Lucas Torreira came on to change the game yet again on Saturday, as Arsenal got another three points on the board away from home against Newcastle.
Arsenal got their first consecutive league wins in away games for over a season with a 2-1 win at St. James’ Park. They had to overcome a fairly poor first-half performance to get the result, but much maligned duo Granit Xhaka and Mesut Özil ended up coming up with the goals that proved enough, despite conceding a late consolation.
Let’s have a look at how each player did individually on the day.
1Goalkeeper and Defence
Petr Cech 6
Cech really didn’t have much to do in this game, only making one save in the entire 90 minutes. It would certainly be harsh to attach any blame to him for the goal.
Nonetheless, he still looks nervous playing out from the back, and only encouraged Newcastle by passing out of play for an early corner. Fortunately that was his only major error in possession.
Hector Bellerin 6.5
A fairly average performance from Hector. He had some good moments and some bad ones, and definitely looked better earlier in the season linking up with Mkhitaryan on the right.
Shkodran Mustafi 6
It’s harsh to blame Mustafi for falling over, but he is making a habit of doing so at the vital moment. Fortunately he had Sokratis to cover for his mistakes on this occasion. Mustafi won a lot of aerial duels, which makes it even more disappointing that Newcastle’s one goal came from a header.
Sokratis Papastathopoulos 7
Sokratis has probably been Arsenal’s most consistent defender since the season got underway. In pre-season a lot of questions were asked of the centre-back, but he seems to be answering them now. He had the highest pass accuracy of all the defenders and covered his teammates’ mistakes well.
Nacho Monreal 6.5
Like Bellerin on the other side, this was a so-so game from the Spanish left-back. Neither of them seem to be doing enough to stop crosses coming in, but they weren’t Arsenal’s worst performers either.