Monday, 19 May 2014

Arsenal v Hull City: FA Cup final player ratings


Arsenal v Hull City
FA Cup Final 
By Joss Bennett

Lukasz Fabianksi – The Pole confirmed during the celebrations that this would be his last game for the club, so will have been relieved the first eight minutes didn’t cost them. Powerless to prevent the two Hull goals but almost suffered the same fate as his compatriot in 2011 after a late mix-up with Per Mertesacker. Otherwise untested 6/10

Bacary Sagna – Despite rumours before kick-off that Sagna had already agreed a deal with Manchester City, it was a typically professional performance from the veteran. Had little impact going forward but eventually dealt well with the dangerous Stephen Quinn. 6/10

Per Mertesacker – Arsenal’s experienced centre-back, though perhaps not individually responsible, did himself no favours in the first 15 minutes as Hull came out the blocks. Recovered and organised the defence for the rest of the game but a mistake late into extra time almost cost the Gunners. 6/10

Laurent Koscielny – The other half of Arsenal’s defensive core added another important goal to his CV. The Frenchman showed plenty of determination and strength in the tackle and played the whole 90 minutes despite two heavy challenges. 8/10

Kieran Gibbs – Arsenal were fortunate to have his superior heading ability over Nacho Monreal as his goal-saving clearance after 13 minutes prevented an early 3-0 lead. Repeated the feat in extra-time when Aluko’s cross-cum-shot was scrapped off the line. We won’t mention the horror miss… 7/10

Mikel Arteta – Credit must go to Arséne Wenger’s experienced stand-in captain for helping the Gunners recover their composure after a disastrous start. The former Everton man helped to keep Arsenal’s feet – and the ball – on the floor instead of panicking as against Liverpool and Chelsea earlier this season. 8/10

Aaron Ramsey – Arsenal’s most improved player by a country mile this season, and it was appropriate that a player who brought so much pleasure to the fans at the start of the season was the man to ultimately create history. 8/10

Santi Cazorla – The miniature Spaniard got Arsenal started with a brilliant free-kick and clearly took confidence from the goal. Created chances for himself and others and on another day might have been given two penalties. 10/10 - MotM

Mesut Ozil – Wenger’s stellar signing had plenty of pressure on his shoulders and was clearly affected by Arsenal’s poor start as he struggled to impact the first half. Grew into the game in the second half and helped put his side on the front foot thereafter. 6/10

Lukas Podolski – The German’s form has unfortunately appeared to stutter somewhat since his recent increase in starts. Despite the occasion, Podolski never really threatened and struggled after Hull’s opening allowed them to sit back and close up shop. 5/10

Olivier Giroud – It wasn’t to be his individual day in the end; being denied a clear penalty, hitting the bar in extra time and forcing a fine save five minutes before the end of the ninety. But after a long season, the striker’s effort cannot be faulted as he ran himself into the ground and harried Hull’s back five. 8/10

Substitutes

Yaya Sanogo (for Podolski, 61’) – A gamble from Wenger, the youngster’s introduction changed the game as he linked well with Giroud and made runs behind the defence his fellow countryman couldn’t. Clearly still a work in progress, however. 7/10

Jack Wilshere (for Ozil, 105’) and Tomas Rosicky (for Cazorla, 105’) – Both of the manager’s late substitutes did their job well, helping to keep the pressure on Hull before the winning goal and using their freshness to press and win the ball back after the goal. 7/10

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