Another three points gained, but in different circumstances. While Anderlecht may have been daylight robbery, Sunderland was a pure bazaar. Two goals, a clean sheet, three points, fifth place. Not much to complain about in defence, but we still look short of confidence in attack, especially a few players.
Man keeps us guessing on whether he was really serious about the “15 years as number 1” thing. Over-confidence, recklessness, not sure what the issue is. It was all evident. Martinez must be hopeful.
Could have ended up with an assist if he’d found Welbeck rather than go for goal. Still not very calculative in making tackles, mostly coming off beaten. Still looks more a center half than right back.
Best Monreal game in eons! Nothing passed him, was as though Koscielny was on the pitch at times. Seems to be loving the role too, but may have to shift to his default against Anderlecht with Gibbs limping off.
Per Mertesacker: 6
Was in a no-nonsense mode today, making long clearances up field rather than the cute pass-it-off-the-box system.
Kieran Gibbs: 6
Got no help from the man on his side of the wing and had to do all by himself, bustling to and forth. Came off limping.
Same old Arteta. Sideways passes, no tackles.
Put in his usual scary sliding challenges, but doesn’t affect the game enough with his passes. Alexis should have known better than playing him a through ball.
Cazorla: 3 FOTM
Had two, three opportunities to score but went for the ridiculous. He must have been inviting guests into the games to whom he plays those balls to as Matchday souvenirs.
Did not do too much with his speed, a few vital challenges.
Alexis Sanchez*: 8 MOTM
We’d be most without him. Two goals, all his own fight.
Danny Welbeck: 5
Frustrating performance from Danny. He’s probably coming to terms with the difficulty of being a center forward, if he had always thought it was easier. Couldn’t keep the ball, often bullied.
Hector Bellerin: 6… His pace is his defensive asset, used it well
Aaron Ramsey: 6… Could have got himself on the scoresheet with little more composure.
Tomas Roiscky: Hardly got a touch before the final whistle
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