Arsenal v Middlesbrough: Player Ratings


Oct 23, 2014; Hertfordshire, UNITED KINGDOM; General view of the Arsenal Training Centre. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Arsenal continued their march to defend the cup with a solid 2-0 victory over Middlesbrough at the Emirates in what more resembled a day at the training ground instead of an FA Cup battle. Having beaten Manchester City at the Etihad in the previous round, there was some expectation for Middlesbrough to cause problems for Arsenal, but those fears were laid to rest at the feet of a resoundingly dominant attacking display from the Gunners. Here are your player ratings:

7.5. Returned to the side for the first time since the Brighton match and was barely tested at all. He’ll like the clean sheet, but it likely won’t be enough to depose Ospina in the Premier League.  . GK. Arsenal FC. WOJCIECH SZCZESNY

CALUM CHAMBERS. 7.4. Operated well down the right though, to be fair, Middlesbrough presented little danger going forward. Didn’t appear to be any bad mix-ups between him and Gabriel, a good sign should injury strike Arsenal’s centre backs.. RB. Arsenal FC

7.6. Picked up a yellow for a deliciously physical challenge and made a very good tackle in the box. Also dribbled the ball out for a Middlesbrough corner. Seeing him paired with Koscielny would be a bit terrifying against sides of great quality and pace, as they both have a tendency for brash action. Powerful and capable in the air.. CB. Arsenal FC. GABRIEL

Dealt with his new partner at the back very capably. While not under much genuine pressure, it’s still a good opportunity to bring the new man up to speed and it may force Koscielny to be a touch more conservative.. CB. Arsenal FC. LAURENT KOSCIELNY. 7.8

8.0. Worked forward down the left magnificently. Middlesbrough had no answer for his pace and invention, and his ball into Giroud for the first goal was perfect. He had mistimed the same ball earlier for Welbeck, but he put it on a plate for Giroud and the Frenchman finished well. Can’t imagine Monreal not keeping his place, but there’s a battle at almost every position now.. LB. Arsenal FC. KIERAN GIBBS

7.4. Got forward more than he’s used to today and he took a couple shots. His stats will look nice, but a match where Arsenal has 65% of the possession will always make defensive midfielders look good. Still, a stout performance.. MID. Arsenal FC. MATHIEU FLAMINI

8.2. The skipper was fantastic again, proving his slight downturn was only temporary. Drove the attacks and, as he often does, was the spark of countless efficient moves down the pitch. Kept the ball ever so well against a physical opposition on the rare opportunities they got close to him.  . MID. Arsenal FC. SANTI CAZORLA

8.4. Mesut Ozil nearly earned himself a “man of the match” award, but he misses out by a tenth of a point. Like Cazorla, Ozil was instrumental in Arsenal’s sweeping attacking play and picked out all kinds of passes for his strikers to feast on. He’s been- on the whole- Arsenal’s second best player in this purple patch.. MID. Arsenal FC. MESUT OZIL

7.2. He’s getting closer. Welbeck just isn’t jiving with his fellow attackers, but look for that to change in his next couple matches. His picking of runs is already drifting more in sync with the providers, and his one-touch in tight areas is improving as well.. ST. Arsenal FC. DANNY WELBECK

Had a chance on goal snatched off his foot in the later stages, but was influential all day. His ball to Giroud at the near post for the big man’s second was wonderful, and he made several gut-busting runs into dangerous areas. Unlucky to not get one today.. MID. Arsenal FC. ALEXIS SANCHEZ. 7.9

OLIVIER GIROUD. 8.5. MAN OF THE MATCH- He produced several moments of frustration for fans in the early stages, whether it was his poor touch or taking a shot from well outside the box when he CLEARLY has a runner to his left. But he did his job magnificently when the time came. The first goal had much of the work done for him, but as target men are supposed to do, he applied the finish. The second was a bit sensational, volleying over the keeper from a difficult angle. After that, he was much more confident as he hunted for his third and that improved his all around game.. ST. Arsenal FC

7.8. Could very well see a start next time out. But even so, he’s the last midfielder a defender wants to see coming on in the second half. Fiercely inventive and positive, he played another of his sparkling through balls to Walcott. Technician.. MID. Arsenal FC. TOMAS ROSICKY

7.2. Was denied by a fantastic Mejias save after a ridiculous Rosicky through ball. The positive to be taken away, however, was his picture perfect first touch. Give him another chance and that ball will find the back of the net.. MID. Arsenal FC. THEO WALCOTT

Arsenal FC. CHUBA AKPOM. 7.0. Came on for Giroud late on, and did some stuff but not much stuff.. ST

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