Arsenal ran out 2-1 winners against QPR, but how did the players do on an individual basis?
I’m starting to think our ‘subdued’ start to matches is a new tactic: absorb pressure while the opposition get it out of their system, then start to turn the screw and generally outplay them all over the pitch.
It’s a nice thought at least and being patient seems to be paying off.
The first half an hour was a bit slow but Arsenal didn’t look panicked at all. We kept our shape, cleared up any stray balls and passed out from the back calmly.
The second half, especially, was where we really began to shine. Similarly to when we played Everton at the weekend, Mesut Ozil carried on being the languid ray of footballing sunshine that he is and forcing me to fall even deeper in love with him.
Our defence stood strong and kept its shape, even under pressure and, despite a nervy final ten minutes, we dealt well with the majority of QPR’s attacks.
David Ospina 8
He made a stunning reflex save from close range in the first half and stopped most shots. Could’ve done better for the QPR goal but that was mainly down to Gibbs and Koscielny deciding they wanted to give Charlie Austin enough room to drive a car through.
Hector Bellerin 9
He had an excellent game. He’s learning how to use his speed constructively and is becoming more confident in terms of his movement. His crossing could still use some work but considering how quickly he’s improving, I’m sure it’ll come with time.
Per Mertesacker 8
I usually find that, with defenders, the less notes I’ve made about them on my little pad, the better they’ve played and vice versa with attacking players. Other than making some great defensive headers, I have hardly any notes on Per, so I think it’s safe to say he was solid today.
Gabriel Paulista N/A
Had a couple of nervy moments earlier on and picked up an injury that Arsene Wenger has said will keep him out for three weeks. Welcome to Arsenal, eh?
Keiran Gibbs 7
I’m only marking him down because of all that space he let Austin have for their goal. He’s better than that and spent the majority of the game playing well.
Francis Coquelin 8
Turning into a consistently strong player. He’s looking more assured and confident by the game. His timing and decision-making is also improving. Plus he now has a mask.
Santi Cazorla 9
Always a joy to watch. He almost scored a beaut’ of a goal in the first half with some mouthwatering build-up play involving multiple chips and passes. If it hadn’t been saved, it would’ve rivalled that one Jack Wilshere scored against Norwich (you know the one).
Tomas Rosicky 8
His first start in a while proved why he’s such a powerful substitute to have. Saying that, he still ran his heart out and never hid. He could’ve even had a couple of goals to boot.
Mesut Ozil 10
I’ve run out of ways to praise this guy. I mean, did you see how he chipped the ball past Junior Hoilett down the wing without it going out of play as if it was nothing; did you see it? (!!!)
Alexis Sanchez 8
He’s still a little off the boil and I would’ve given him a seven if it hadn’t been for that mindboggling goal. I’m not worried – just think the bloke needs a rest.
Olivier Giroud 9
The goal may have been lucky but his positioning wasn’t. He’s always in the right spaces and making runs. Love the guy.
Laurent Koscielny 7
As with Gibbs, he was reasonably solid but was partially responsible for us not keeping a clean sheet.
Aaron Ramsey N/A
Instantly involved himself with play in the short time he was on.
Danny Welbeck N/A
He was only on the pitch a matter of minutes, most of which we were defending like our lives depended on us.