Arsenal 2 Middlesbrough 0: Player ratings as Olivier Giroud strikes twice

Player ratings as Olivier Giroud strikes twice against Middlesbrough in the FA Cup

Arsenal

Wojciech Szczesny An easy day for the Polish keeper as Middlesbrough barely mustered any shots on target. 5/10

Calum Chambers A more conservative option at right-back, certainly gives some defensive solidarity but is nowhere near as effective going forward as Hector Bellerin, so is likely to be on the bench in the next game. 6

Gabriel Paulista Still adjusting to life in the Premier League and it showed at times. Got caught out by Reach and was forced into hauling the player down earning himself a yellow card. 6

Laurent Koscielny His presence helped the Brazilian as he added composure and discipline in the centre. Kike barely got a touch as Koscielny marshalled him nullifying his influence. 7

Kieran Gibbs Gave the manager a lot to think about with this all-rounded performance. Got an assist for Giroud’s goal and was often involved in a lot of Arsenal’s good football. Nearly scored a goal but his rasping drive was palmed over the bar. 8

Mathieu Flamini Hard to see him getting back into the first-team off the back of this game. Seemed to panic in possession and gave away a few needless fouls when there was no pressure. 5

Santi Cazorla Arsenal’s recent renaissance has been down to the Spaniard being deployed in a deeper position. Dictates the tempo and still has an influence going forward. His beautifully disguised pass led to Giroud’s opening goal. 8

Danny Welbeck Gives absolutely everything and his movement is good as it forces defenders out wide. But he still isn’t clinical enough and when he was through on goal, he lacked the killer instinct, his dinked effort was neither a shot nor a cross. 6

Mesut Ozil Has been brilliant since his return from injury and some of the interplay between Sanchez and the German was mesmeric. Middlesbrough’s defensive players couldn’t get anywhere near him and he often played one touch passes to keep the continuity of the move going. 9

Alexis Sanchez Hasn’t been himself in recent games but was excellent against Middlesbrough. His dribbling allowed him to create space for others. His intelligence in taking a quick corner led to Giroud’s second goal. 8

Olivier Giroud His finishing was devastating and he performed his role as the pivot to perfection. His first goal was a poacher’s finish as he finished the ball low under the keeper, the second was a piece of magic as he volleyed the ball into the net following a corner. 9

Substitutes

Tomas Rosicky Still going strong at the age of 34 and helps the Gunners to maintain their fluid style of football as he has intelligence in possession. His pass for Walcott late in the game was outstanding, but the forward narrowly missed the target. 6

Theo Walcott Added pace into the attack when he came on and nearly scored from an Ozil cut-back, but his shot was well blocked by Omeruo. 6

Chuba Akpom n/a

Middlesbrough

Tomas Mejias Had an outstanding game and made a number of very good saves. His save from Sanchez’ header was probably the pick of the bunch as he dived low to tip the ball round the post. 8

Ryan Fredericks Young full-back who is getting better with each game but he showed his naivety defensively. Was caught out of position a few times and the Sanchez-Ozil axis caused him plenty of problems. 5

Kenneth Omeruo One of the only players to enhance their reputations as he put in a solid performance. Made an excellent block from Sanchez in the penalty area as the Chilean looked to get a shot away. 7

Ben Gibson Unlike his Nigerian defensive partner, he looked all over the place and didn’t offer any presence, or authority in defence. 5

George Friend Struggled throughout the game and was at fault for Giroud’s second goal, didn’t respond fast enough from the quickly taken corner. 5

Grant Leadbitter Proved a bit of a nuisance early in the game but once Arsenal seized control his influence waned. His normally decent distribution was also a little wayward. 5

Adam Clayton Was feisty in the challenge putting in numerous successful challenges, but didn’t help his side’s cause with some poor passing. Finished the game with 82 per cent pass completion. 5

Albert Adomah Gave the ball away countless times in the first-half but improved after the break. Caused Arsenal some problems with his link up play with Fredericks, particularly late in the match. 6

Lee Tomlin Couldn’t re-create the magic of his previous FA Cup performance against Manchester City. Was wasteful in possession and didn’t have any influence on the game only having 25 touches of the ball. 5

Kike Was starved of any service for most of the game but when he did finally receive a good cross late on, his header hit the post. 5

Patrick Bamford Has impressed this season but played in an unfamiliar role and perhaps would have been more effective as a conventional number nine. Put in an energetic performance but spent more time in his own half rather than causing a threat to Arsenal’s goal. 5

Substitutes

Jelle Vossen Barely any influence on the game upon his introduction. Only had 22 touches of the ball and managed to commit three fouls relieving any pressure on Arsenal’s defence. 5

Adam Reach Certainly offered more than Bamford, but still lacked the requisite quality to get in behind Arsenal’s defence, or put in a telling cross. 5

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