Arsenal won their FA Cup game at Sutton but it was an odd match against a non-league side on an artificial pitch.
Wenger sent out a mixed team, similar to the one that faced Southampton in the last round, but they didn’t perform as well.
Some players did stood out, both in a good and in a bad way. The most important thing is that we are through, and our players will now get a nice rest before next trip away to Liverpool.
David Ospina – 5
There are many who insist that Ospina is good enough for Arsenal, and he furthered their cause against Sutton. He had a bad match, making some really poor judgements and weird reactions. He nearly helped Sutton score with a (wonderful) pass straight to their player but, as we say in Croatia, we’re lucky they don’t know [how to score]. By the end of first half, I too was calling for certain young Polish keeper.
Gabriel – 5.5
Gabriel was alright, didn’t make many mistakes but, as always, didn’t do much going up front. I was expecting him to do better, since it was Sutton, but alas, it didn’t happen. He had an ambitious shot in second half.
Rob Holding – 5.5
I understand it was a laid-back, easy-going performance from everyone but some of Rob’s reactions worried me. He nearly scored an own goal and, along with his partner in crime Mustafi, got caught more times than I’d have liked.
Shkodran Mustafi – 5.5
Well, we didn’t concede so that’s a plus for whole defence, but they all looked poor against a non-league side who should have capitalised on the chances our defence presented them with. Mustafi was meh, got caught a few times, especially in the second half.
Nacho Monreal – 5.5
Nacho was getting a 5 along with his mate Ospina, but he got an assist for our second goal, so that gives him a little bonus. He didn’t look good, especially going forward, showing poor control of the ball and waiting too long to do something with it. It’s been going on for a while now.
Granit Xhaka – 6
When he got carded early in the first half, I thought ‘oh no, not another one of these!’ But, turns out he learned from his previous endeavours and was really good during the rest of the match. To be clear, it wasn’t even a yellow.
Xhaka did well in poor midfield. His long balls (you perv) got us a few chances.
Mohamed Elneny – 5
Besides that one shot and getting injured, Elneny didn’t do anything in the first half. Sure, his calf problems and the odd pitch didn’t help his performance but I expected more, especially after playing in a cup final recently.
Theo Walcott – 6
Theo finally got his 100th goal that we’ve been waiting a long time for. Congratulations to him on that, but not for his performance against Sutton. Poor control, many wasted chances and he should have had more goals to his name. Nevertheless, it was a good goal and I’m happy for him.
Jeff Reine-Adelaide – 5
Jeff was given a chance in the centre of our midfield to show what he can do, and he didn’t impress. It wasn’t going for him on Monday night, possibly due to pitch and/or due to defensive opponents, but I honestly expected more from this promising youngster who has had some good performances this season.
Alex Iwobi – 4
I hate giving ratings under 5 but Iwobi was really really bad, especially when you consider the opponent. Poor ball control, bad pass choice, and once again not shooting when he was supposed to His movement was poor too. I know he prefers a central role but that isn’t an excuse for this performance. His form has been bad for a month or more now, and we can all just hope he comes back as a new man after this short break.
Lucas Perez – 7
Yes, my MOTM was Lucas, and I’m sure many will agree. He was pushing forward, creating chances, and, the most important, scoring goals! You could see in the first half how frustrated he was with his teammates and the lack of support from wings, and he had every right to be. He was very active and fast on the ball. Sure, he is not ‘world class’ and makes some poor decisions, but overall, he keeps making a case for himself to start, and he rarely does. Arsene, give the man a chance!
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – 6
After coming on for Elneny in the second half, the Ox changed the game with his pace and creativity. You can see he’s enjoying a central role, but you could also see why he frustrates many. Great runs, amazing pace, some good skills, and then the wrong pass, overhit, lack of communication with teammates, and the obligatory error on the edge of his own box. It was typical Ox.
Alexis Sanchez – 5
“Why is Alexis being risked!” shouted Twitter when the player, who wants to play every second of every match and won’t get to play for another 10 days, came on in second half. Alexis had some half-chances but didn’t get to score or create a big chance. He did, however, get to pass to himself so he’ll be happy. Some lucky Sutton fans got selfies as well.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles – 5
Came on with Alexis and didn’t really do much either. I still don’t understand why he didn’t start at right-back instead of Gabriel.