It was as tight as a camel’s arse in a sandstorm, but Theo Walcott’s early goal was enough to take three points. Here’s how the player rated.
Wojciech Szczesny: 8/10 – Continued his good form since being dropped, excellent save late on from Remy to keep us ahead, and looked solid throughout.
Bacary Sagna: 6/10 – Much improved on last week but still lacks something in the final third. Again, not helped by the player in front of him being absent a lot of the time, and that his highest pass combination was with Ramsey highlights that further.
Per Mertesacker: 7/10 – In Mert we trust. Ashford and Simpson should write a song about him.
Laurent Koscielny: 7/10 – No nonsense, no fuss, clever, efficient defending. In great form now.
Nacho Monreal: 6/10 – Seems to be preferred in away games to Kieran Gibbs, and found Townsend a handful yesterday. Got into some good positions higher up the pitch but our overall lethargy up there made it difficult to have an impact.
Mikel Arteta: 6/10 – On the end of another nasty challenge early on (surely it’s just coincidence, right), which left him a bit inhibited. Still provides assurance at the base of midfield, which is important for the back four.
Aaron Ramsey: 6/10 – All energy again, working hard and trying to make things happen (without much happening). Proving a good squad player, especially in games we win through hard work above all else.
Tomas Rosicky: 6/10 – Not as influential as we might have hoped, sent Walcott clear in the 2nd half but the England man’s first touch let him down. Other than that a bit off the pace.
Santi Cazorla: 6/10 –: Some of his touch and close control is still a marvel, but not having as much of an impact as he did. Perhaps it’s tiredness, he has played more Premier League football than anyone else this season, but lack of options ahead of him makes it hard to be creative.
Theo Walcott: 5/10 – Scored a vital goal but peripheral throughout. Maybe he can be excused as an ‘impact’ player but at this point in his career it’s not unreasonable to expect him to be more involved.
Lukas Podolski: 5/10 – Again had a hard time up front, won more headers than I thought he would, but found it tough going. Even if he’s not scheduled for surgery this summer, it might be a good idea to have an engine fitted anyway.
Jack Wilshere – Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – Thomas Vermaelen – No ratings.