Arsenal Player Ratings from Man United – Who was your MOTM?

Player ratings vs Man United by Peter Doherty
What a puzzling game to get your head around. For sixty minutes Arsenal were sublime, but typically came away empty handed from Old Trafford. It was so reminiscent of trips there in Wenger years where we played beautifully but still lost. It’s unusual to come away from a defeat with high hopes, but that game offered a lot of promise.
Here are my ratings
Aaron Ramsdale (7) Couldn’t be faulted for the goals and made one mistake but immediately rectified it. His distribution was excellent particularly linking up with White consistently.
White (7) Was largely untroubled by Sancho after the first ten minutes and offered quality out balls for Ramsdale. Was unlucky in his attempt to block Rashford’s goal
Saliba (6) The through balls on the counter attack caught him flat footed and this will be a learning experience. So far this season his speed has enabled him to recover but the United attackers were not to be caught.
Gabriel (6) Similarly to Saliba was undone by the through balls. His lunge on Fernandes for the first goal was poor decision making.
Zinchenko (6) His hybrid position was exposed as he wasn’t available to cover when United broke through the lines. This is something Tierney does excellently with his reading of the game and speed, but Zinchenko not so much. Still technically superb going forward.
Lokonga (6) Showed plenty of promise in his link up play and made mature decisions in his distribution. There is a sense that a lack of certainty as a defensive midfielder caused Gabriel to move out of position to cover, which doesn’t happen with Partey. Plenty of positives but lots to learn.
Xhaka (8) For sixty minutes effectively ran the midfield and seemed to be everywhere. After the substitutions the team lost shape and Xhaka then tried TOO hard to be everywhere and that’s when he is vulnerable to high profile mistakes.
Odegaard (8) United couldn’t deal with him at all when Arsenal were on top. The outrageous decision that disallowed the goal was typical Odegaard, feisty and combative. Great through ball for the goal. However he needs to learn when to put the laces through the ball and be more selfish in front of goal.
Martinelli (8) Again the young Brazilian looks unplayable at times. He had Dalot in his pocket and it was disappointing this wasn’t taken advantage of more in the second half. Great finish for the legitimate opening goal.
Jesus (8) Terrified the United backline throughout. His capacity to bully defenders considerably bigger than him and shape them to his will is a wonderful trait. Needs more cohesion from his forward partners to utilize his skills better and that will come.
Saka (7) A better showing again from Saka as he continues to re-emerge as the player we have come to expect. Deserved a penalty if the guidelines for a foul are consistent with the disallowed goal, but neither were fouls. Took his goal calmly and it’s good to see him back.
Peter Doherty


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  1. Arsenal should start the habbit of shooting from a distance, one of the factors led to our defeat yesterday against Manchester United.

    1. I strongly agree with you. Leao of AC Milan shooting from a distance against Inter Milan and goals of Udinese Vs Roma also shoot from a distance.

      The defence also poor. Top 4 can be a challenge after spent so much money. Tottenham, Liverpool and Man City are good in counter attack.

    1. As I said before ratings are subjective but as a team we played a decent game and should have walked away with more then a 2 goal deficit
      Was mighty frustrated and disappointed at the final whistle but on reflection Manure will be fighting for a top 6 place where as I beleive we have enough about us to maintain a top 4 place at the least
      Yesterday was not our day but the day will come at the Emirates where will smash this lot and claim back the 3 points we lost Yesterday
      The young guns have grown and are and will get stronger as the season progresses
      It’s now how we respond in the next games, a set back but only a minor one .

        1. GD
          of i was able to predict the future I would be sticking my money on the 6 numbers for euro millions.
          I am saying we are in a more healthier position as a club, team and league position then this time last season
          The world is red and white and all is bright

    2. @gotanidea,,, no offence, but you’ve posted twice that Arsenal were intimidated by the Man U supporters. Now you’re stating that Man United were scared of Jesus, Saka, and Martinelli. You seem to change like the weather. It’s either one or the other. You seem to go from one extreme to the other with your views 🤔. I am confused 😕 😐 🤔 😳

      1. Man United players seemed to be scared of Jesus, Martinelli and Saka, but I think their supporters intimidated our players

  2. Your comments concerning the weaknesses of our centre backs will be taken to task, but not by me.Their first big test of the season, and they failed as did Zinchenko in a defensive sense.He is not a left back and never will be.

    1. Agree about the CB’s Grandad – they were starting to believe their own publicity and hopefully it’s a strong wake-up call. Sorry I can’t criticise Zinchenko as his value in midfield is huge and he is nominally only a defensive LB, unlike White who hangs back more. We would have lost the midfield if we had played Tierney, and if the CB’s had read the game better and our strikers finished better Zinny not being a true left back would have been irrelevant.

      1. Guy I would have played Tierney and Zinchenko , the latter at the expense of one of our wingers in order to assure control of the midfield area.

        1. Interesting Grandad – I hadn’t thought of that possibility. But whilst I love how Arteta has chosen his new signings, he’s still loathe to tinker with his offensive formation, so that may be a way off yet!
          I’ll just settle for it being a bad day. In some ways winning runs are a burden and better to lose here than to say Everton. I’m really not disheartened but I am disappointed.

    2. CB’s did not have a great game, but Lokonga was way out of position for two of those goals. I dont think that happens with Elneny/Partey. United’s pacey players still did a number on them tho.

  3. Man of the match was me for skipping a business meeting that would have guaranteed me a free $800 to support my team, watching them play and then loose on both fronts.

    Stup*d huh

    1. Not stupid at all Mishael! It’s never happened to me but I like to think that most here would have done the same – being a fan is not about logic!
      Keep the faith (;-))

  4. It was a foul, if it happened against us you would not be happy.

    Personally, I thought the referring was probably the best performance of the weekend fixtures.

  5. A bit generous for everybody, I think, and I think it depends on how you see it, but I think our backline stepped 4-5 yards to far up on a few occasions. Whether it was a tactical mistake or personal inexperience, we don’t know.
    Hopefully the lesson will been learned.
    As you write, it really was a deja-vu from some of the Wenger-Ferguson games.

  6. Martinelli ,saka and Jesus best of the bunch
    White ,zinchenko and Odegaard the worst .
    Was a good game TBF with some nice football played by both teams ,unfortunately it went the wrong way ,onto the next .

  7. Ramsdale – 6
    Zinchenko – 6
    White – 7
    Gabriel – 5
    Saliba – 5
    Lokonga – 5
    Xhaka – 6
    Odegaard – 6
    Martinelli – 6
    Saka – 7
    Jesus – 7

  8. Generous scores. 7’s and 8’s usually if you played well. I dont think more than 3 players deserve that score. Everything LOOKED good in terms of our play besides for some poor decision making in the middle of the park and in defense. But those poor decisions cost games. In attack, all looks good but the players dont shoot enough. You’ve got to work the GK, he could always parry it into a player, make an error, or you get a generous deflection. Seems we are back to the days of walking it in. That’s not gonna work. MOTM was Saka for me. The most dangerous attacker this game. Odegaard lacked the cutting edge today.

  9. Peter Dohety.
    The Gunners were a disappointment to me personally after they played a dominant beautiful game in their last EPL big game match away to Man Utd last Sunday’s evening this season.
    For, after the match had ended, they had no cigars in their mouths to light them to draw-in the smoke and puff, relaxe and feel a good sense of satisfaction. As they lost all the 3 points which were at stake in the match.
    This was largely due to their lack of markmanship in front of Man Utd goalmouth as they mostly shoot their shots to the emptiness instead of then to have shoot them to hit the back of the net.
    Consequently, Arsenal lost the match as a result of their playing to the gallery in the match. Which mostly due to their lack of big game playing tactical nouns.
    Nevertheless, despite their loss to Man Utd last Sunday, I still remain optimistic Arsenal can continue to remain at the top of the League this season without losing their leadership on it. For, all it will take for them to do this and keep maintaining their leadership on top of the League is to win their next game at home against Everton next Sunday. And keep on winning unrelenting.

  10. Enjoyed your piece Peter and I esp appreciated that YOU noticed our top class round play and mentioned it Some Gooner comments which concentrated on the defeat but totallly ignore the scintillating early years of Wenger style, pacy and wonderful interchaning passing , were pathetically nitpicky

    . And SOME of us , mercifully , have the vision to see THAT is what most matters, not a single unlucky defeat to a team bristling with talent on paper and also increasingly obviously , on the pitch.

    Despite our loss, I count the game as our single best performance so far this season. Esp given the quality of the opposition.

    1. Jon – are you noticing how good the SYSTEM is now, and how well drilled our players are becoming at it? I’m still trying to decide whether it allows us to control games totally without playing particularly well individually, or it just appears that way. I think it might be the former, in which case heaven help teams when we pick up speed! But that finishing needs to be worked on…

      1. There was a passage of play in the second half just before we scored (it included a give and go between Saka and Jesus before it went out wide) where I just sat back and thought “we are so much better than ManU”

        Hugely satisfying but equally made the loss a bit harder to take.

      2. guy, Yes guy and I AM SAYING SO LONG AND LOUD

        I am immensely excited by the great all round general FAST AND INTERCHANGING passing, which I HAVE NOT SEEN SINCE THE EARLY Wenger years in our team.


        It really IS as good as that IMO!

  11. It was a strange match. The score does not reflect how well we played.

    We were playing very well in the second half. I honestly thought that we would win

    Oh well, it’s not the end of the world


  12. It is not the end of the world (where that is finishing in the top 4), but we might be close to it!!!

    I would like to give my ratings for both Edu and Arteta leading up to this game, and it is zero for both of them!

    If either of them had done any research on why we lost those late games last season I think they would find we were out-muscled, mostly because we were missing Thomas Partey.

    The dynamic duo did absolutely nothing to fix that Achilles heel in our makeup, during the recent transfer window.

    So here we are with a large dose of deja vu in the United game.

    We might be able to mask that deficiency against Everton and Brentford, but if Partey is still out when we play Spurs and Liverpool I think we will suffer.

    Again just my observations….


  14. Nice play is nice pretty play but it won’t win you football matches consistently enough to challenge for the major trophies because you have to play big clubs to win stuff too.

    With any kind of analysis of our Gung-Ho approach you’d learn that you can sit back absorb and then hit us on the counter like a hit knife through butter.

    Tactical naivety from MA and poor discipline and shape from the players once the considerable and knee-jerk substitutions were made.

    It’s nice to play attractive football but scoring more goals and conceding less than your opposition is the name of the game!

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