Football Features

Xhaka equals unwanted penalty tally: Full player ratings as Arsenal fight back to hold Spurs

By Harry Edwards

Published: 18:28, 1 September 2019 | Updated: 17:44, 29 September 2019

Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur played out an exciting 2-2 draw in the North London derby on Sunday.

Despite Arsenal dominating, Christian Eriksen and Harry Kane put Tottenham in the driving seat in the first-half before Alexandre Lacazette pulled a goal back just before the break.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang equalised for Arsenal with 20 minutes remaining but neither side could take all three points.

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

Arsenal

Bernd Leno – 4 – The German made a bad mistake when trying to save Erik Lamela’s tame effort, palming the ball to the feet of Eriksen. Redeemed himself slightly after with some good saves, but could do nothing to stop Kane’s powerful penalty.

Ainsley Maitland-Niles – 6 – Had a busy afternoon up against Son but was let down at times by his defensive team-mates.

David Luiz – 5 – Was caught out of position slightly in the build up to Eriksen’s goal, being beaten far too easily by the smallest of feints from Son. Looked weak at times when dealing with Spurs’ pace.

Sokratis – 5 – Had a first half to forget. In the build up to Tottenham’s first, Sokratis came forward unnecessarily to challenge Kane in the middle of the pitch and lost out. He opened up space for Lamela to run into and then allowed Eriksen to sprint past him for his tap in. Improved slightly after half-time but will want to improve further.

Sead Kolasinac – 6 – Looked bright in attack down Arsenal’s left but did not offer enough support defensively.

Lucas Torreira – 6 – A fighter in midfield for Arsenal, the Uruguayan had a decent game and was a nuisance to Tottenham. Taken off when Arsenal needed someone more creative, however.

Granit Xhaka – 2 – A poor game. Was beaten in the air by Kane in the build up to the first goal, putting in little effort to win the aerial battle. Then came in with a silly tackle on Son to give Spurs a penalty. Somehow took him seven fouls to finally receive a card in injury time.

Key stat: No player has conceded more penalties in the Premier League than Granit Xhaka (5) since the start of the 2016/17 season.

Matteo Guendouzi – 8 – Another strong performance from the 20-year-old, contributing in all aspects of the in both defence and attack. Produced a delightful cross into the box for Aubameyang to equalise.

Nicolas Pepe – 5 – Was kept quiet by Danny Rose for most of the game, having to switch over to Arsenal’s left to get more luck.

Alexandre Lacazette – 7 – Had a quiet start but pulled Arsenal back into the game with a powerful shot from a tight angle, giving Hugo Lloris no chance. Looked dangerous in the second half until an injury brought his afternoon to an early end.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – 7 – Caused Davinson Sanchez problems early on and was Arsenal’s brightest attacking star. Later switched over to the right to have a go at Rose who had impressed before moving central. And it was from there that he equalised for Arsenal, getting a toe onto the end of Guendouzi’s cross.

Substitutes:

Dani Ceballos (for Torreira 63) – 6 – Brought on to give Arsenal more attacking impetus and did exactly that, with the Gunners dominating after his arrival. But could not find the winning touch.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan (for Lacazette 67) – 5 – Replaced an injured Lacazette and switched to the wing to test Sanchez, but allowed Kolasinac to do more of the attacking.

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Tottenham Hotspur

Hugo Lloris – 7 – Was largely untested in the first-half but produced some good saves when required. Beaten by the sheer power of Lacazette’s goal just before half-time. Busier after half-time but was equal to everything thrown at him before Aubameyang’s equaliser.

Davinson Sanchez – 2 – Looked uncomfortable at right-back and was constantly targeted by Arsenal. This is an experiment that won’t be repeated again by Pochettino.

Toby Alderweireld – 7 – A strong defensive performance in the first half but was powerless as Arsenal turned up the pressure.

Jan Vertonghen – 7 – Back alongside his parter, Vertonghen helped keep Spurs’ backline secure for most of the match.

Danny Rose – 7 – A rock in defence, the Englishman dealt with Pepe well, causing the Ivorian to switch flanks. Brilliantly denied Pepe scoring at the far post with an instinctive block.

Harry Winks – 7 – Helped Spurs through tough periods of the game and looked to push his side forward from midfield. A good performance from the Englishman.

Moussa Sissoko – 5 – Made to work harder to cover for Sanchez, Sissoko did not have the greatest of games.

Christian Eriksen – 6 – Looked to cause Arsenal problems on just his second start of the season. Made a smart run to make sure he was in right position to tap in and give Spurs the lead, his 50th Premier League goal.

Erik Lamela – 6 – His shot was tricky enough to test Leno for Eriksen’s goal and the midfielder did help Spurs push forward. Did well but was taken off as Spurs were losing control of the game.

Son Heung-min – 8 – Another masterclass from the South Korean. Was dangerous as always on the counter and it was his piercing run which set up Spurs’ opening goal, evading Luiz. Then he won the penalty, suckering Xhaka in with good, quick movement of the ball. Also did his bit defensively when Spurs looked to soak up pressure.

Harry Kane – 7 – A strong performance from Arsenal’s bane, looking to hurt the Gunners across the pitch. Played his part in the opening goal by winning a good header in midfield before doubling Spurs’ lead with a powerful penalty. Unlucky not to add another with a good shot hitting the post from a tight angle.

Substitutes:

Dele Alli (for Lamela 60) – 6 – Added some more fight to Spurs but could not help them seal all three points.

Giovani Lo Celso (for Son 79) – 5 – Did not really have enough time to make a telling impact.

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