It was a marvellous first half display from Arsenal which helped the Gunners to a mightily impressive 3-1 win at Vicarage Road. Goals from Mesut Özil, Alexis Sanchez, and a Santi Cazorla were enough. Arsenal survived a late charge from the home team to secure all three points.
Match: Watford v Arsenal
Stadium: Vicarage Road
Kick Off (GMT): Sat 27 Aug 15:00
An excellent first half was enough to secure all three points for The Gunners. Granit Xhaka, Mesut Özil, and Alexis Sanchez were the three standout players for Arsenal, showing the kind of quality on and off the ball which was missing during the first two matches of the season.
Arsenal took the lead early on. Mesut Özil put in an excellent cross for Alexis Sanchez who was man-handled to the ground and a penalty was awarded. Santi Cazorla stepped up and stuck the ball straight down the middle. Arsenal made it 2-0 late on in the first half thanks mostly to Theo Walcott. The Englishman broke clear down the right and put in a delicious cross for Alexis Sanchez. The Chilean converted – just – and had a hand in the third a few minutes later. It was Sanchez’s cross which found an onrushing Mesut Özil in the box to head The Gunners into a commanding halftime lead.
Arsenal started the second half in very much the same way, winning the ball back high up the pitch and countering dangerously. Hector Bellerin did just that and put in a wonderful cross which Alexis Sanchez couldn’t quite reach. Watford pulled one back just a few minutes later. There was a bit of pinball in the Arsenal box and the ball fell to debutante Roberto Pereyra who slotted it into the far corner. The goal invigorated The Hornets who definitely had the better of the second half. Arsenal missed a number of opportunities to put the game to bed. Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain failed to keep their chips down when clean through and the best chance of the half fell to The Hornets. Petr Cech made an excellent double save to keep the score at 3-1 which is how the score remained.
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Here’s how we’ve rated the Arsenal players:
GK) Petr Cech – 6.5
Petr Cech did everything expected of him against Watford. The Czech made an excellent double save in the second half to keep the score at 3-1. Combined with a few comfortable saves throughout, Cech did well and could do very little to stop the Watford goal.
RB) Hector Bellerin – 7
Hector Bellerin put in a solid performance down the right flank for Arsenal. The Spaniard countered well and looked sharp on the break, putting in one particularly excellent cross in the second half which should have been converted.
CB) Laurent Koscielny – 6.5
Another solid performance for the Frenchman. Laurent Koscielny was very unfortunate with the almost-comical first goal for Watford. His header rebounded off an unwitting Santi Cazorla but Koscielny did well on the whole. Not quite as commanding as last week but did was required.
CB) Rob Holding – 7
Another impressive performance from young Rob Holding. Particular credit needs to be given to the Englishman for keeping his head during Watford’s charge in the second half.
LB) Nacho Monreal – 6.5
Another solid performance from the Spaniard. Started the match well in attack and defended well when things got more difficult in the second half. Monreal picked up a knock from a tough Troy Deeney tackle and was replaced by Kieran Gibbs in the second half.
Sub: Kieran Gibbs (73′) – 5
Kept things simple and looked solid defensively during his brief cameo. Did exactly what was required.
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