Crystal Palace 1 Arsenal 2: Player ratings as Santi Cazorla shines

Player ratings as Arsenal ease to a 2-1 victory over Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on Sunday afternoon

By Jonathan Hogan

Crystal Palace

Alex McCarthy Made a number of crucial saves to keep Palace in the game both in the opening 20 minutes and at the end. Frustrated Sanchez and Cazorla. 7/10

Joel Ward His strike brought Palace back into the game after being under the cosh early on. The full-back got forward well on a number of occasions but was caught ball watching and never got up to challenge Sanchez in the goal that separated the sides. 6

Scott Dann Played the ball out from the back more times than not and looked comfortable on the ball. Kept Giroud quiet for large parts of the game. 6

Damien Delaney On paper it is his own goal that separated the sides and he never looked comfortable when Arsenal did attack at pace. 4

Pape Souare Had a decent showing, including a few crucial interceptions towards the end of the first-half. Was troubled by the pace of Oxlade-Chamberlain towards the end, though that shouldn’t be surprising. 6

Wilfried Zaha Looked dangerous at times and wasteful at others. His performance typified what has come to be expected from the player. Needs more consistency. 5

James McArthur Solid, and in combination with Puncheon and Bolasie towards the end of the first-half, looked dangerous. Got the assist for the goal and a standard bearer for his side throughout. 7

Yohan Cabaye Nothing spectacular but noticeably adds a touch of class to the Palace midfield. 6

Jason Puncheon One of Palace’s best players on the day with runs that created most of their opportunities. Deserved more. 7

Yannick Bolasie Involved in most of Palace’s better moments in the first half before surprisingly replaced at half-time by Alan Pardew for the introduction of Mutch. That was perhaps in an attempt to curb Arsenal’s hold on possession but the Eagles missed his box-to-box tenacity in the second. 6

Connnor Wickham Showed promising signs following his move from Sunderland. Linked up well with Puncheon and Zaha at times but had chances to score and could have been the key to Palace getting something out of the game. 6

Substitutions

Jordon Mutch Brought in at half-time by Pardew to tighten up the Palace midfield, but offered little going forward and gave away the ball wastefully when searching for an equaliser. 5

Lee Chong-Yung Missed one of Palace’s best chances of an equaliser late-on. N/A

Patrick Bamford Looked like he could add a new dimension to the Palace attack when he came on but didn’t have enough time to make any headlines on this occasion. N/A

Arsenal

Petr Cech Solid without being overly worked. Cannot be blamed for the goal so it’s an improvement on last week. 6

Hector Bellerin Brought back into the side at the expense of Debuchy and played well. Got forward well on a number of occasions and his pinpoint cross for Sanchez that led to the winner capped a fine return. 7

Per Mertesacker Didn’t have a whole lot to do but could be worrying for the Gunners how Wickham looked a threat as the lone frontman. 6

Laurent Koscielny Should have done more to try block Ward’s shot for the Palace goal and his lack of desire to get in the way of the ball won’t please Arsenal fans. 5

Nacho Monreal Like Bellerin, the Spaniard got forward well and caused Palace problems on a number of occasions. 7

Francis Coquelin Lucky to stay on the pitch for as long as he did. Battled and broke down a number of attempted Palace counter-attacks but had to be withdrawn by Wenger. Still a lot to learn in the holding role. 5

Aaron Ramsey Frustrated at times when looking for the pass rather than shooting himself. Had a few chances but never really looked confident of scoring. Plenty of nice flicks but needs to rediscover his shooting boots. 6

Santi Cazorla (Man of the match) Nobody played more passes in the first half than the Spaniard who completed 52 at a success rate of 92.5% – that set the tone. He kept his side ticking over throughout and could have scored only for a few critical blocks from Palace defenders. 8

Mesut Ozil Showed some exquisite touches throughout and created a number of chances. His crosses led to both Arsenal goals and whether it was on the left or the right he caused the Palace full backs plenty of problems, no more so that his flick inside Souare late on. 8

Alexis Sanchez The Gunners look like a much more dangerous side when the Chilean is involved. Though he couldn’t finish one of a few chances he had in the opening twenty minutes, he caused Palace trouble throughout. The determination he showed to win the header at the back post which led to the winner typified his attitude and performance. 7

Olivier Giroud His fantastic finish for the first goal was the moment of the match, but he could have offered more overall. Never really looked like adding to his tally and was anonymous for large parts. Performance won’t quell calls for Wenger to bring another striker in. 6

Substitutions

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain Looked dangerous after coming on down the right and probably should have had his name on the scoresheet. 6

Mikel Arteta Solid and helped create a few openings for Arsenal to kill of the game. N/A

Kieran Gibbs Little impact. N/A

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