Player Ratings: Arsenal vs. Manchester United


By Mark Young.

Arsenal 1 – 0 Manchester United

Aaron Ramsey scored the only goal against Manchester United on Sunday afternoon to blow the title race wide open. Arsene Wenger’s men had a point to prove with strong performances from Laurent Koscielny and Aaron Ramsey especially gave Arsenal the three points at the Emirates.

United struggled to make an impact on the game and were put under a lot of pressure from the off.  Nemanja Vidic could have seen red if his hand ball was seen but the Red Devil’s had a clear appeal for a penalty turned down after Clichy brought down Michael Owen in the dying minutes. However, United created little throughout and now play Chelsea on Sunday which could potentially lead to where the title will end up in three weeks time.


53. Wojciech Szczesny

The big Pole is making his position between sticks his own at the Emirates. He is confident in his own abilities and is a massive presence. He didn’t have too much to do until he stretched to claw out a Rooney free kick. He stayed solid as United turned up the pressure towards the end. 8 (out of 10)

3. Bacary Sagna

The Frenchman has recently been named at right back in the team of the year but didn’t have the best of games. He got forward well but his final ball was shocking and he didn’t really have too much to do defensively as United struggled to create. 6

6. Laurent Koscielny

Koscielny had a really good game and looked extremely confident, which is something that isn’t usually said about Arsenal centre backs. He put his body on the line with last ditch challenges to stop any threat from the United frontline. He even made some really promising forward runs. MAN OF THE MATCH 9

20. Johan Djourou

Another solid performance from an Arsenal centre back. Hernandez did not get a sniff throughout as the Swiss international produced a fine display. He only lasted half of the second half as he picked up an injury and was replaced by Squillaci. 8

22. Gael Clichy

A good defensive display from Clichy who hasn’t looked at his best in recent weeks. He handled Nani with relative ease but it could have been different for him as he brought down Michael Owen just inside the penalty area by raking a boot down the Englishman’s calf. He was lucky to get away with it but still had a good game.7

17. Alex Song

Song did exactly what he was supposed to do with a very disciplined performance. He was there to break up the play and that he did. He always had one eye on Rooney and dealt with him pretty well. He was sometimes wasteful in possession and denied both Rooney and Carrick their desired time on the ball.7

16. Aaron Ramsey

The young Welshman made his first start at the Emirates since his horrific leg brake last year. He replaced Cesc Fabregas as the Spaniard didn’t make the squad and filled his shoes perfectly. He passed well throughout but got the most vital of touches as he burst into the area unmarked to slot Van Persie’s pass into the bottom corner of the net. 8

19. Jack Wilshere

Wilshere is proving week after week why there would easily be life after Fabregas if the Spaniard was to leave. He is a massive influence with his faultless passing and his industry in the middle of the park. He is not only Arsenal and England’s future he is the here and now. 8

14. Theo Walcott

Walcott’s speed gave United problems in the early minutes as he got behind Patrice Evra on a number of occasions. He didn’t do too much in the second half as United pressed after the goal. His final ball still leaves a lot to be desired but this season has been a massive improvement.7

8. Samir Nasri

Nasri looked fired up in the first half as he put the United back line under a lot of pressure. Unfortunately for the Frenchman he suffered a hamstring injury just before half time and was replaced for the second half. 6

10. Robin Van Persie

The Dutchman has been the most creative player in the Premier League with goals and assists since the turn of the year. It would be amazing to see what he could do if he was fit all season. He set up the goal after some good footwork and a low cross for Ramsey to finish. 7


23. Andrey Arshavin

An industrious effort from the Russian as every single tackle he seemed to make in the final half an hour pulled off. Was a threat on the counter but his passing wasn’t great.6

18. Sebastien Squillaci

Squillaci came on for the injured Djourou and United must have thought they had a way in but he did well enough to cope.6

27. Emmanuel Eboue

The error prone Eboue solidified the right flank as he replaced Walcott. 5

Man United

1. Edwin Van der Sar

The Dutchman did not have too much to do and couldn’t really have done anything about the goal. With the United defence under pressure early on Van der Sar had to stand strong and handled what he had to do pretty easily. 6

20. Fabio da Silva

Fabio is starting to make the right back position his own, following up a brilliant performance against Schalke with an extremely hard working tenacious performance at the Emirates. Always looked to get forward and defended well. 7

15. Nemanja Vidic

An unusually stuttering display from the Serbian who, on another day could have given away a penalty and given a red card for his hand ball from a Walcott cross. United will be hoping this is a one off performance and that the captain gets his best form back before the big week ahead.5

5. Rio Ferdinand

Having Ferdinand back in defence has been a huge boost to United. A solid display from the ex England captain could not deny Arsenal a victory but having him there for the run in is massive for Ferguson. Crucial interceptions on the ground and in the air shows that Ferdinand is definitely back.7

3. Patrice Evra

Struggled to keep Walcott at bay in the first quarter of the game but as he was helped by the industrious Park Walcott eventually faded out of the game. He tried to get forward as much as possible but struggled to influence. 6

17. Nani

Nani was picked over Valencia because in Ferguson’s words “he does well against Arsenal.” This was a one off against the Gunners for Nani as he got no joy on either flank and struggled to make the impact he had at the same ground last year. 6

8. Anderson

The Brazilian only lasted an hour before being replaced by Valencia. The game passed him by as Ramsey, Wilshere and Song dominated the centre of the park. His passing was not up to scratch and he has struggled on his return from injury.5

16. Michael Carrick

Carrick was denied the space at the Emirates that he was gifted in Germany on Tuesday and struggled to find a killer pass. He was tidy in his short passing but will be disappointed that he could not influence as much as he did against Schalke. He was subbed for Owen late on.6

13. Ji Sung Park

The industrious Korean did well to help Evra out to shackle Walcott after the Englishman’s explosive opening to the game. When Anderson was replaced, Park was moved to central midfield and failed to pick up the run of Ramsey in the lead up to the Arsenal goal. 6

10. Wayne Rooney

As the game grew on and United chased the game, Rooney became more influential. His free kick was saved by the Arsenal goalkeeper as United turned the screw. When Ferguson brought all his wingers and Owen on, Rooney played deeper, pulling the strings searching for that killer ball. 7

14. Javier Hernandez

Hernandez did not get a sniff of goal as he was kept quiet by the Arsenal back line. His movement was good again but the killer ball was also lacking. He was substituted mid way through the second half but United will need his energy and confidence in the coming weeks. 6


25. Antonio Valencia

The strong Ecuadorian was brought on to add the direct approach to the United attack. His delivery was good and is always a good outlet. 6

9. Dimitar Berbatov

The Premier League’s top scorer showed some good touches but was starved of opportunities.6

7. Michael Owen

Owen was unlucky to have a penalty appeal turned down after being brought down by Clichy. 6

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  1. FERGIE SHOULD SAY TO HIS PLAYERS ; RIGHT BEAT Shalke THIS WEAK AND THEN BEAT Chelsea and you all both won the league and reach the champions league final keep saying that to the players it going to be a never racking week ,

  2. Double98 on

    Slightly Disagree with your ratings.. Thought Sagna had a good game and Song controlled midfield enough to get MOM.

    United for the last few years play the same game against Arsenal.. You sit back soak pressure and hit long balls and sharp counters. It works when you score first (and Diaby doesn’t power in a winner for you) .

    Now we have a keeper, you might need to actually change your strategy.

    Arshavin deserved an 8, his cameo was like bryan robson – box to box and sliding tackles left right and centre.

  3. As a Arsenal fan, I completely agree with you´re ratings although i would give Eboue a 6.

  4. Jenkinson on

    I totally agree with double98.
    Sagna had a great game and his block on Hernandes from United’s most dangerous chance probably saved the points for us.
    I also thought Song was man-of-the -match;
    he had Rooney in his pocket for most of the match making him so frustrated he earned himself a booking.

  5. StingyGeorgeGunner on

    The most important thing is not to let Chelski win the league!

    I am surprised we won, I thought we would freeze again but as there was no pressure hence that must have been the reason.

    I agree with most of your ratings as well.
    Shame for us as we lost so many points when in the lead – an easy title as well!

    As long as the spuds finish outside the top four then I will take that!

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