Brighton Hove Albion v Arsenal
Kick off: Sunday January 25, 2015 16.00 PM BST
We got off to a flying start against Brighton, but came dangerously close to joining the long list of FA Cup upsets this weekend. The Seagulls highlighted our defensive frailty when a number of our first choice players aren’t starting, but a win is a win, and we should be hopeful of going all the way now.
Wojciech Szczesny | 6.0: The Polish shot-stopper didn’t do anything to suggest Arsene Wenger should return him to the starting XI, and didn’t look confident at all.
Calum Chambers | 6.5: The young defender looked excellent in the first half, and his assist for Theo Walcott’s goal was fantastic. He struggled somewhat in the second half however, and could have done better for Brighton’s first goal.
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Laurent Koscielny | 6.5: His defending on the whole was decent, but could have done better for both Brighton’s goals.
Nacho Monreal | 6.0: The Spaniard looked out of place today, standing off the Brighton players far too much and allowing them acres of space.
Kieran Gibbs | 6.5: The best of the defenders on the day, was caught out of position occasionally though.
Mathieu Flamini | 5.5: The Frenchman was really poor, and Francis Coquelin’s recent performances only serve to highlight how poor Flamini has been.
Aaron Ramsey | 7.0: Ramsey had moments of brilliance, but still isn’t showing anything like the form he displayed last season.
Theo Walcott | 7.5: A fantastic start for the pacey forward, who took his goal superbly. He got into threatening positions regularly, but visibly tired as the game went on.
Tomas Rosicky | 8.5: (MotM) A brilliant performance from the Czech midfielder, who looked a constant threat. His driving runs were excellent, and his pass for Mesut Özil’s goal was sublime. He topped it off with a well taken goal, Olivier Giroud setting him up to lash a volley past David Stockdale.
Mesut Özil | 7.5: The German took his goal really well, and looked good on his first start since returning from injury.
Olivier Giroud | 7.5: The big target man did a superb job of keeping the Brighton defenders occupied, and provided space for the reset of the team to play. He was missed when he came off, and has proved himself vitally important to Arsene Wenger.
Chupa Akpom | 7.0: His pace was a threat on the counter, but made the wrong decision a couple of times.
Alexis Sanchez | 7.0: He looked the most likely to score in the dying minutes of the game, but arguably should have been concentrating on holding onto the ball rather than giving away possession with the free kicks he took.
Francis Coquelin | 7.5: His introduction made us far more solid defensively, and illustrated just how superior he is to Flamini in that anchor role.