Arsenal v Crystal Palace
Barclays Premier League
Kick off: August 16, 2014 17.30 PM BST
It was a rather poor performance by The Gunners but Aaron Ramsey scored a late winner to claim all three points for the hosts. At the end of the day, three points are all that matters. Here are ratings from the league opener against a resilient Crystal Palace.
Wojciech Szczesny | 5.0: It was a subdue performance from the Pole. He wasn’t the commander of his box in those rare occasions Crystal Palace were attacking and that could have cost us two points in the end. Must improve his form for the forthcoming matches. With Mertesacker’s return Szczesny should be more comfortable with set-pieces.
Mathieu Debuchy | 7.0: Had his fingers in our winning goal as Speroni deflected his shot into Ramsey’s path. Was active and tried to create a goal with his crosses.
Calum Chambers | 6.5: Earned himself a booking. Made one dangerous poor pass in the first half. His positioning and tackling was excellent however. Perhaps Wenger should think of using him as a defensive midfielder when Mertesacker returns.
Laurent Koscielny | 7.5: The Frenchman had to concede a corner in the first half after which Hangeland scored but made up for that by scoring an equalizer. He doesn’t look as comfortable as usual when he has to be the senior member of the central defence though. Still, it’s no wonder big goals are scored either by him or Ramsey – they have been our best players for over a year.
Kieran Gibbs | 6.0: Didn’t offer too much today and was replaced at half-time. Hopefully we won’t have another season of watching Gibbs on the sidelines most of the time.
Mikel Arteta | 6.5: It was a regular day in the office for our captain. He didn’t really excel though.
Aaron Ramsey | 7.5 (MoTM): It wasn’t Ramsey’s best performance but he managed to keep his calmness until the very end to score a winner. Was denied a penalty in the first half but – unlike the one with Chamakh’s handball in the second – it was probably a good decision.
Alexis Sánchez | 7.5: Created a goal from the free-kick and was our only asset during the first half. His crosses were off target though and we are yet to see a proper shot from him. Still, it’s obvious that he’s going to do huge things for Arsenal. The way he earned a free-kick – that he later scuffed though – was a short demonstration of what kind of player he is.
Santi Cazorla | 6.0: Perhaps it was because of Moss’ attack with the vanishing spray (it sounds like an episode of some old science-fiction TV-show: “Santi’s Adventures: The Vanishing Spray Attacks!”) but Santi’s passing in the second half looked below par and he wasn’t dangerous enough from set-pieces. Özil should start against Everton.
Jack Wilshere | 6.0: He didn’t offer enough. He had a fine shot in the first half though but Speroni saved well.
Yaya Sanogo | 5.0: Had a poor game. Our attack looked more potent after Sanogo had been replaced with Giroud. Still raw for these kind of matches, I suppose.
Nacho Monreal | 7.0: He gave a fine performance and offered more width to our attacking game than Gibbs had done in the first half. One of his best performances last season came against the same opponents at Emirates.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain | 6.5: Offered more than Wilshere after he was introduced. Our attack looked more lively with him on the pitch and he was involved in the attack that led to Ramsey’s goal.
Olivier Giroud | 6.5: Our attack looked more sharp with Giroud but it’s not like Sanogo had set the bar too high. Giroud’s touch wasn’t the best but he had one dangerous attempt on goal after Alexis’ slide-rule pass but it ended wide.