Arsenal 1 Southampton 0: Player ratings as Alexis Sanchez sparkles again

Player ratings as Alexis Sanchez's late goal wins it for the Gunners

By Joel Durston

Arsenal

Damian Emiliano Martinez Wasn’t troubled too much, but proved competent when he was, taking one high cross well out towards the edge of his area. 7/10

Calum Chambers Solid in defence against his old team and got forward to provide some quality crosses, including the one which led to the goal. 7

Per Mertesacker Dealt well with the threat of Graziano Pelle apart from one incident where the Italian got through but blazed over. 6

Laurent Koscielny Another solid game, helping limit Southampton to just one shot on target. 6

Nacho Monreal Had a decent battle in defence with Nathaniel Clyne, which came out about evens, but there were a couple of moments where, especially given Arsenal needed a goal, he could have shown more adventure, such as a ball Danny Welbeck played for a non-existent overlap. 5

Aaron Ramsey Didn’t do anything wrong per se, but continues to struggle to recapture his form from last season. Assisted the goal well, though, with a clever ball cut back between defenders. 6

Mathieu Flamini Marshalled the midfield reasonably but didn’t offer anything more – though arguably that’s not really his responsibility. 6

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain Was lively and one of the more dangerous midfielders, so perhaps a bit of a surprise that he was the one to make way for Olivier Giroud a little after the hour. 7

Santi Cazorla Some neat passing, but could do with rediscovering his goal threat (he hasn’t scored since the Community Shield). One chance he got on the edge of the box went into the proverbial – and quite possibly actual – row Z. 6

Alexis Sánchez As tricky as he usually is and mostly useful with it. Also, provided some fine passes, including one apiece for Danny Welbeck and Olivier Giroud in behind the defence. 8

Danny Welbeck Always industrious, and generally productive, holding the ball up and linking well with players. Not world-class on finishing, though; he could have been more inventive to beat Fraser Forster when one-on-one to the left of the area and, though it was denied by a fine stop, could have put another effort, from Giroud’s flick, lower and more in the corner. 7

Substitutes

Olivier Giroud Made a real difference when he came on after 65 minutes – latching on to an Alexis Sanchez ball over the top and lashing a strike at Forster, creating the aforementioned chance for Welbeck and playing a part in the goal. 8

Lukas Podolski N/A

Southampton

Fraser Forster (man of the match) A superb performance. Made several fine stops – Arsenal had eight shots on target – the best of which were probably one from a Welbeck header and another from his shot. Also narrowed down the angles very well and was commanding dealing with crosses. Could not have done anything about the goal. 9

Nathaniel Clyne Not as superb as he has been elsewhere this season, but a solid performance. 6

Jose Fonte Did not shut down Arsenal’s attack completely, but was not exposed easily and generally limited them to half-chances. 6

Toby Alderweireld His contribution in nullifying Arsenal was evident in his absence, as Arsenal upped the pressure, and eventually scored, in the ten minutes he was off the pitch and not replaced, having gone off injured after Ronald Koeman had just used his third sub. 7

Ryan Bertrand Not as buccaneering as he has been this season – although that is understandable away to Arsenal – and Oxlade-Chamberlain broadly speaking got the better of their contests. 5

Steven Davis Pressed Arsenal’s defence tirelessly and his distribution was steady, if not spectacular. 7

Victor Wanyama Held Arsenal at bay with disclipined positioning and some robust tackling – sometimes too robust, as he was penalised several times. But, probably fortunately, he was not booked until after 70 minutes, meaning he could battle with Arsenal’s midfield without too much caution for most of the game. 7

Jack Cork Industrious but did not offer a great deal of attacking threat in the half hour he was on before going off injured. 6

Shane Long Workmanlike, but failed to provide any magic. For example, made a great run for a Southampton counter-attack but chose to shoot (well over) from the corner of the box, instead of pass or cross to Graziano Pelle, who was running clear into the box. 6

Graziano Pelle Still struggling for form a little bit, which perhaps showed as he looked to break his now six-game duct with an exclamation mark when through in his first half, electing to smash a half-volley, which ended up well over, when a cooler finish, perhaps a dink over the keeper, was probably the wiser option. 5

Dusan Tadic He was quieter than he has been in recent games, lacking that quality touch to put players in behind. 5

Substitutes

Maya Yoshida Steady replacement for Cork after 29 minutes. 6

Saido Mane N/A

Emmanuel Mayuka N/A

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