Arsenal never really had to hit top gear to beat Newcastle United at the Emirates Stadium on Monday night, though they left it late to secure the victory in the end.
Aaron Ramsey gave the Gunners the lead twice in the first half, with his first effort disallowed for a foul by Sokratis Papastathopoulos. Arsenal just couldn’t find that second goal to kill the game, even though their opponents barely had a chance to speak of throughout the match.
Eventually, with less than 10 minutes to go, Alexandre Lacazette executed an inch-perfect chip to make it 2-0. The striker then scored another disallowed goal, and this one was extremely harshly ruled out. Nonetheless, 2-0 was enough to secure the three points and move up into third place in the table.
Let’s have a look at our individual player ratings for the match.
Midfield and Wing-Backs
Ainsley Maitland-Niles 7
Maitland-Niles didn’t have a particularly busy time defensively, only contesting one aerial duel, one tackle and making one interception. At the other end, he tried a lot, some of which came off. After a couple of eye-catching performances against Manchester United and Rennes, this was a bit more subdued.
Aaron Ramsey 8.5
Ramsey was on top form against Newcastle. His disallowed goal was well taken, and though it was probably the right decision to rule it out, it was Sokratis’ fault for a shirt pull and the Welshman may well have scored anyway. The second finish was even more clinical on his weaker foot, and this time it counted.
More than that, Ramsey’s performance all around was excellent. He won a couple of tackles and he completed a game-high 93% of his passes (not including substitutes). The only negatives were that he was dispossessed more than anyone else too, and he went off injured.
Matteo Guendouzi 7
Guendouzi’s passing was also very good, second only to Ramsey, but he took many more unnecessary and potentially dangerous risks in possession. The Newcastle players targeted him to try and win the ball back, and the Frenchman was a little lucky to get away with only losing it once, as he never looked completely comfortable.
The midfielder won a few free kicks but also gave a few away, and he only won seven of his 17 individual duels. Nonetheless, his work on the ball mostly made up for that.
Sead Kolasinac 6.5
Kolasinac picked up good offensive positions as usual, and he made a few positive runs forward. He just didn’t do particularly well with his final ball. The Bosnian international completed just 67% of his passes and only created just one chance, a low total by his standards.