Football News

“He’s been absolutely perfect” – Tottenham 0-2 Arsenal player ratings

By Mohamed Moallim

Published: 18:45, 15 January 2023

Premier League leaders Arsenal sealed the North London Derby bragging rights after running out 2-0 winners over Tottenham on Sunday.

The result also extends their championship lead to eight points following Manchester City’s defeat at neighbours Manchester United earlier this weekend. In another statement victory, it was the usual suspects Bukayo Saka and Martin Ødegaard making all the difference. Saka forced Hugo Lloris into making an embarrassing own goal before teeing up Ødegaard to effectively seal all three points.

Lloris’ opposite number Aaron Ramsdale though was nothing short of sensational making several key and impressive saves. This was yet another test Arteta’s young guns passed with flying colours. As for Spurs’ head coach Antonio Conte he’ll surely be feeling the heat. Today’s latest setback means Tottenham have now lost four of their last five Premier League home games.

Here’s how the players rated at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium:

Tottenham

Hugo Lloris – 2 – Put his side in unnecessary early danger but immediately redeemed himself by denying Nketiah from close range. “What a mess that was. It’s like they were defending on ice. It started with Lloris and the rest of them followed,” as Gary Neville noted on Sky Sports commentary. He should have done better with the Bukayo Saka cross-shot that put Arsenal in front. His first own goal in a 354-game Premier League career. Lloris would make amends with some crucial saves but the damage was already done.

Clément Lenglet – 3 – Picked up a needless yellow card late on. 

Eric Dier – 3.5 – Deployed in the middle of Tottenham’s back-three and was guilty of some lackadaisical defending especially in the opening half when Arsenal was all over Spurs.

Cristian Romero – 3 – The first name in Craig Pawson’s notebook due to persistent infringement. Very fortunate not to see another yellow following another reckless challenge on Xhaka.

Ryan Sessegnon – 2.5 – Came in for Ivan Perišić and quickly displayed his relentless burst of speed down the left flank but frustratingly lacked an end product mostly through some poor crossing. Earned a yellow card after kicking through Saka who tormented him all game.

Pierre-Emile Højbjerg – 4 – Careless in possession and was effectively a bystander as soon as Arsenal began controlling the game.

Pape Sarr – 4 – His first start for Tottenham and it couldn’t have been a more challenging outing. Sarr won two of his three attempted tackles but there was nothing to write home about this performance. Booked for a reckless foul.

Matt Doherty – 4.5 – Tasked with keeping tabs on Martinelli, which is easier said than done, the Irish wing-back couldn’t make inroads and was always met with a Zinchenko roadblock whenever breaking into Arsenal’s half.

Son Heung-Min – 4.5 – Hasn’t consistently been his usual self this season and today’s performance was another to forget. Son would often find himself in areas miles away from Ramsdale’s goal. Even so, he did have Spurs’ best chance.

Dejan Kulusevski – 6 – Often the spark for Spurs he couldn’t ultimately conjure anything special but the Swedish international did his damndest to get his side back into the game.

Harry Kane – 5 – Regularly dropped into midfield to receive possession but not at the expense of penalty area presence. Kane was unfortunate to face an inspired Ramsdale this evening thus not being able to equal Jimmy Greaves’ record today.

Substitutes:

Richarlison (for Doherty 71) – 4 – He tried but the game was already lost.

Ivan Perišić (for Sessegnon 76) – N/A – A late sub.

Yves Bissouma (for Sarr 76) – X – A late sub.

Bryan Gil (for Kulusevski 88) – N/A – A late sub.

Ben Davies (for Lenglet 88) – X – A late sub.


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Arsenal

Aaron Ramsdale – 9 – Pulled off an impressive save to deny Son moments after seeing his side take the lead before two equally incredible efforts denying Kane either side of half-time. “He’s been absolutely perfect,” came Neville’s verdict when awarding him the man-of-the-match award. 

Oleksandr Zinchenko – 6.5 – His mini-battle with Kulusevski was fascinating with the Swede often getting the better of Arsenal’s left-back. In contrast, has no issue whenever coming up against Doherty.

Gabriel – 7.5 – His moment to shine came after the hour mark when he picked up Kane after the England forward received possession in a dangerous position inside the box. Gabriel was there and superbly blocked Kane’s effort.

William Saliba – 7 – There was some confusion before the half-time whistle blew as referee Pawson seemed to have given Spurs a penalty after Højbjerg fell over Saliba but it was much ado about nothing. Saliba was imperious as usual but hardly tested or put under a sustained period of pressure.

Ben White – 7.5 – The one-time centre-back is now arguably Arsenal’s first-choice right-back. White spent more time in Spur’s half than his own such was the Gunners‘ supremacy in possession.

Granit Xhaka – 6.5 – It seems like it was only yesterday that Xhaka’s future with the Gunners looked bleak. He’s been nothing short of excellent in Arsenal’s midfield this campaign and today was no exception.

Thomas Partey – 7.5 – Was lucky not to be cautioned for an early deliberate handball. Unlucky not to double Arsenal’s lead when his thunderous long-range effort crashed off Lloris’ left post. “That would have really rounded off an unbelievable start to this game,” Neville commented. “What a volley that is.”

Martin Ødegaard – 8.5 – His eighth goal this season was a wonderful effort from outside the penalty area. Beyond that no Spurs player could touch him or come anywhere near as he effortlessly dictated the game’s proceedings.

Gabriel Martinelli – 6 – Began the game like a house on fire before quieting down. Nevertheless, the Brazilian offered a serious outlet down Arsenal’s right flank.

Eddie Nketiah – 7.5 – Has done a solid job in Gabriel Jesus’ absence. Nketiah’s hold-up play really shone this evening. He should have got on the scoresheet but his late effort was saved well by a nervous Lloris.

Bukayo Saka – 8 – A constant threat down Arsenal’s right side, but even he couldn’t believe how the Gunners went in front. A regulation cross-shot into Tottenham’s penalty area was parried into his own net by Lloris.

Substitutes:

Kieran Tierney (for Martinelli 79) – N/A – A late sub.

Takehiro Tomiyasu (for Zinchenko 85) – N/A – A late sub.

Fabio Vieira (for Nketiah 90+3) – N/A – A late sub.

Emile Smith Rowe (for Ødegaard 90+3) – N/A – A late sub.