Football Features

Is this teenage titan the next Aubameyang? Full player ratings as 10-man Arsenal hold Chelsea

By Muhammad Butt

Published: 22:37, 21 January 2020

In a topsy-turvy night of football, 10-man Arsenal twice came from behind to draw with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

An early blunder saw Arsenal reduced to 10-men and go 1-0 down, yet they rebounded to equalise. Then they went down again but still found the belief to bounce back.

Here’s how the players rated at Stamford Bridge:

Chelsea

Kepa Arrizabalaga – 2 – Had literally nothing to do until he was 1v1 with Gabriel Martinelli. Unsurprisingly he failed to keep his sheet clean. Then he had nothing to again until right at the death when he couldn’t dive to stop a left-footed strike from Hector Bellerin either. They can’t be coaching him because he looks hopeless, an absolute non-entity of a goalkeeper.

Cesar Azpilicueta – 7 – Defended reasonably well against the pace of Martinelli but came up big with a massive goal, turning home a late Hudson-Odoi cross with a striker’s confidence. A captain’s goal to drag his side ahead.

Andreas Christensen – 5 – Has fallen such a long way from that imperious season under Antonio Conte. Now looks average at best.

Antonio Rudiger – 5 – Another middling display from the German as he is clearly feeling his way back from injury.

Emerson – 6 – Created more chances than any Chelsea player (5) but was so defensively non-existent. Nowhere to be seen as Hector Bellerin scored in a zone he should be defending.

Jorginho – 8 – A much better display than everyone else in blue. Had the most tackles (4) and interception (3) for his side but that he didn’t have the most touches and passes sums up the flaws in Chelsea’s display. Dispatched a cool, calm and collected penalty to give Chelsea the lead as well, just to cap his display.

N’Golo Kanté – 3 – Doesn’t look fully comfortable in Frank Lampard’s system of play and began the match’s descent into farce when he fell over at the feet of Gabriel Martinelli, allowing the youngster to streak through and score.

Mateo Kovacic – 4 – The fact that Frank Lampard did “the Sarri sub” and took him off for Ross Barkley around the hour mark kind of sums up how poor he was. Disappointing.

Callum Hudson-Odoi – 5 – A lot of sound and fury signifying nothing, as per usual. Failed to make the most of being put up against a makeshift left-back. Although he did create Chelsea’s second goal with a lovely cross.

Willian – 5 – Besides taking Eden Hazard’s shirt number, what has Willian done exactly?

Tammy Abraham – 6 – Had a couple of decent looks at goal that you’d expect him to do more with. Won the penalty with a forceful run. Injured late on but fought on bravely, only to lack the mobility to cover Bellerin as the Spaniard scored the winner. However the fact that he was even there to try speaks to his mentality.

Substitutes:

Ross Barkley (for Kovacic 66′) – 6 – Actually improved Chelsea’s display when he came on. Almost scored with a delightful back header only to be denied by Leno.

Mason Mount (for Kanté 69′) – 5 – Had very little impact but at least he didn’t fall over.

Michy Batshuayi (for Willian 79′) – n/a – Did nothing.

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Arsenal

Bernd Leno – 6 – Disgraced himself with a laughably weak attempt to intercept Tammy Abraham before the Chelsea penalty. Played well besides that, however, including one sensational stop from Ross Barkley.

Hector Bellerin – 8 – Arsenal’s Captain Fantastic put in one hell of a display on his return from injury. Worked tirelessly all night long and picked up a massive late equaliser with his left-foot. A true captain’s goal for Arsenal’s stand-in skipper. A man of magnificent moral character and footballing ability.

Shkodran Mustafi – 3 – Had a baffling night. Looked terrible for an hour, misplacing passes including one shocking backpass that caused his team-mate to get sent-off and a penalty conceded. Then technically got an assist with his clearing header leading to Arsenal’s equaliser. But then lost Azpilicueta for Chelsea’s second goal.

David Luiz – 3 – Was playing reasonably well until Mustafi and Leno showing a complete lack of courage and conviction forced his hand and in typical David Luiz fashion he showed too much courage and conviction, barrelling into the back of Tammy Abraham and conceding a penalty as well as getting sent off. Poor guy.

Bukayo Saka – 7 – Despite not being a left-back, he actually played well at left-back. Constantly offered an option in attack and defended fairly well against Hudson-Odoi, winning more tackles (5) than any Arsenal player.

Lucas Torreira – 6 – Worked hard in midfield.

Granit Xhaka – 7 – Was okay in midfield, put in an incredible display when he was moved to centre-back.

Mesut Ozil – 5 – Worked hard to create but found it difficult with Arsenal reduced to 10-men.

Nicolas Pepe – 6 – Was alright, showing some moments of silky skill but by and large didn’t do much.

Gabriel Martinelli – 8 – Looked bright from the off, using his pace to run at Chelsea. After the red card, Mikel Arteta was going to take him off and bring on defensive reinforcements. He chose not to, and Martinelli repaid that faith by equalising.

With an hour gone, the young Brazilian picked up Mustafi’s headed clearance inside his own half and began running. He lost control of the ball and seemed to be running at N’Golo Kanté but the World Cup winner slipped up. Instantly the young Brazilian pounced. He raced beyond Kanté, beyond the Chelsea defence, and when faced with Kepa he did not hesitate to slot the ball home.

Martinelli travelled 67 yards in just over 10 seconds and finished nervelessly for his 10th goal of the season. He’s just 18 years-old, a teenage titan. Barcelona are allegedly sniffing around Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang; and for the first time since the peak of the Wenger era, Arsenal fans can once again say “let him go, we’ve got this kid who could be even better.” The next Aubameyang? The first Martinelli? Why not both?

Alexandre Lacazette – 6 – A typical battling display at centre-forward but his goal touch seems to have deserted him.

Substitutes:

Matteo Guendouzi (for Ozil 55′) – 6 – Came on to add a bit of steel to midfield and did just that.

Rob Holding (for Pepe 81′) – 4 – Tried and failed to play offside, rather than just clear the ball, for Chelsea’s second goal.

Joe Willock (for Martinelli 90’+1) – n/a – Came on late.

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