It was another decent FA Cup match for Arsenal, and slightly less frustrating than Sutton although it didn’t start too well.
Arsene picked the strongest team possible as he didn’t want to leave anything to chance. It was a good decision and our first team players cured their frustrations against Lincoln City. So how did they all get on? Here are our Arsenal player ratings:
Petr Čech – 7
Ospina was expected to start but he picked a groin injury, and Čech turned out to be a good replacement. One might have thought he wouldn’t have much work but alas, it’s the Arsenal. He had to make two pretty big saves and he did well. Other than that, good passing and ball distribution with a more or less relaxed second half for big man in the goal.
Hector Bellerin – 8
Much better Bellerin than in recent matches but that could be down to the opponents. Not a lot of work for him defensively but he took his chance to get forward more, even down the middle at times. Sven set up Giroud’s goal. Hope he continues this sort of performance.
Shkodran Mustafi – 7
Mustafi struggled a bit in the beginning against a big striker in Rhead – he even got an elbow in the head – but he eventually learned how to handle him and had a relaxed second half.
Laurent Koscielny – 7
Looked cool most of the time, cleared out well and got a stupid yellow card because a Lincoln player ran into him. Good match.
Kieran Gibbs – 8
It was great to see Gibbo get a start and he delivered. He did look a bit rusty in the first half with some poor passes, but he got into his stride eventually. Joined in with all of the attacks on his side with well-timed runs, and helped create a few chances. His cross was deflected in to Lincoln’s net for our third goal. I hope he keeps his place for the league match.
Granit Xhaka – 7
Xhaka got his customary yellow card in first half, and it was again one that other players wouldn’t get (for example, Coquelin didn’t later on in the match, for a worse tackle). Otherwise, another good performance with a few really awesome and extremely accurate long balls for our forwards. It’s a shame he has this reputation for no reason and people keep talking about that and not his performances.
Aaron Ramsey – 8
Aaron could have easily been on a hat-trick in first half but, alas, it didn’t happen. He was, besides Theo, our only player with shots-on-goal in the first 45 minutes. He definitely worked hard as always and eventually got a goal. Good to see him get 90 minutes after being out.
Theo Walcott – 8
An energetic display from Theo and another goal added to his tally – his 17th of the season which makes this his best season yet. He was really good besides the goal and had some chances to score even more. It’s nice to see him stay on form and keep the goals coming.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – 6
Ox got a start right in the centre of our strong midfield and I was hoping it would be another really good performance for him but he went off injured after half an hour. Such a shame and we can only hope it’s nothing serious [Hamstring]. He was looking good while he was on.
Alexis Sanchez – 9
A good match for Alexis after a series of “meh” ones. He ended up with a stunning goal and an assist for Ramsey, but had so many other chances as well. In some moments during the second half it looked like this was a training match for him, with all the passes and turns and tricks he was trying to pull off, succeeding most of the time.
Olivier Giroud – 7.5
A good match for our big man Giroud, which he crowned with a goal – his fourth goal in four FA Cup starts. He could (should?) have scored more but it wouldn’t be Giroud without a few misses. Looked good.
Mesut Özil – 8
Mesut came on for the injured Ox and he made an impact. He looked well rested, running into tackles right away and combining with Alexis to create chances. He got an assist and barged Lincoln’s player out of the way , a move that was praised among Arsenal fans, mostly for annoying Chris Sutton so much.
Francis Coquelin – 6
Coquelin came on for Xhaka, got a yellow card and didn’t do much else.
Lucas Perez – 6
We all hoped Lucas would get a start and he got just slightly less than half an hour. It definitely looked like his teammates – especially Alexis – were going out of their way to set up a goal for him but it didn’t happen. He “dived” for a penalty that I’m sure Suarez would get and everyone would be fine with that.