Arsenal v Reading: Player Ratings


Arsenal fought through the third stint of extra time in three trips to Wembley, booking their ticket to the final after a 2-1 win over Reading. While many Arsenal fans hoped for an easier trip out this weekend, this is how it was always going to happen. Credit to the Reading side, who played a big role in disrupting Arsenal’s recent illustrious form. Here are your player ratings.

I hesitate to say the Szczesny era is officially over at Arsenal, but David Ospina’s hold on the favored role was only solidified today. He might have done better on Reading’s goal, but that’s a tough proposition adjusting to a deflection from that range. The real trouble was him rolling the ball out to a pressured Aaron Ramsey with minutes to go.. GK. Arsenal FC. WOJCIECH SZCZESNY. 7.2

MATHIEU DEBUCHY. 7.2. Seeing the team sheets before the match, I liked this decision. I suspected Reading would work a lot in the wide positions, and they have physical footballers to do it. Hector Bellerin can match anyone for speed, but struggles a bit when they have muscles to throw around. However, Debuchy looked off the pace and lacked much of a threat going forward.. RB. Arsenal FC

7.5. Subbed off for Gabriel with what seemed like an ankle injury. Fortunately, he was able to keep playing after suffering it, so we’ll hope it was just precautionary. Lack of pace left the back four exposed at times, though his ability in the air is always welcome against a physical outfit like Reading.. CB. Arsenal FC. PER MERTESACKER

7.7. The back four wasn’t very assured today, leading to a couple necessary last-ditch tackles by himself and Gabriel. Outside of the Reading goal which everyone could have done better on, he adapted to the Mertesacker-Gabriel switch capably.. CB. Arsenal FC. LAURENT KOSCIELNY

Arsenal FC. KIERAN GIBBS. 7.2. Nacho Monreal, like Ospina, solidified his hold on the starting left back position by dint of not playing today. While Gibbs wasn’t poor, his lack of invention in the final third and some hiccups in defense won’t have won him any more time.. LB

FRANCIS COQUELIN. 7.7. Arsenal’s midfield warrior fought hard again today, but was caught on the ball by a swarming Reading side too often. That said, for every wayward pass and turnover, he got back quickly and snapped at the opponents’ ankles nicely.. MID. Arsenal FC

7.8. Ramsey is a tricky customer to rate. He gave the ball away, made truly terrible decisions more than once, and painted himself into a corner several times. But he also pops up in dangerous areas and is usually a part of scoring moves. Unlucky- and maybe poor- not to score with his thumper off the post, but a well-struck shot forced a tremendous save from Federici minutes later.. MID. Arsenal FC. AARON RAMSEY

8.0. Played well today. Like the rest of the midfield, was caught on the ball a bit, but his footwork and explosiveness is a great release valve to get pressure off his defense.. MID. Arsenal FC. SANTI CAZORLA

MAN OF THE MATCH- Had a great free kick drift inches wide. Should have had an assist for Gabriel from a free kick as well, but the Brazilian miscued dreadfully. His mastery of delivering energy and tempo to counters is beautiful.. MID. Arsenal FC. MESUT OZIL. 8.4

8.3. Had two goals on the day. The first was sublime control and a silky finish from a millimeter-perfect pass from Mesut Ozil. The winner was a fairly lucky goal, with Federici making a terrible mistake. That said, it was a well-stung ball just inches off the grass. Alexis Sanchez certainly has a claim to the PFA Player of the Year award.. MID. Arsenal FC. ALEXIS SANCHEZ

ST. Arsenal FC. DANNY WELBECK. 7.4. Thought it was unfortunate to see him subbed off for Giroud when it seemed like taking Ramsey off would have provided Arsenal with more width on the right hand side, which they lacked all day.

He’s quite honestly a second Koscielny. A good header of the ball, and just on the border of being too aggressive in the box. Made a couple fantastic tackles in dangerous areas though. Should have scored once from an Ozil free kick and was denied by a great Federici save on another. Good buy for Arsenal.. CB. Arsenal FC. GABRIEL . 7.9

8.0. Arsenal instantly look more comfortable with him on the pitch, and he does a great job of speeding up the passing and sequence play of the squad. He’s also dominant in the air, which gives a better outlet when deep midfielders and defenders play the ball long. In the dying minutes, had a wonderful spell of keeping the ball on the right touchline while under pressure.. ST. Arsenal FC. OLIVIER GIROUD

Arsenal FC. THEO WALCOTT. 7.3. There was a clamor for him to come on earlier, but my guess is that Wenger wished to hold onto his last substitution as long as possible given the extra time. He’s a specific player for a specific situation. Did well on the right to keep them worried.. MID

For more up-to-date news, follow Pain in the Arsenal on FacebookGoogle+ and Twitter.

Next: Wenger, Not Klopp, the Right Man for Arsenal