Arsenal moved back up to third with a vital 1-0 victory over fellow Londoners Fulham, however it was hardly a performance to be proud of. Per Mertesacker proved to be the difference with his headed effort from close range just before the half, but Wenger can be happy with a second consecutive clean sheet and another three points.
Wojciech Sczszesny | 7.5: Protected our net when Berbatov had a chance but nearly caused problems when he was dealing with Richardson’s free-kick. Still, two consecutive clean sheets for the cheeky Pole is something that should do a lot for his confidence.
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Bacary Sagna | 6.0: Not the best performance by Sagna. I’ve already written a lot about his poor crossings this season, there is nothing new in that department.
Per Mertesacker | 8.0: Scored the goal that might turn out to be the most important of the season and defended well. He gave another tidy performance at the back
Laurent Koscielny | 7.0: Slipped at the wrong time to allow Berbatov to have a chance but otherwise was one of the rare people who deserved a high mark. Made an assist for Mertesacker’s goal and it seems their partnership might be our strongest argument for Champions’ League qualification.
Nacho Monreal | 6.0: Emanuelson didn’t give him a comfortable afternoon. Still, made an important tackle.
Mikel Arteta | 6.0: Earned Sidwell’s red card but didn’t offer too much just like most of his team-mates.
Aaron Ramsey | 6.0: He should have afforded us a bit of relaxation when he had a chance to make it 2:0. It wasn’t a performance like the previous two but his team-work has been exceptional at a consistent level.
Tomas Rosicky | 6.0: Failed to make an impact. Our creative players should have used the fact we were playing 11 against 10 for nearly 80 minutes.
Theo Walcott | 5.5: Took a free-kick out after which Mertesacker scored. His form has been awful lately.
Santi Cazorla | 5.5: Didn’t show his usual quality. Perhaps he is keeping his best for the match against FAnchester United.
Olivier Giroud | 4.0: He hit the post eventually but his red card symbolizes his poor week. After a lot of misses against Everton, he earned himself a probable three-match-suspension with a mistimed tackle. I would be very, very, very surprised if he gets another season in which he’ll have a chance to play 50 matches or be the leading Arsenal striker.
Lukas Podolski | 5.5: This match probably earned him a place in the starting 11 for the next three matches but, sadly, it wasn’t due to his performance.
Jack Wilshere | 6.0: His return to the level of performances before the six-week-lay-off still will take a while.
Thomas Vermaelen | N/A: Entered the pitch due to tactical reasons.