Monday, 17 August 2015

Crystal Palace v Arsenal player ratings

Mesut Ozil: Misplaced just one of his 55 passes in the game
Mesut Ozil was our narrow choice for Man of the Match as Arsenal won 2-1 at Crystal Palace, who need to work out how to improve in attack.

Crystal Palace (4-2-3-1)

Alex McCarthy 6 - Could do little about Arsenal's opener, but otherwise looked a composed figure in goal and could not really be faulted for either goal.
Joel Ward 7 - Recovered from a couple of early mistakes to drill home a magnificent first-half equaliser for the Eagles. Only his second ever Premier League goal and certainly his best.
Scott Dann 6 - Some vital interceptions for the hosts and won plenty of high balls when Arsenal got the ball into the box
Damien Delaney 5 - Made several good interceptions in the first half, but second-half own goal was a major blot on his copybook
Pape Souare 7 - Looked good in possession, was strong in the tackle and worked hard for the cause.
Yohann Cabaye 6 - Looked classy when he did get on the ball, but drifted in and out of the game and struggled to make a telling contribution.
James McArthur 7 - Worked hard in the centre of the park, made an early clearance off the line and was a vital cog in the Eagles engine room.
Jason Puncheon 6 - Did well to nullify the threat of Cazorla but fluffed a great chance to equalise not long after Arsenal's second.
Yannick Bolasie 6 - Showed his usual box of tricks, but struggled to get into the game and was no surprise to see him come off at the break.
Wilfried Zaha 6 - Palace's best outlet in the first half, with some nice trickery and crosses, but was often wasteful with the ball despite getting into some threatening positions
Connor Wickham 5 - Hit the post at the start of the second half when he perhaps should have scored, and although worked hard, there'll be some who will question his inclusion today.
Jordon Mutch (46 mins - on for Bolasie) 5 - Worked hard but was unable to create much.
Chung-Yong Lee (75 mins - on for Zaha) 5 - Wasted Palace's last chance to equalise by delaying too long with his shot.
Patrick Bamford (79 mins - on for McArthur) 5 - Little chance to make an impact.
Manager report: Alan Pardew will be disappointed not to have taken anything from this game and will be pleased from the effort from his players. Still has much to ponder when it comes to his strikers, with Wickham wasting a good chance to score and Zaha and Bolasie not contributing a great deal. 6

Arsenal (4-2-3-1)

Petr Cech 6 - Could do little about Ward's goal but the critics will use the lack of a clean sheet to further claims that the former Chelsea keeper is a long way past his best.
Hector Bellerin 6 - Kept on his toes by Palace's wingers in the first half, but improved as the game went on and provided the cross which created Arsenal's winner
Per Mertesacker 6 - Palace's formation ensured he wasn't hugely tested and the German enjoyed a comfortable afternoon in the Arsenal defence.
Laurent Koscielny 5 - Turned his back on the ball when Ward drilled in the equaliser - not one from the Tony Adams school of defending - but otherwise performed OK.
Nacho Monreal 6 - Kept busy by Palace's wingers and stood up fairly well to the test. Got forward on a few occasions to send over some crosses.
Francis Coquelin 4 - For the second game in a row, looked way below his best and was once again of Arsenal's more disappointing performers. Lucky not to be sent off.
Santi Cazorla 7 - Saw his influence marginalised by the hard-working performance of Palace's Jason Puncheon in the first half, but grew into the game.
Aaron Ramsey 7 - Central to everything Arsenal did well early on and kept the ball ticking over nicely. Went close with a shot on the turn in the second period.
Mesut Ozil 7 - Set up the opener for Giroud with a fine cross and is beginning to look more comfortable on the left side of Arsenal's creative triumvirate. A narrow choice for our Man of the Match
Alexis Sanchez 6 - Found himself in some good positions and his class ensured Palace's defence was kept on their toes, but his lack of sharpness told at the crucial moments.
Olivier Giroud 7 - Fine volleyed opener handed Arsenal an early lead but was by and large feeding off scraps once again.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (on for Coquelin 65) 7 - Did well in the midfield and once again proved himself able to play anywhere across the midfield.
Mikel Arteta (on for Sanchez 74) 6 Steadied the ship
Kieran Gibbs (on for Ozil 82) 6 - Provided fresh impetus
Manager report: Arsene Wenger clearly had his troops fired up for this one after last weekend's shock defeat to West Ham. The Gunners boss opted to recall Alexis Sanchez, despite his admission that the Chilean was still not match fit, and that looked a good decision as his side made a lively start.
Got lucky when Coquelin twice avoided a second straight yellow and probably should have acted sooner to replace him.
Will be delighted to have put last week's defeat behind him, but Arsenal were far from convincing and can consider himself fortunate to claim the victory. 6

Opta Stats

Arsenal's last three Premier League clashes with Crystal Palace have all ended in 2-1 victories for the Gunners.
The Eagles have registered just three victories in their last 12 Premier League London derbies (D3 L6).
Arsenal's first PL goal of the season has been scored by a Frenchman in each of the last three campaigns.
Giroud has scored in each of his three PL appearances at Selhurst Park against Palace.
Arsenal have only kept one clean sheet in their last 8 Premier League away games.
Two of the goals Arsenal have conceded in the Premier League this season have come from from outside box, compared to three out of 36 in total last season.
Prior to today's game, Damien Delaney was also responsible for Crystal Palace's last own goal in the Premier League - in May 2014 against Liverpool.
Mesut Ozil misplaced just one of his 55 passes in the game.
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