Football Features

Ozil’s resurgence continues under Arteta: Full player ratings as Arsenal comfortably beat Man Utd

By Harry Edwards

Published: 22:05, 1 January 2020

Arsenal have moved back up to the top-half of the Premier League thanks to a 2-0 win over Manchester United.

The Gunners were without a win in their past four matches but took a two-goal lead into half-time thanks to goals from Nicolas Pepe and Sokratis.

United improved slightly after half-time but Arsenal managed to hold on for Mikel Arteta’s first win.

Here’s how the players rated at the Emirates Stadium:

Arsenal

Bernd Leno – 6 – Aside from saving a couple of long-range efforts in either half, the German had nothing to do.

Ainsley Maitland-Niles – 7 – Pushed up high when Arsenal had the ball, playing closer to the central midfield role he wants to be in. Relatively untroubled defensively even when Arsenal lost a bit of control.

Sokratis – 9 – A wonderful defensive display, keeping United’s attackers quiet. Showed good reactions to score Arsenal’s second after United had failed to deal with Pepe’s corner.

David Luiz – 8 – His usual confident, self with solid defending mixed with the occasional showboat.

Sead Kolasinac – 8 – Looked like he would be up against it with James running at him and was booked for an early push. But in fact it was Kolasinac doing a lot of the attacking, linking up well with Aubameyang. Although he wasn’t awarded the assist, his testing ball into the box was great for Pepe’s goal.

Granit Xhaka – 8 – Back to his best in midfield, using his passing range to spread the play while also holding to allow Kolasinac to run forward without harming the Arsenal defence.

Lucas Torreira – 9 – Who knew that putting Torreira in his favoured defensive position would make the Uruguayan play at his best? A general in midfield.

Nicolas Pepe – 8 – Caused Shaw so many problems with his pace and dribbling. Was in the right place at the right time to give Arsenal the lead with a good finish across De Gea and sent in a teasing corner which resulted in Sokratis’ goal. Quieter after half time and taken off after an hour as Arteta looked to freshen things up.

Mesut Ozil – 9 – The former German international looks a new man under Arteta, adding pressing and tracking back to his game on top of the usual stellar passing.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – 8 – Caused Wan-Bissaka a lot of problems on the left alongside Kolasinac, further proving why he is the preferred option to push out wide.

Alexandre Lacazette – 7 – A good first half from the Frenchman who was focused on applying pressure to the United defence. Slowed down after half-time and was eventually taken off with an injury worry but it was a promising display from a player who has come in for criticism in recent weeks.

Substitutes:

Reiss Nelson (for Pepe 62) – 5 – Looks to be playing without confidence at times and didn’t add too much after coming on.

Bukayo Saka (for Kolasinac 69) – 6 – Fitted in well at left-back, preventing United from getting into the game.

Matteo Guendouzi (for Lacazette 82) – N/A – A late sub.

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Manchester United

David de Gea – 4 – Couldn’t do too much for the opening goal but a goalkeeper of his quality should have done better to push away Lacazette’s header in the build up to Sokratis’ goal.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka – 3 – Overworked by the combination of Kolasinac and Aubameyang, unable to deal with them when Arsenal were on top in the first half. His second half was slightly easier as Arsenal tired and he was allowed to get forward but still couldn’t make the change.

Victor Lindelof – 4 – Did not do enough to help Wan-Bissaka deal with the added pressure.

Harry Maguire – 4 – With the transfer fee he commanded, United would have expected more from Maguire in a game as big and important as this. But he offered very little solidity at the back in the first half as Arsenal took control. Grew stronger as United took more control in the game after half-time but still not great.

Luke Shaw – 2 – One of Shaw’s worst performances for United, seriously out of his depth up against Pepe. Outrun, beaten far too easily and was a spectator in the area when Pepe opened the scoring, making no effort to prevent the goal.

Nemanja Matic – 2 – Poor on the ball and ineffective defensively. Oh how United miss Scott McTominay.

Fred – 5 – The Brazilian didn’t have the greatest of games but it really wasn’t his fault, often being left alone in the midfield by his teammates. Still United’s best midfielder not named Paul Pogba despite a horrible free-kick at the end.

Daniel James – 4 – Looked as though he would cause Kolasinac problems with his pace but ended up lost in the first half. Offered no defensive support for Wan-Bissaka and was eventually taken off with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer looking to try something different.

Jesse Lingard – 2 – Ineffective.

Marcus Rashford – 5 – Had the first shot of the game after 26 minutes but was otherwise anonymous, frustrated by the lack of support.

Anthony Martial – 6 – United’s biggest attacking threat and constantly looked to hurt the Arsenal defence, albeit unsuccessful.

Substitutes:

Andreas Pereira (for Lingard 58) – 4 – Added very little after coming on.

Mason Greenwood (for James 58) – 5 – Added some zip to United’s attack but was unable to change the game.

Juan Mata (for Matic 81) – N/A – A late sub.

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