Szczesny – 8/10 Did everything that was required of him, came out for crosses and caught them. When Webo has put through came out and smothered the ball bravely picking up a minor injury. Pulled off two important saves at 2-0 and 3-0 to keep Fenerbache from getting a goal. Much improved from the weekend. Got a yellow for time wasting despite it being 5 seconds but I will ignore that.
Gibbs- 7 Gibbs defensively looked fairly sound keeping Dirk Kuyt quiet most of the night. Was good going forward and even got a goal as got on to the end of Walcott’s through ball.
Mertesacker 7 Though we kept a clean sheet he let his player go a couple of times and Sagna rightly gave him an earful for doing so. Did make some big headers at the end when Fenerbache resorted to pumping the ball into the box. Quiet quite as a captain.
Koscielny- 7 Wasn’t on for too long but was his normal self, got injured by a horribly high boot from Webo. Though he is suspended for Saturday hopefully will be fit for next week, Arsenal physio Colin Lewin described the injury as horrible and despite getting injury in first half was still receiving stiches mid way through second half.
Sagna- 8 Played well at RB though did a couple of atrocious crosses. When he moved across to the centre played very well, snuffed a key chance for Fenerbache at the end was committed in the challenge and marshalled the defence giving Mertesacker an earful when he was caught out of position.
Ramsey- 9 MOTM Ramsey showed the drive to win the ball back and often get the team going. Not a natural DM as lacks the physical presence but made up for it in sheer determination and yards covered as he and the Arsenal midfield didn’t allow Fenerbache time on the ball. Scored a goal that albeit it wasn’t his best as keeper should have saved it but boy did he deserve it….. Now were just waiting to see which celebrity dies.
Wilshere- 7 Was going to give Wilshere an 8 but he lost the ball a couple of times with wayward passes or trying to dribble out of our defensive third which he shouldn’t be doing as high risk. Covered a lot of ground and i hope he can recover for Saturday.
Rosicky- 8 Again set the tempo by harrying Fenerbache midfield and put in some good challenges. After Walcott got clattered and we should have got a foul which we didn’t, Rosicky put in a big challenge just to show Fenerbache whats what. Made some good forward play and shows why even when Cazorla and Wilshere are fit Wenger makes room for Rosicky in the CAM role.
Cazorla- 6 Looked off the pace and was Arsenal’s worse player, he wasn’t amazingly bad and made a couple of good runs and passes but he missed a lot of pre-season and watching tonight it showed. I have no doubt he will come into his own with a few more games under his belt.
Walcott- 7 Though he assisted Gibbs for his goal and won the penalty he didn’t do much else. Often in a good position and put in a poor cross or tried to dribble infield losing the ball instead of using his pace down the line. I don’t know why he takes our corners as he is one of the worst crossers on the team. Did get two assists though so hard to make him too far down.
Giroud- 7 Scored the penalty but didn’t hold up the ball well enough. Had a couple of half chances and did well to get one header towards the goal when running away from goal but often the ball bounced off him. Took the penalty very well and linked up with Rosicky well occasionally. Also when crosses were played in too often he was found on edge of box.
Jenkinson-7 Came on in the first half for Koscielny and instantly improved the delivery of balls into the box, doesn’t try and do to much but would often play the ball into good positions only to find no-one there. Sound defensively.
Podolski- 4 You may ask why so low when he was on for 10 minutes. After replacing Giroud he looked like he couldn’t be bothered. Didn’t run about despite being fresh and often his first touch let him down. Had a half chance after good work from Monreal but got his feet caught up and Fenerbache clear. I think he was annoyed he hasn’t started either of first two games but with performances like tonight no wonder why. Has good stats of goals to games from last year so if he gets his head down should get back in team.
Monreal -6 Not on long enough to make a real impact but good to see him coming back from injury. Subbed on to add defensive rigidity for Cazorla, made a couple of good runs forward.
Overall we played well and Fenerbache played poorly, going into tonights game it was key we got a good performance after Saturday as there is a lot of negativity surrounding the club and we got it. Midfield was excellent but I worry that injury prone players such as Rosicky and Wilshere are going to end up being overplayed as we have no other options with just Frimpong on the bench tonight. Koscielny has a deep cut which opened up his skull and has been taken to hospital to see if there is a broken bone. That is a big worry as he was our best defender last season and though he is suspended for Saturday and maybe not needed for next Tuesday we need him for next weekend against Tottenham. Giroud and Walcott despite getting assists and goals were not in game enough. Szczesny had a good game but needs to reproduce such performances regularly to keep the number 1 shirt with Arsenal having drawn up a transfer list of Guaita, Begovic and one other as potential keepers to add to squad.
Fingers crossed for Koscielny.
How do you think the players did?
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