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Player Ratings: Arsenal 1-2 Watford

It was a classic rainy Tuesday evening in the Premier League, where Arsenal’s defence gets badly exposed and the Gunners end up shooting themselves in the foot once again by not taking advantage of Chelsea dropping two points at Anfield.

Two quick goals from Watford ensured that Arsenal couldn’t come back into the game this time, after a dreadful first-half and a second-half where Watford held onto their lead. It was a deserved loss for Arsenal and another missed opportunity as Chelsea, Liverpool, and Tottenham all drew. 

Here are our ratings from the game…

Petr Cech: 5/10

Could have done better on Watford’s second goal, but two good saves in the first-half and nothing else to report in the second-half pushed his rating up a bit. He wasn’t really tested outside of those two goals. 

Gabriel: 3/10

A bad day for the Brazilian, replacing the rested Bellerin. His technical limitations were exposed by Niang as he lost the ball in dangerous areas multiple times and misplaced easy passes, all mistakes that will lead him to the bench, especially with Bellerin coming back. 

Shkodran Mustafi: 4/10

A first loss at Arsenal for the German, his first in 22 games. It was a loss that he could have saved Arsenal from, had he at least put a little bit on pressure on Capoue. Apart from that, a few misplaced passes through the lines and lost duels, an evening to forget, and quickly.

Laurent Koscielny: 6.5/10

As reliable as ever, one of the only players to actually perform tonight. He didn’t have much to do after the goals but covered Cech well and was decent with the ball.

Nacho Monreal: 5/10

Not a bad game, nor a good game for the Spaniard, on his anniversary as an Arsenal player. Monreal almost scored an incredible equaliser with a volley outside the box and combined well in tight spaces with Alexis and Iwobi. An ok night for Monreal. 

Aaron Ramsey: 3/10

At fault for Watford’s second goal; forced to play like Xhaka, which is something he can’t do and taken off with a calf injury after 17 minutes. A tough and poor night for the Welshman. 

Francis Coquelin: 2.5/10

Harsh, very harsh maybe but there was pretty much nothing from his performance. He looked way too shaky with the ball and had little to no defensive impact. He was way too high on the pitch as we built up and found it very difficult to position himself on the pitch, he once again looks lost without Santi Cazorla.

Alex Iwobi: 7/10

My personal Arsenal MOTM, Iwobi was very good throughout the game, especially after the break where he truly led Arsenal to their only goal of the night. A well-taken goal that sadly led to nothing this time.

Mesut Ozil: 5.5/10

Always very tightly marked, the German playmaker suffered from that and Watford’s aggressive pressing for the whole first-half. After the break, as Arsenal saw more of the ball, he created a few chances but was maybe too reluctant to shoot at times.

Alexis Sanchez: 5.5/10

He tried and tried, sometimes it paid off – like his great assist for Iwobi -, but it mainly meant that he kept the ball for too long and tried too hard to be the saviour once again. Had a much better second-half in his now preferred striker role, with more freedom to operate.

Olivier Giroud: 4/10

Very disappointing game from the Frenchman. A clear lack of service but also that he was totally incapacitated by Prodl and Kaboul. He had no impact on the game and made Arsenal quite slow and predictable. He was taken off at half-time and should settle for a place on the bench at Stamford Bridge.

The substitutes:

Alex-Oxlade Chamberlain: 6/10

Came on for the injured Ramsey, played some good long balls, he seems to settle well in midfield. However, he was limping with what might be a knee injury for the last 20 minutes, a bad way to end a pretty good personal performance.

Theo Walcott: 5/10

Came on at half-time to replace Giroud and shift Alexis up top. He had a very bright start to his game, with a very good chance saved by Gomes but then disappeared from the game as the minutes went by, only signalling his presence with a few good runs and some welcome defensive contribution.

Lucas Perez: 6.5/10

His link-up play is still a joy to watch, he replaced Coquelin when Arsenal decided to go all out in attack. He had a glorious chance to equalise after a good movement between the Watford back four, but his very powerful shot has rattled the bar.

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