West Bromwich Albion 1 – 1 Arsenal, (3 – 4 on penalties) player ratings by KJ
The Arsenal team in comparison to West Brom’s was a lot more inexperienced and I did fear the worst when I saw both line ups. However, the first half proved that neither team was at it, as it was a rarity to see a team keep the ball for more than a minute.
The second half is where it livened up a little bit. We managed to score thanks to some good work by Bendtner and Eisfeld (both of whom were arguably our worst players in the first half). Bendtner played a well weighted through ball and Eisfeld coolly finessed it past the keeper. 0 – 1.
Unfortunately, Arsenal’s defence this season hasn’t been holding up and we conceded from a corner. 1 – 1. We went through extra time where the game was more stretched but neither team could score the winning goal. Eventually, it was all decided in an exciting penalty shootout with Nacho Monreal scoring the winning penalty for Arsenal.
Fabianski – 7.5
Was very solid and commanding in goal. Was also decent in the shootout and guessed well.
Jenkinson – 7.5 (MOTM)
He was the best outfield player for me. He was funnily enough our best attacking threat and was up and down all night.
Mertesacker – 7
Had a very solid performance at CB and cleared many corners
Vermaelen – 6
Did some things well but was clearly lacking fitness.
Monreal – 7
Was very good all night and was also a better attacking threat than most of the outfield players. Nice winning penalty as well.
Arteta – 6.5
Wasn’t really able to dictate the pace of the game and gave away some poor passes.
Hayden – 6.5
Was very good during his debut. Kept it neat and was solid when he was on.
Gnabry – 5
Nothing went right for him all night and to top it all off, he missed his penalty.
Eisfeld – 5.5
Aside from his goal, there was little to talk about him. No movement, poor passing and generally, a poor midfield performance.
Ryo – 6
Was better than Gnabry but it was a Gervinho-esque performance. Whenever it came time to deliver an end product, it was often shockingly poor.
Bendtner – 6
A decent performance from someone who hasn’t played for the club in more than 2 years. Clearly unfit but managed to hold up the ball better than expected. He also scored his penalty with ease.
Olsson – 6.5
He was decent when subbed on and was able to control the game well from his deep midfield position. Very good penalty considering it was 3 – 1 to West Brom at the time.
Akpom – 7.5
Very good performance by him when he came on and definitely added something different when going forward. Also scored a penalty.
Bellerin – 6
Ok performance by the Spaniard but made some poor decisions when goal-scoring opportunities arose.
All in all, it was a performance that you’d expect from a team consisting of youngsters and Bendtner. We held in defensively and managed to win. It was a scrappy performance but a win nonetheless.