Arsenal 2 - 0 Chelsea

Leno – 7.5

CLEAN SHEET KLAXXON!!! Relatively untroubled today, only one shot on target to deal with. Came out for the ball well, punched with distance, and martialed his defense. 

Bellerin – 7.5

Was on course for his best performance of the season in my mind. Got forward well, and had Alonso (aka Wanker-in-Chief) in his back pocket all day on the defensive side. Truly devastating injury, if it is indeed the ACL we all fear it is.

Sokratis – 8

Celebrating a tackle like it’s a goal? Yes please. An outside of the boot assist for his CB partner? More of that, too. Got right amongst the Chelsea front line, gave Hazard & Co. no breathing room, always closing space. Love his #pashun, I must say.

Koscielny – 8.5

He gets the extra .5 because he scored artfully with his shoulder (your captain could never, btw) and because he’s now got the best hair at the club. Got across the near post well often to block low crosses, seems to have something of the old “right up their arses” pace about him again. His real comeback performance, this, no question.

Kolasinac – 7.5

The longer this season goes on, the more we’re starting to see why he was in the Bundesliga team of the year and why he’s become so crucial to our efforts. Attacked very well, tied for most chances created today. More than anything, though, I was thrilled with his defensive application throughout, which was excellent.

Xhaka – 7.75

When he wants to, he really can command a game. Pressed well and fed the ball forward at a rate of knots, but it was his maturity in winning the ball back and drawing fouls that impressed me today. Broke up their momentum well, and deserves special commendation for his defensive work.

Torreira – 7.5

Slightly less involved in the second half, but he did what he does – won the ball back readily and gave us a platform to move forward from. Quite clearly had the better of Kante all day today, which given all the talk about Kante being a slightly shorter version of Jesus Christ, was nice to see.  

Guendouzi – 7

Was a little surprised to see him involved at the start, and on the left side of the midfield at that, if I’m honest. That said, he’s a brave player and showed no signs of fear or intimidation today. Ran so, so much – seemed to be everywhere.

Ramsey – 8

Close shout for Man of the Match for me, along with Lacazette. Seems that Emery has worked out where to use him – at the point of the midfield diamond – but too little too late as he’s off to Juventus in June. Was everywhere today, pressing from the start. A real bright spot today, and we’re going to miss him more than we know.

Aubameyang – 7

Did he miss that early cross, or was it good defending? I can’t say for sure, but what I really like about him is how his head never drops – he’s always up for involving himself. Tracked back so well today, with a couple of tackles that our CB’s would’ve been proud of. His overhead kick attempt, had it gone in, would have sent me into near-orgasmic joy. Alas. 

Lacazette – 8.5

Our Man of the Match today, in my view. The first touch for his goal, my word, silky doesn’t come close. It was just delicious, and the finish at the near post – phwoar. Nothing less than we, and he, deserved, either. Worked really hard defensively, too, and his applause and pump up display to Iwobi when subbed off was great to see – a true team player.

Subs

Iwobi – 6.5

Involved himself well, and drove forward readily – which put Chelsea on the back foot again after a spell of pressing. Not much came off for him today, though, but nothing went wrong either.

Maitland-Niles – 7

Took over the right back slot from Bellerin and did admirably. His pace and positioning was a bonus as their pressure mounted.

Elneny – 6

Did what he does; came on, played it safely, put a foot in. Nothing wrong and shored things up a little for us.

by Laurie Laker