Crystal Palace v Arsenal
Kick off: Saturday February 21, 2015 – 3.00 PM BST
Just like the Leicester City game, we didn’t play our best but still came away with all three points. We avoided a late scare to secure the win, although Palace were arguably the better side for large portions of the match.
Here are the player ratings for our 2-1 win over Crystal Palace:
GK) David Ospina – 6.5
A couple of vitally important saves were made, but despite Palace looking dominant for large parts of the game Ospina was rarely really tested.
He pulled off a fantastic diving save to keep out Yannick Bolasie’s cross-cum-shot late on.
Could do very little against the goal.
RB) Calum Chambers – 6.5
Benefited from the defensive cover offered by Danny Welbeck in the first half, struggled slightly more in the second when the forward was subbed.
Yannick Bolasie looked particularly dangerous when he came on for the home side, and caused Chambers a few problems.
CB) Laurent Koscielny – 7.5
Put pressure on the Palace attackers whenever he could, and ensured we went home with all three points.
CB) Per Mertesacker – 7.5 (MotM)
A back to the walls defensive display at times, the giant German was dominant in the air.
LB) Nacho Monreal – 6.5
Really struggled to deal with the pace of Wilfried Zaha at the start, and the fact that the pitch resembled a giant slip ‘n’ slide at times didn’t help.
He did his defensive duties well however, and improved as the game went on.
DM) Francis Coquelin – 6.5
An early yellow card effected his impact on the game, but he did his job well.
CM) Santi Cazorla – 7.0
His ball retention was vital against a Palace team that were pressing extremely aggressively and extremely high up the pitch.
Calmly slotted away the penalty that gave us our early lead.
CAM) Mesut Özil – 7.0
Extremely unlucky to see a goal incorrectly disallowed for offside early on, and looked like the creative spark we needed for much of the game.
He appeared to get a little frustrated with his teammates late on, and was eventually substituted.
RAM) Danny Welbeck – 7.5
The deadline day signing provided the assists for both goals – first earning a penalty, and then seeing Olivier Giroud pounce on his blocked shot.
He worked hard defensively too, something we needed against a high pressure Palace side.
LAM) Alexis Sanchez – 6.5
The Chilean seems to have lost his way a little recently, and isn’t at his sharpest at all.
He showed flashes of the brilliance we know he is capable of, but was guilty of being caught in possession on a number of occasions.
Really should have scored after being played through beautifully by Özil.
ST) Olivier Giroud – 7.0
Gave us a much needed out-ball to relieve the Palace pressure, and was strong in his hold up play.
His decision making and choice of pass was a little questionable at times, but he showed his poacher’s instinct to double our lead before half time and make things comfortable.
Kieran Gibbs – 6.0
Didn’t put a foot wrong, but wasn’t really what we needed.
His introduction was the start of us going into a shells a little, and inviting more Palace pressure.
Tomas Rosicky – 6.0
The Czech star harried the opponents, but didn’t have a huge impact going forward.
Gabriel Paulista – N/A
A short cameo for the Brazilian. He did well but it was arguably a mistake for Arsene Wenger to go so defensive.