very happy for him to be back in and around the lineups at Arsenal.
RM – Bukayo Saka – 8 – Constantly looked a threat. Ran Danny Rose absolutely ragged. Unlucky to have his goal ruled offside by VAR, but a good performance nonetheless.
ST – Alex Lacazette – 7 – Once again, he did his job. Lacazette makes writing match reviews rather easy; you know what you get with him- hard work, link-up play, someone who will occupy the centre halves. Nothing special today, but a nice showing.
ST – Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – 4 – For a neutral, I can imagine our captain’s performance today would have been rather comical. Worked his hardest throughout, that much was evident, but he cost us three goals today. His poor touch meant Saka was the one who put the ball in the net early on, the penalty miss, and his offside touch on Odegaard’s shot stopped us doubling our lead.
AM – Martin Odegaard – 7 – Pressed relentlessly and should have been on the score sheet if it wasn’t for Aubameyang. Bringing Odegaard on for Lacazette in any given half feels like a luxury substitution to make. I like it.
CM – Mohammed Elneny – 5 – Came on to see the game out and did just that. Nothing more to say.
RW – Gabriel Martinelli – N/A- Came on in the 93rd minute. Would have liked to see him a bit earlier, maybe for Aubameyang around the 75 minute mark.
Another win, and another clean sheet. It could, and probably should, have been a much healthier score line today, but we got the win; which is ultimately what counts.