Did you watch the game against Manchester United? It was basically the opposite, as Arsenal and Watford played out a fun, but mostly uneventful first-half, followed by a second-half in which the Gunners blew the Hornets away.
Goals from Alexis Sanchez, Olivier Giroud and Aaron Ramsey (finally!) secured a fifth win out of six in the league for the Arsenal, keeping pace with the red and blue halves of Manchester at the top of the table.
Petr Čech – 6
Hard to rate a GK when they only face one shot-on-target, but Cech did what was asked of him, marshalled the defense well enough and collected every cross that came near him (though, to be fair, Watford’s delivery was mostly tame). Did pull a Szczesny in the first-half when he charged out of the box to make a clearance (even though Mertesacker was getting ready to head the ball back to him), but fortunately nothing came of it.
Hector Bellerin – 8.5
Was Arsenal’s most dangerous player in the first-half, combining to great effect with Ramsey. Had the third-most touches of any Arsenal player with 83 and grabbed an assist for Ramsey’s goal.
Laurent Koscielny – 8
Looked a bit rusty after passing a late fitness test, but dealt with the pace and industry of Ighalo and Deeney and even came close to scoring in the first-half from a corner.
Per Mertesacker – 7.5
Comfortable in possession, as always, but was caught out by the likes of Ighalo and Deeney on a couple of occasions. Otherwise, barely troubled.
Nacho Monreal – 8
Another solid performance from the Spaniard. Rarely put a foot wrong and got picked his moments to get forward and create chances for Ramsey and Cazorla.
Francis Coquelin – 6.5
Didn’t have much to do on the day, fortunately, as Watford weren’t able to keep possession in Arsenal’s half for extended periods of play. Didn’t make any mistakes, and his passing was tidy enough, but if he isn’t racking up tackles and interceptions, there’s very little Coquelin can do to aid Arsenal’s cause.
Aaron Ramsey – 9
His best performance of the season, and not just because he scored his first goal of the campaign. At times Arsenal seemed like they were playing with an extra man, but in reality it was just Ramsey turning up all over the pitch.
Santi Cazorla – 9
Arsenal’s answer to Xavi was once again impeccable. Everything Arsenal did well flowed through this man’s magical boots. 100 passes, 119 touches of the ball, lost it only once and helped set up the first goal. He is at the peak of his powers at the moment. Now if only he could learn how to shoot…
Mesut Özil – 9
Özil’s incredible form continues, scything through the Watford defense with two assists. Added another six key passes to continue as the leading chance creator in all of Europe. Was simply irresistible. Doing his POTY chances no harm with performances like these.
Alexis Sánchez – 8
Another good showing for the Chilean, nabbing his 10th goal in six games. He was his usual industrious self and he was his typical creative self with four key passes and three throughballs, but he also lost the ball eight times. Certainly looked tired at times, and was subbed off with an eye towards the midweek game versus Bayern Munich.
Theo Walcott – 6
Watford’s defenders paid close attention to Walcott, giving him no space with which to work and doing their utmost to snuff out any opportunity to get in behind. Hooked for Giroud.
Olivier Giroud – 8
Perhaps should have started given how conservative Watford are in defense, but Giroud still managed to get on the end of an Özil cut-back to slam the ball home. His movement was crisp, his finishing emphatic and he’s done his chance of starting against Bayern no harm. Came close to adding a second with a strong header, only to be denied by Gomes.