Player ratings as points are shared in Emirates
Arsenal’s four-game winning streak came to an end as Crystal Palace held a 0-0 Premier League draw on Thursday night.
The Gunners started the game brilliantly and dominated possession, but their failure to test Vicente Guaita allowed Palace to develop in the first half and create the best chances. James Tomkins shook the crossbar on a free kick from Eberechi Eze, while Christian Benteke also came close but to no avail as both teams entered the half-time scoreless.
The game resumed after the break as Arsenal returned to the pitch to the sounds of none other than Kurt Angle’s entry music – because why not.
Arsenal tried to raise the bar in the second half and overtake a resolute defense from the palace, but lacked real conviction. A cool-blooded dive into midfield opened the game up somewhat and the visitors had chances to attack, but couldn’t find the net and, truth be told, looked happy to be seated. sit down for a point.
In a solid point for Roy Hodgson’s team but an admittedly forgettable contest, here’s how the players rated.
Bernd Leno (GK) – 6/10 – Produced a well-calculated save against Benteke to maintain the level of scores towards the end of the first half.
Hector Bellerin (RB) – 6/10 – Solid to go forward and consistently beaten Mitchell, but also good defensively to keep Eze quiet when needed.
Rob Holding (CB) – 6/10 – Was dialed on the ball and a calming presence, causing no calamity or headaches.
David Luiz (CB) – 5/10 – A bit reckless and at times erratic compared to Holding, but in no way outside the rhythm. A little too lethargic when given time to move forward.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles (LB) – 4/10 – Really bad night at the office for Maitland-Niles, who must have had her boots on bad feet. Far too many temperamental passes and was hooked for a system change when Nicolas Pepe was introduced.
Dani Ceballos (DM) – 5/10 – Ceballos maintained possession well and moved the ball long distances with supreme precision, but could have been more urgent.
Granite Xhaka (DM) – 5/10 – Aggressive than ever outside the ball and gave some fouls in dangerous areas. Xhaka might have been too reckless at times, but also made tireless recoveries to make up for that.
Bukayo Saka (RM) – 6/10 – Bonded well with Bellerin in wide stances and delivered precise passes from set pieces. Moved to the left back after Pepe’s introduction and looked more menacing.
Emile Smith Rowe (AM) – 6/10 – He lacked depth serve to properly influence play, which is unfortunate as Smith Rowe looked sharp in the forward areas when involved.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (LM) – 5/10 – The captain did some amazing wide runs, but lacked confidence and conviction. Must do more to inspire teammates and keep them from falling apart.
Alexandre Lacazette (ST) – 6/10 – Like Smith Rowe, Lacazette looked dangerous when the ball got to him, but it was swallowed easily in the palace penalty area.
Nicolas Pepe – 5/10 – Started as a replacement with about 20 minutes to make an impact, but offered very little.
Thomas Partey – 5/10
Eddie Nketiah – N / A
Vicente Guaita (GK) – 5/10 – Little to do despite Arsenal’s dominant possession spells, which say more about the Gunners than anything else.
Joel Ward (RB) – 5/10 – Kept Aubameyang calm for the most part, although he apparently struggled to do so once or twice.
James Tomkins (CB) – 7/10 – Led the charge to the back and read the crosses and long balls well to relieve his teammates. He also made good progress and had the bad luck not to score. Exhibition game.
Cheikhou Kouyate (CB) – 6/10 – I had a comfortable night next door to Tomkins who calmed the nerves but also did well in helping Tyrick Mitchell when needed.
Tyrick Mitchell (LB) – 5/10 – At times I struggled to cope with the overload of Hector Bellerin and Bukayo Saka, but did enough to keep them from causing too much threat in the second half.
Andros Townsend (RM) – 5/10 – With Eze looking razor sharp on his left flank, Townsend slipped under the radar somewhat.
James McArthur (CM) – 6/10 – McArthur brushed things off and was the perfect screen for Palace, winning four tackles.
Luka Milivojevic (CM) – 6/10 – Read runs well from Arsenal midfielder to intercept and feed the ball well at times.
Eberechi Eze (LM) – 7/10 – Looks like he’s capable of doing something exciting every time he touches the ball. Eze was confident and fearless in possession, but he needs to play more often to really grab the games when they’re there for the taking.
Christian Benteke (ST) – 5/10 – Harmless exit for Benteke who was used as the man to delay things. I could have played with a little more risk, rather than getting everything right.
Wilfried Zaha (ST) – 6/10 – Seemed dangerous in spells and made mistakes as usual, but lacked his usual conviction and agility to glide past Arsenal’s defense.
Jordan Ayew – N / A
James McCarthy – N / A