Newcastle v Arsenal
St James’ Park
Kick off: Saturday March 21, 2015 – 3.00 PM BST
We looked to be cruising to victory after a first half brace from Olivier Giroud, but complacency in the second period allowed Newcastle right back into the game.
Here are the player ratings for our 2-1 win over Newcastle United:
GK) David Ospina – 6.5
Despite a dominant second half from Newcastle, the Colombian didn’t have too much to do. He could have done better with a couple of crosses, but made an unbelievable reaction save with his foot after a nasty deflection.
RB) Calum Chambers – 6.0
Decent going forward, but yet again somewhat suspect defensively. He was beaten far too easily, and was occasionally caught out of position.
CB) Laurent Koscielny – 7.5
We may not have got all three points if it weren’t for the Frenchman, who looked dominant in defence and was alert to the danger Newcastle posed.
CB) Gabriel – 7.0
A couple of shaky moments, but was largely impressive on just his second Premier League start.
LB) Nacho Monreal – 6.0
The left-back has been excellent this season, but he really struggled in the second half, and was run ragged by Remy Cabella.
DM) Francis Coquelin – 6.5
He go through a lot of good break up play, but was sloppy in possession.
CM) Aaron Ramsey – 6.5
The Welshman worked incredibly hard, but wasn’t as dynamic as he has been recently.
He was occasionally poor in possession, and poor decision making prevented Giroud from getting his hat-trick.
CAM) Santi Cazorla – 5.5
The Spaniard was really poor today, and conceded possession far too easily far too often.
RAM) Danny Welbeck – 7.5
His pace was hugely important, and he provided the assist for the first goal. He looked a threat going forward, but his finishing, final ball, and decision making were once again lacking.
LAM) Alexis Sanchez – 7.0
Still not looking his sharpest, but you can never fault his effort. Pulled off a couple of fantastic bits of skill, and was unlucky not to get an assist or two.
ST) Olivier Giroud – 8.0 (MotM)
Leading from the front, with two goals in quick succession giving us a comfortable lead going into half time.
Mathieu Flamini – 6.5
A very negative and defensive substitution, and having him deployed alongside Coquelin didn’t actually do a huge amount to keep Newcastle at bay.
Tomas Rosicky – 6.5
Possibly should have replaced Cazorla sooner (or even started ahead of him), was aggressive and added some much needed energy.
Hector Bellerin – N/A
Didn’t have a huge amount of time to make an impact. He had a great chance to give Giroud a tap in for his hat-trick, but the pass wasn’t perfect and some good keeping from Tim Krul prevented us putting the game to bed.