Arsenal v Aston Villa: Player Ratings


Jun 7, 2014; Landover, MD, USA; Spain midfielder Santi Cazorla (20) dribbles the ball against El Salvador at FedEx Field. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Arsenal rolled over Aston Villa in a 5-0 victory at the Emirates that seemed more slaughterhouse than football match. Having now passed the ten hour mark without a goal, it would have been a tough ask for Villa to make this much of a contest, but even the most optimistic Arsenal fan would have been pleasantly surprised with the ease and effectiveness of the Gunners today. Here are your player ratings:

8.0. Seems to have the clean sheet thing down rather well, doesn’t he? Produced a fine save off a Weimann header and a tremendous block at full stretch in the last couple minutes of the game to preserve the clean sheet, but wasn’t troubled a great deal otherwise.. GK. Arsenal FC. DAVID OSPINA

RB. Arsenal FC. HECTOR BELLERIN. 8.2. Most importantly, Bellerin defended very well today. He’s growing in confidence in defensive areas which bodes well for an Arsenal back line that is sparking into life. Going forward, he’s an absolute menace. It was a perfectly struck ball to open his Arsenal account after Cazorla put it on a plate for him.

8.0. An up and down season was all up today. Having the ranks in the centre of defence swelled with the addition of Gabriel, the Mertesacker-Koscielny axis was very good today, limiting a largely anemic Villa attack and dealing with Benteke’s physicality well in the box.  . CB. Arsenal FC. PER MERTESACKER

8.0. Tied for most interceptions with Coquelin, Koscielny did a great job closing the gaps near the back that have plagued Arsenal against teams that love to drive the ball into the box early and often this season.. CB. Arsenal FC. LAURENT KOSCIELNY

I used to prefer Gibbs to Monreal hands down, but Monreal’s run of form has blurred the line between the two. They’re both very good going forward, but Nacho’s time at centre back seems to have unlocked a little bit more aggression in defence.. LB. Arsenal FC. NACHO MONREAL. 7.9

Arsenal FC. FRANCIS COQUELIN. 8.0. Ah, Mr. Coquelin. What ever will we do with you? Another fine performance from Arsenal’s internal answer for a defensive midfielder showed a 93% pass completion rate (important since he fills the role of distributor, allowing Ramsey to maraud forward) and some timely challenges. He also avoided a yellow, which is a nice change at that position.. MID

AARON RAMSEY. 7.5. Probably Arsenal’s worst starter on the day, and he wasn’t all that bad. He’s tireless, yes, but he put himself in some sticky situations by making the wrong move at the wrong time, visibly frustrating midfield counterpart Cazorla on more than one occasion. Have to think he’ll recover a measure of the form from last year if the 4-2-3-1 Wenger deployed is kept in use.. MID. Arsenal FC

9.0. MAN OF THE MATCH – Cazorla completed 83% of his passes, which is a bit low for him, but this match was one to take risks and he certainly did that. His reward? 4 chances created, 2 assists, and a goal from the spot. He really is something else.. MID. Arsenal FC. SANTI CAZORLA

A fully healthy Theo would have slotted home his first chance in the match, but even at what I suspect is 90 percent, he’s a great player to have available for selection. His cut inside off the Cazorla pass and wonderfully finessed finish around Guzan was sublime; and hopefully a sign of things to come.. MID. Arsenal FC. THEO WALCOTT. 8.0

MESUT OZIL. 8.2. A fine goal scored on a blistering counter is nice, but it’s his possession ability on the flank that really drives his rating up. He swapped wings with Walcott a couple times, though his best work came in the left area of the final third. Maybe should have had his second when he took one touch too many in the box in the second half, but he lends a stability in midfield that complements Cazorla’s buccaneering drive.  . MID. Arsenal FC

ST. Arsenal FC. OLIVIER GIROUD. 8.4. There was a time when Giroud was not seen as fit to lead an Arsenal line. The truth is that this side is way more dangerous with him in it. He’s using his body more effectively which gives the illusion of him being faster, though in truth it’s just him being able to hold off defenders more easily. Had the ball under him in the early minutes, but kept his composure so well and finished coolly to relax the squad and the fans in the opening stages.

MID. Arsenal FC. TOMAS ROSICKY. 7.5. He’s the last midfielder a tired defence wants to see coming on, though he didn’t produce much in the way of sparkle today. Then again, he didn’t really need to. Was his usual positive self, retained possession well, and completed a high percentage of passes.

6.5. Came on and waved his arms a fair deal. Did some shouting. Has assuredly lost his place to Coquelin and has likely seen his last season at Arsenal. He’s a spitfire though, and not a bad option when you need to put on a body breaker.. MID. Arsenal FC. MATHIEU FLAMINI

7.5. Turned on the burners to win the penalty, but will regret his inability to notch one against such weak opposition. He’s a good footballer, and the quiet optimism swirling around him is deserved.. ST. Arsenal FC. CHUBA AKPOM

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Next: Arsenal vs Aston Villa Match Report