Sunday, 4 May 2014

Arsenal v West Brom ratings: Giroud MotM but who scored 6.5?


Arsenal v West Brom
Premier League

Wojciech Szczesny – The Pole was almost caught out when he ventured out of his box but the shot from distance was over-hit. Awkwardly parried another effort from range in the first half but was otherwise untroubled. The four men in front of him ensured WBA only had one shot on target. 6/10

Bacary Sagna – Had little to do defensively and was free to venture up field. Gave the ball away cheaply a couple of times in the first half but most of Arsenal’s attacks came down the right and the veteran was barely involved in what could be his last home game for the Gunners. 7/10

Laurent Koscielny – Added Stephane Sessegnon to his ever-deepening pockets in the first half and blocked West Brom’s only real chance in the first half in the first 10 minutes. No tackles but completed 100% of his passes for the second time in a row. 8/10

Per Mertesacker – Struggled a little in the opening stages to deal with Berahino’s pace running in behind but got away with it thanks to his partner in crime, Koscielny, making the block. The German made a couple of important blocks himself in the second half to keep the away side at bay. 8/10

Nacho Monreal – This was another comfortable game for the Spaniard. Encouraged to get forward and linked well with Podolski in the final third. Attempted 5 crosses but only found his target with one. 7/10

Mathieu Flamini – The more adventurous of the two holding midfielders and might have got on the scoresheet in the first half but saw one shot well blocked and another easily saved by Foster. Sat back more after Kallstrom’s introduction and made two tackles. 7/10

Mikel Arteta – Played in his usual defensive midfield role for 60 minutes and completed 97% of his passes, with three tackles to his name too. 7/10

Mesut Ozil – Controlled the game for the first 45 minutes, with an excellent run into the box just before the goal his main highlight. Applied the handbrake in the second half and was perhaps conserving energy but still showed bright sparks and might have scored. 7.5/10

Santi Cazorla – Had three good chances to score in the first half and was unlucky with two which were blocked and saved respectively. The Spaniard sliced his third effort well over but it was his corner that provided the opening goal. Replaced by Tomas Rosicky after 70 minutes 7/10

Lukas Podolski – Looked far more interested than on Monday night. Stretched the WBA back line well and delivered some dangerous crosses. Should’ve scored in the second half but sliced a half-volley onto the post. 6.5/10

Olivier Giroud – Looked stronger and more determined than he has done in a long time. Grabbed his third goal in four games and might be hitting form at the right time to start the Cup final over Sanogo. 9/10 – MotM

Substitutions

Kim Kallstrom – Fresh legs and made a decent contribution going forward with 85% pass accuracy. Should have doubled Arsenal’s lead but mistimed his jump and headed wide when unmarked. 6/10

Tomas Rosicky – The Czech’s introduction meant Ozil was pushed wide, but Rosicky himself had little impact. N/R

Thomas Vermaelen – Brought on presumably in anticipation of a long-ball onslaught from WBA which never came. The Belgian didn’t contest a single aerial duel in the end, and had only 9 touches but did almost create a chance with a fine ball down the line for Podolski. N/R

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