Arsenal 2 Crystal Palace 0: Post-Match Thoughts and Player Ratings

Arsenal's Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (R) scores a goal against Crystal Palace during their English Premier League soccer match at the Emirates stadium in London, February 2, 2014. REUTERS

With the tough fixtures looming ahead, Arsenal had it all to do against a newly-improved Crystal Palace under the management of Tony Pulis. The Gunners had the lion’s share of possession but they failed to make any telling impact in the first 45 minutes. In the second half, Arsenal came out all guns blazing and a superb brace from the Ox was enough to propel the Gunners to the top, while the await the proceedings at the Etihad tomorrow night.

In the wake of Arsenal’s win over Crystal Palace, Gooner Daily reviews the performances of the players on the night.

DEFENSE

Wojciech Szczesny (7) was a spectator for a considerable chunk of the game but he kept his concentration levels in check. His major highlight of the night was a spectacular near post save from a Cameron Jerome goal-bound header. 

Bacary Sagna (7) marauded the right flank with a new partner in the form of Santi Cazorla but he didn’t swing in any of his trademark crosses into the danger area. There was a moment of deep concern when he collided with the Crystal Palace goalie but he managed to finish the game unscathed. 

Many would have thought that the manager would favor Kieran Gibbs ahead of Nacho Monreal (7), but the boss kept the faith with his Spanish full back and he put up a much-improved performance from his torrid showing at St. Mary’s. He almost had his moment of glory when he latched unto Mesut Ozil’s pass but the keeper blocked the shot. 

Laurent Koscielny (7) was superb as usual, working in tandem with Per Mertesacker (7) that kept the Crystal Palace forward line at bay. The BFG made some vital interceptions as well.

MIDFIELD

In the absence of Mathieu Flamini due to suspension, Mikel Arteta (7) played in the Frenchman’s stead and balanced the play in the middle of the park. With his holding midfield partner, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, making forays forwards, Arteta’s maturity and discipline came into play as he stuck to his position all game long.

The undoubted star of the night was Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (9) that had a blistering game in his first start in his first Premier League start in six months. With news about Arsenal’s new recruit, Kim Kardashian Kallstrom facing a spell on the sidelines, coupled with injuries to Jack Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey, the Ox was given a chance to strut his stuff and he took it superbly.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain scores his second against Crystal Palace

I guess Wenger’s beliefs about the lad playing through the middle were spot on after all.

Arsenal’s playmaker, Mesut Ozil (7), had a good game by his standards and he threaded a lot of passes with his teammates in the course of the game.

ATTACK

Santi Cazorla (8) showcased his versatility as he began the game on the right to accommodate Lukas Podolski but he stamped his authority on the game with a brilliant passes in behind the Crystal Palace defense that found its way to its intended target, the Ox. The rest they say, was history…

Lukas Podolski (7) started his first league game in quite a while and he had a couple of sniffs at goal. He’d need to get a run of games to come back to his best, but it was good to see him having some first team action yet again.

Olivier Giroud (7) played his target man role superbly but he failed to have any shot on goal, which is rather unimpressive for a center forward. However, he played a role in the match clincher as it was his carefully-weighted pass to the Ox that led to the goal that put the game beyond doubt.

SUBSTITUTES

Tomas Rosicky (6) made his long-awaited return from injury and didn’t do that much on the pitch. He had a rather awkward moment when he knocked the Ox out cold as their heads collided.

Kieran Gibbs (N/A) and the World’s Best striker, Nicklas Bendtner (N/A), didn’t play long enough to have ratings.

Do you agree with these ratings? Feel free to share yours with your comments.

Sayonara.

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About enigma106

An Arsenal fan with a good sense of humor

Posted on February 2, 2014, in Arsenal, Football, Player Ratings, Premier League and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Ismail Reloaded

    Rosicky started the attack that led to the second goal, worth mentioning.

    Like

  1. Pingback: Arsenal 2 Crystal Palace 0: Post-Match Thoughts and Player Ratings

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