Player Ratings: Manchester City 1-0 Arsenal

Written by Edward Pitt

October 19, 2020

Leno – 6/10: Made a mistake in gifting the ball to the feet of Sterling for the only goal in the game, however recovered well and made sure City did not put the game to bed after a mistake from Gabriel. Overall, he was very tidy with his feet I thought as well, so other than his detrimental mistake, the German was not too bad.

Bellerin – 6/10: Again, if you ignore his part to play in conceding the goal, the Spaniard did okay. He looked fairly unassured all game defensively however, he was getting forward well and in moments looked fairly dangerous on the overlap. 

David Luiz – 7.5/10: Credit where credit’s due for the Brazilian, I thought he was probably our best defender on the night. Considering his calamitous display against City last time in the league, it is almost surprising that he had no part to play in the goal. He looked solid defensively and more composed in dealing with the City press and playing through it than I thought. Overall, a good game for him considering he was a late inclusion after an injury to Holding in the warm-up.

Gabriel – 6/10: It wasn’t the best of performances for the new signing after a good start to life at Arsenal. Especially in the first half, the defender played some loose passes out from the back under the high press of City. One nearly gifted City a second goal soon after the first, if not for a crucial save by Leno. However, in fairness Gabriel recovered well and looked much more composed in the second period and was arguably unlucky not to win a penalty on the stroke of half-time.

Tierney – 7/10: He was finding Mahrez a bit too hot to handle at times in the first period, however generally he did not make too many mistakes in defence and seemed very comfortably in playing out from the back. He also linked up well with Saka; with him providing the width it allowed Saka the option of coming inside or going to the byline.

Saka – 8/10: The youngster continued his fine vein of form and looked really like Arsenal’s only serious threat going forward for large parts of the game. His running down the left was causing City some real concern and he acted as the initiator for most of what Arsenal did right in an attacking sense. He made a couple great chances late on in the first-half, only to be denied by Ederson. If the youngster can develop into a more clinical finisher, he can become a huge goal threat that would also allow Aubameyang to play through the middle.

Ceballos – 7.5/10: It was sometimes just the final pass missing for the Spaniard in this one, however he carried the ball forward well for the Gunners at times. In a defensive sense, he put a real shift in off the ball and won possession back more times than any other Arsenal player.

Xhaka – 7/10: Like Ceballos he looked very composed on the ball in midfield, however perhaps was not as direct as the Spaniard. Defensively there were a couple of times he could not keep up with the nimble City midfielders, however generally speaking did not put a foot wrong and worked his socks off before his late substitution.

Pepe – 6/10: After his huge impact off the bench against Sheffield United, I was buzzing to see him in the starting lineup. However, the record signing was largely ineffective for the Gunners. A couple of chances did fall his way late on but they were tough ones to convert and Pepe failed to convert them.

Willian – 5/10: Operated as a false nine really for Arsenal. I cannot fault his work rate, but the Brazilian never really got on the ball or looked a threat.

Aubameyang – 5/10: What I always say with this man is that it does not matter if he isn’t heavily involved because all he needs is one chance. Well he had his one chance late on the first half and failed to take it. (The offside flag went up but replays suggest that would have been overturned). Not entirely his fault, but the talisman was feeding on scraps in this one and really struggled to find a way past Dias and Walker who were taking it in turns to man-mark him.Subs – n/a: Lacazette, Nketiah and new boy Thomas Partey were all brought on but none of them really had enough time to leave their mark on the game.

 

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