Player Ratings as Arsenal Fall Short at Man City

Arsenal lost 1-0 at the Etihad Stadium tonight.

A really underwhelming performance from Mikel Arteta’s men tonight. Of course, 3-0 to 1-0 is a sign of progress for Arsenal, but it felt like City were there for the taking at times.

We just had to gamble more offensively during the last 20 minutes. Anyhow, onto the ratings:

Goalkeeper & Defenders

Bernd Leno (GK) – 6 – Decent performance from the German. Made a couple of smart stops and was relatively good with his distribution. Thought he could’ve done much better with his parry prior to Sterling’s goal.

Hector Bellerin (RB) – 5 – Some bright moments from our Spanish right-back but he’ll be kicking himself for his defending in the build-up to City’s goal. He just can’t let Foden cut inside so close to goal.

David Luiz (CB) – 6 – Certainly a better performance than his last at the Etihad! He was untroubled defensively but I thought he wasn’t at his best on the ball tonight. Has a tendency to smash the ball forward when really we could do with him keeping the ball. Still, far form disastrous from the veteran.

Gabriel Magalhaes (CB) – 7 – Nice performance from Gabriel. So, so assured on the ball and filled me with so much confidence defensively. The 22-year-old will be a stalwart in our defence for years to come. Looks a bargain at £23m.

Kieran Tierney (LB) – 5 – Understandably, our left-back struggled tonight. He looked a tad short of fitness following his period of quarantine and wasn’t quite as adventurous with his passing as he usually is. Still, as always, his effort and commitment could not be faulted.

Midfielders

Dani Ceballos (RCM) – 5 – a quiet night from our No. 8 at the Etihad stadium. Often, he was tenacious in the challenge and attempted to drive us forward. However, in spite of his best efforts, he failed to influence the game and was kept quiet by City’s midfielders.

Granit Xhaka (CM) – 6 – Solid work from Granit Xhaka in Manchester tonight. He did as was asked with him and looked the player most likely to make something happen via a ball down the left flank. Again, though, another player that had little influence.

Bukayo Saka (LCM) – 8 – Our best played on the night. A superb night’s work from the Hale End Academy Graduate. Caused Manchester City all sorts of problems throughout the match and was wonderfully confident on the ball. Such a wise head on such young shoulders.

Forwards

Nicolas Pepe (RW) – 5 – A poor night from the Ivorian. He struggled to make things happen on the ball and failed to influence the game. In fairness, he didn’t get all that much service. Unlucky with two headers directed towards goal.

Willian (CF) – 4 – Unfortunately, Willian was far and away our worst player tonight. He failed to look after the ball in a way we needed him to in an unfamiliar centre-forward position and failed to stamp his authority upon the game. Underwhelming performances are becoming worrying theme.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (LW) – 5 – A disappointing outing from our captain. Like Pépé, he received a distinct lack of service and was restricted by an on-form Kyle Walker. The fact he played as a wide forward rather than a central striker was somewhat surprising and perhaps a mistake on the part of our manager.

Substitutes

Lacazette – 5 – failed to make an impact after his introduction. Played in a really weird deep role.

Nketiah – N/A – not enough time to influence the game.

Partey – N/A – Not enough time to influence the game. Brilliant to see him in an Arsenal shirt for the first time.