Manchester United v Arsenal
Kick off: Monday March 09, 2015 – 7.45 PM BST
A fantastic morale boosting win over one of our biggest rivals, and at Old Trafford no less. A solid team performance sees us through to the FA Cup semi-finals, and with Manchester United out we are one giant step closer to retaining our title.
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Here are the player ratings for our 2-1 win over Manchester United:
GK) Wojciech Szczesny – 6.0
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He can’t be blamed whatsoever for the goal, and other than that he didn’t have a huge amount to do.
The Pole did look nervous at times however, and one fumble in particular almost looked like it could have been costly.
RB) Hector Bellerin – 6.0
The Spaniard was decent going forward, but his needless yellow card in the first five minutes really limited him throughout the game – giving Ashley Young far more freedom down our right side.
He was arguably lucky to remain on the pitch after another foul on Young saw Manchester United demand a second yellow.
He was replaced by Calum Chambers to avoid a sending off.
CB) Laurent Koscielny – 7.5
A fantastic performance throughout the game, constantly rushing out of defence to nick the ball ahead of our opponents.
He and Per Mertesacker should have done far better for the goal however, with Wayne Rooney given far too much space between the usually solid pair.
CB) Per Mertesacker – 7.5
At fault for the goal just as much, if not more so, than Koscielny, but was aerially dominant – even against the likes of Marouane Fellaini.
LB) Nacho Monreal – 8.0 (MotM)
Superb defensively, fantastic link up play, and capped the performance with a goal.
He took his goal well, calmly slotting past David de Gea at his near post.
Hugely surprised not to see him as a contender for the Man of the Match award.
DM) Francis Coquelin – 7.5
Despite taking a blow to his already broken nose from Fellaini early on, he was aggressive, energetic, and dominant in midfield.
He constantly harried the opposition, and put in a fantastic shift in the centre of the park.
CM) Santi Cazorla – 8.0
Yet again his quick feet and ability to hold onto the ball in tight spaces provided a platform for us to attack.
When so many others would have just hoofed the ball forward, he showed his class by weaving and winding through players before picking a pass to start the counter.
Also put in an excellent defensive shift.
CAM) Mesut Özil – 7.5
Despite making a few horrendous choices which saw golden opportunities pass us by, the German was involved in almost everything that went right for us.
He sprayed the ball all over the pitch as usual, but what was really great to see was his willingness to chase the ball down and win it back after losing out.
RAM) Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – 7.5
Looked absolutely deadly during his time on the pitch, and Man United just couldn’t handle his pace and power. One run in particular highlighted the qualities he possesses, and he even set up Monreal for our opening goal.
An injury meant he had to be replaced early on in the second half – hopefully he won’t be out for too long.
LAM) Alexis Sanchez – 7.0
Still not back to his best, but was denied a goal only by a brilliant display from de Gea.
He was aggressive and tireless as usual, and was a constant handful for United.
ST) Danny Welbeck – 7.0
Chosen ahead of Olivier Giroud to face his former club, he didn’t always look to be having the best of times.
His touch let him down on a number of occasions, and his off the ball runs were uninspired.
When he pounced on Antonio Valencia’s mistake to score that all important goal however, it showed that sometimes hard work pays off.
Aaron Ramsey – 7.0
The Welshman replaced the Ox after his injury, and was solid in midfield as he looked to break up play.
His substitution did unfortunately mean that Özil was pushed out wide, but his tenacity was important during the closing stages of the game.
Calum Chambers – 7.0
His introduction meant we went slightly more defensive, and his aerial ability was vital as United looked to go route one for large parts of the game.
Olivier Giroud – 7.0
Our link-up play and attacking fluidity looked vastly improved with the Frenchman on, although that could have been largely down to the fact that United were chasing the game and looking for an equaliser.