Chelsea v Arsenal – Player Ratings

Almunia – 5 – I think it finally is time to give young Lukasz a fair trial. Almunia was quite consistent, despite never being outstanding, last season, but has been making a number of mistakes over the last two months. Jens’ distribution used to be quite fantastic, and led to a number of goals, whereas Manuel hands it back to the opposition on a number of occasions. Poor throw to try and find Nasri which led to the own goal, when he could have easily kept the ball for a few seconds while everyone regrouped.

Sagna – 7.5 – He’s been another of those players who have failed to live up to last season’s performances, but he put in a wonderful shift at the very ground he scored his first Arsenal goal. Wasn’t too involved in offensive play, but defended superbly and made a number of vital interceptions.

Gallas – 8 – Just the kind of performance we know William Gallas is capable of. And it looked like it helped him that his partner was the taller Djourou, rather than Toure or Silvestre. Facing hateful reactions from Chelshit fans and under pressure from certain Gooners as well, he proved that he’s still committed to the cause.

Djourou – 7.5 – The (-5) is for the own goal, as his performance alongside Gallas was imperious to say the least. I was so pleasantly surprised that even after going behind, Chelsea rarely even threatened our goal, and that’s down to Djourou and Gallas. He attacked high balls ever so well and was dominant in the air, which allowed Willy to mop up behind. A very promising performance.

Clichy – 7.5 – Based purely on his first half performance, I would have given him a 5, as he was a bit jittery and made a number of poor clearances, but his second half performance was reminiscent of last season’s, as he was solid in defence, and also forayed forward effectively. Sensational run after the second goal until he was brought down blatantly by Ivanovic.

Denilson – 6 – I really don’t want to criticize him much as he was being played out of position, and although he fluffed a few passes and lost the ball occasionally, he worked his socks off. Provided the assist for RVP’s first goal as well, and like Wenger would say, he has a “good engine”.

Fabregas – 7 – Cesc put in a solid, controlled performance yesterday. He did nothing very flashy or outrageous, but kept it simple, held the ball up and passed it around well in difficult situations. Who knows, captaincy might just help him regain his magical form of last year.

Song – 6 – Well, I’ve surrendered to the fact that Wenger believes this boy will make the cut at Arsenal, and although he didn’t do much to justify Wenger’s faith in him, he did no wrong either. He didn’t win the ball too much, but he kept hassling and pressing the Chelsea players, passed much better than he usually does, and provided a bit of height at the back.

Nasri – 5.5 – He still doesn’t seem to have gotten the hang of the Premier League as yet, and that’s probably due to the fact that he’s never played as a winger before. Again, like Song, he didn’t do anything wrong, but wasn’t that great either. But that’s not what we expect from a creative midfielder. Was also lax in not tracking back to mark Bosingwa for the first goal.

Van Persie – 8.5 – Will this performance FINALLY see the true arrival of Robin Van Persie? He’s been there and thereabouts for 2-3 seasons now, and he must take the confidence from this game to push his game to the level it should be at. He shot twice from his right foot last night. That’s right, TWICE, and the second effort resulted in the equalizer. The second goal was pure class, as he didn’t even look up before cracking a low drive across goal into the far corner. My Man of the Match, and who would disagree?

Adebayor – 6.5 – More than his performance, I think the fact that he started the game gave a lot of confidence to the lads. He worked hard as usual, but there was no end product, except the wonderful cushioned header to set up RVP for the winner.

Subs:

Bendtner – N/A – I think Wenger made the right decision in bringing a striker on for a striker, as we didn’t lose our shape. So many times he takes off the strikers and brings on midfielders, and it never helps. We kept playing the way we normally do, and Pinky almost set up Denilson for a third goal.

  • Rick

    I’d have still wanted Arsene to start with either Song or Denilson in the middle, and Vela or Wilshere on the right, but knowing Arsene, that wasn’t gonna happen. Nevertheless, it was a very solid performance, one full of grit. I agree with pretty much everything you’ve written there…

  • Terry

    Lets hope Song can make a difference this season!