Arsenal v Southampton
Barclays Premier League
Kick off: November 23, 2013 3:15 PM BST
A solid defensive performance provides the platform for a 2-0 Arsenal win! A brace from Olivier Giroud, both goals relative gifts from Southampton. Another example of getting the three points when we aren’t necessarily at our best. Here are the player ratings:
Wojciech Szczesny | 8.0: The Pole has been in fine form, and this game was no different. He made a couple of fantastic saves when called upon and didn’t put a foot wrong.
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Bacary Sagna | 7.0: Didn’t provide as many decent crosses as he has been recently, but was solid defensively against the early threat of Luke Shaw, and later Nathaniel Clyne.
Laurent Koscielny | 8.5: A brilliant performance by the French defender, putting his international issues behind him. Dealt well with the pace of Rodriguez, and made a number of good interceptions, tackles and blocks.
Per Mertesacker | 7.5: A solid performance, despite looking unable to deal with Rodriguez at times. Got the assist for the second goal, earning the Gunners a penalty from a corner.
Kieran Gibbs | 7.5: Did a decent job defensively, and was great going forward. He put in several excellent crosses which deserved a finish, and earned a number of corners off the Southampton defence.
Mikel Arteta | 7.0: Was good when he was on the ball, composed as usual, spraying some decent passes out of midfield. Wasn’t as solid off the ball, seemingly unable to deal with the athleticism and/or strength or players like Rodriguez, Wanyama and Osvaldo.
Aaron Ramsey | 7.5: Had a couple of sloppy moments when he was dispossessed needlessly, but was involved all over the pitch offensively and defensively. Was unlucky to hit the post early on with a confident back heel flick.
Mesut Özil | 7.5: Looked our most dangerous player early on, cutting in from the left and linking up well with Giroud and Ramsey. He put a great ball in which Ramsey almost converted, and a couple of passes later in the game deserved more from Walcott and Giroud.
Santi Cazorla | 7.25: Had spells in the game where he looked extremely dangerous, but wasn’t the constant threat he was last season. Had a golden chance to play Özil through on goal, but missed the opportunity with an uncharacteristically sloppy pass.
Jack Wilshere | 8.0: Worked really hard for the full ninety minutes, driving the rest of the team on when the tempo dropped. Was very unlucky to hit the post with a great drink over the keeper.
Olivier Giroud | 8.5: (MotM) Once again the handsome Frenchman put in 100% and more. Trying to win every ball and pressing well when Southampton were on the ball. His harassing paid off in the first half when he caught Boruc on the ball and slotted into an empty net. And with Arteta off injured, he stepped up to put away a late penalty to make it two for him and two for Arsenal.
Theo Walcott | 6.5: Was fairly anonymous when he first came on, not seeing much of the ball at all. When he did get the ball in good positions, he seemed to make the wrong decision. A little bit of match rust perhaps, good to see him back from injury.
Thomas Rosicky | 7.0: Added a bit of impetus to the team late on. Making sure Southampton couldn’t relax for a moment.
Nacho Monreal | 7.0: Came on to sure things up, linking up well with Gibbs and making sure we kept our clean sheet.