Arsenal player ratings v Vitoria – Top Arsenal player gets an eight

Arsenal scrape the win against Vitoria thanks to brilliant Pepe double strike

We have all been waiting for Nicolas Pepe to show his magic and last night he duly delivered. The Arsenal record signing had just 15 minutes on the pitch but what a difference he made. Two beautifully taken free-kick and he single-handily turned an embarrassing result into an acceptable one.

But let’s not kid ourselves, overall, it was a poor performance against limited opposition.

Normally it is Pierre-Emerick Aubaameyang that saves Unai Emery. It seems the Gabon international has a rescue partner now.

Player Ratings

Martinez 6
Average performance, could have done better on the first goal but that is probably a little harsh.

Tierney 6
Poor defending for the first Vitoriaa goal but made amends with a brilliant cross for Martinelli goal.

Holding 6
Did ok, needs more game time to hone his sharpness,

Mustafi 6
Another fair performance and no complaints though he maybe should have scored near the end.

Bellerin 6
Thought he did rather well, he needed this game and will come on massively for it.

Torreira 5
Distinctly average and was a little disappointing. He gets saved from more criticism because he was surrounded by utter dross in the midfield.

Willock 4
Worst performance I have seen from the young lad this season. He is forgiven but cannot do a repeat in the near future.

Maitland-Niles 3
His confidence is absolutely shot, it was a terrible game for the 22-year-old could probably do with a loan move to rebuild his career.

Smith Rowe 7
Still a work in progress but he looked bright and exciting. Was impressed overall even though he is still on a huge learning curve.

Martinelli 7
Well taken first goal and he did well throughout. He is still learning but is a rock-solid hot prospect.

Lacazette 4
Poor performance from the Frenchman. He was returning from a layoff and so can be excused but did expect more from him and was disappointed by his efforts.


Guendouzi 5
Average performance, nothing spectacular, was efficient cleaning up but offered very little going forward.

Ceballos 4
Apart from the game against Burnley, I am struggling to find another game where Ceballos impressed me. He did not last night when he came on.

Pepe 8
Man of the match from just 15 minutes in the pitch such was his contribution. He totally changed the game and hopefully, he will kick on now and show this form on a consistent basis.


  1. Guendouzi deserves better he was the second best player he was consitently driving us forward and it was through one of his legendary drives that gifted us our second goal. He is an amazing player

  2. Guendouzi only being 5 is a joke. He provided so much when he came on and his driving run set up the last goal

  3. A bit harsh on Guendouzi he has lots of drive just needs to calm down a bit for his final pass his work rate is high and for that reason he deserves a six at least it was his run at the death that brought us Pepe’s second free kick.Lacca needs more game time and will improve he is still technically our best forward.

    1. The ratings on Guendouzi and Lacazette are unfair. Lacazette was returning from injury and ran himself to a standstill.
      This continuing utter BS concerning Pepe “saving Unai Emery”, ignores the fact that there is not a coach or manager since football was invented, who hasn’t been “saved” by the individual brilliance of one or more of their players earning a result.

      1. True to an extent, but the percentage of goals we score due to individual quality this year vs the goals due to excellent team play is quite sad for a team of Arsenal’s history. Compare it to a team like Leicester and it becomes clear why this has been repeated so often this year.

        I think Emery is simply overthinking it and it doesn’t suit most of our players. It was similar with Mourinho at United the final season so it’s downright funny some people claiming he should replace Emery.

  4. lolz..
    seems you guys have a problem with Guendozi.?
    he was by far better than all our defenders.
    yet you gave them a better rating.

  5. I said it last night😂😂😂.. AdMartin will never rate Guendouzi’s performance and efforts rightly.
    I knew he’ll label the boy either ineffective or average.
    I’ve noticed this with you AdMartin, even when Guendouzi played heaven and earth on the pitch, you always rate him poor and end up giving Xhaka higher ratings..
    I hope it aint what I’m thinking?
    Are you in a love triangle with Emery and Xhaka?😂😂

    1. I rate players on their performances only not on wishful thinking. Guendouzi was ineffectual as he nearly always is. Average player that rarely has a good game but because he runs around like a demented headless chicken some think he is effective. To think this is an Arsenal team that once had midfielders like Fabregas, Petit, Vieira, Brady etc and we now have Gendouzi. Put it this way, the vast majority of poor Arsenal games always has Guendouzi as a starter. Think about that.

      1. How on earth can you call Guendouzi ineffective in last nights game? The midfield was totally dire until he came on and his runs into their defence caused them problems and also he was influential in getting the free kick Pepé scored from. Some commentators had him running Pepé close for man of the match. He’s more captain material than anyone else in the team and will be in future.

        1. I literally cannot find a single rating or commentator that had Guendouzi anywhere near the man of match, most national media rated him at 6 with some on 7 and some on 5, so hardly a world-class performance. If getting free kicks deserves higher ratings then fair enough but I would suggest that we need a little bit more than that and if it was not for Pepe we would not be having this conversation this morning. Instead, we would be saying how shit our midfield is and why dont they help the defence and create more for the forwards. You know, literally what has been said all season long.

      2. AdMartin, Guendouzi didn’t start the Arsenal v Vitoria game, yet we played badly until Pepe rescued us.

          1. Out of step with mainstrean Gooner opinion on Guendouzi in particular and on Laca who ran his heart out, though CLEARLY not match fit yet. I really wish I could see eye to eye with you on even one important subject Martin, but you make it difficult at times. That said we are all entitled to our own opinions and you have the guts to stick to your guns despite the swell of Gooner opinion who profoundly take issue over Guendouzi. Did you not see how he drove us forward against a fast and cohesive opponent in the second half? No one thinks or has said he is world class, obviously he is not, BUT he is deeply committed, in the game all the time, never hides and aged just twenty, deserves less sour puss comments and mark than your measly and inaccurate mere 5! The vast majority of us Gooners know what a diamond we have in the making, even though it needs plenty of polish right now.

            1. I have yet to find a mainstream media outlet that rated him above 7, most rated him 6 with as many rating him 5 as 7. So I would suggest that I am not in a minority.

  6. Pepe’s set-piece skills last night are totally different than his corner-takings in Sheffield

    I hope he keeps practicing his set-piece and stealing abilities, because he can’t always rely on his cutting-inside movements and Xhaka rarely scores from set-pieces

    The back four looked rusty, but more cup games would make them prepared for EPL

  7. Both Guendouzi and Ceballos were so far ahead of AMN and Willock it was unmeasurable. To slate them is not based on the game I watched. In fact Guendouzi’s driving run was basically an assist for Pepe’s great free kick. Ceballos actually played deeper than usual and he did a good job. We were watching different games. We were shite until Dani and Matteo came on.

    1. Agreed, both marshalled that midfield so much better than AMN and Willock and are a midfield pairing I feel will only get stronger the more they are played together.

      Don’t blame Emery for trying out Willock and AMN though – it just wasn’t their night, although I’m more worried about AMN than I am Willock in that regard as thought he was supposed to be better in midfield and yet that was one of his worst performances imo.

    2. Totally agree. Playing Ceballos deeper provided us (the goalkeeper and the back four) with a much better ability to play out from the back.
      We struggle to play out from the back, if the options are Xhaka/Guendouzi/Willock/Torreira/AMN.
      None of them can receive the ball and turn quickly and controlled. It was obvious against Sheffield and again last night.

  8. Great ratings, except for Guendouzi! He deserved more than that! He’s brilliant!
    What was Laca doing? That guy hardly touched him!!

    1. I was really embarrassed when Laca feigned injury from the “headbut”. Perhaps his nose poked Laca in the eye🤭

      1. Agreed that was horrible to watch, there was contact (you see his head does bounce gently off Lacas eyebrow as they come together) but no need for Lacas reaction.

        Im hoping it was just frustration due to not being able to make headway as he was tiring by then, and feeling aggrieved because he felt he should have had a few fouls leading up to it that ref didn’t give – definitely don’t want to see that pantomime reaction on a regular basis 😔

  9. This is a joke of a rating. Guedozzi deserve respect and a better rating. He did not score nor assist but he was second to none in this game. You making us feel that we watched a different game all together. Emery has always shown some personnal issues with players and I don’t want to think that the same is being portrayed and replicated here towards our very own players by an Arsenal fan. Am sorry but the rating is biased. Even Ceballos deserves better

  10. Owen G, wake up; every coach/manager is “bailed out” at some time or other by the individual brilliance of one or more of their players.

      1. Forwards doing their job and scoring goals is not ‘bailing out’ – it’s doing what they get paid to do 🤷‍♂️

  11. Ridiculous score for Guendouzi which really annoys me. He was the driving force in the second half and apart from a good overall performance “won” the free kick from which Pepé scored the winning goal. I would give Martinez a slightly higher score as his distribution was a lot better then we are used to with Leno.

  12. Our midfield was woeful until the arrival of Guendouzi.Willock needs a break but AMN, Torreria and Ceballos were abysmal .I don,t know what is happening on the training ground but Emery needs to focus on keeping a defensive shape when our attacks break down as we were exposed on numerous occasions.Our midfielders don’t seem to have a clue defensively ,failing to match opponents runs and lacking football intelligence to spot potential problems.This is fairly basic stuff which the likes of Sheffield Utd can carry out but we cannot.On a brighter note,the match could be the starter button for Pepe.

  13. Pepe deserves a 9 in my opinion and would have deserved a 10 had he scored a hat trick! What he did get 3 of is points! He single-handedly transformed 0 points into 3 points !
    Guendouzi deserves a better rating too, his driving run made that last goal from Pepe and even if he’s a bit all over the place sometimes, he changed the dynamics of the game when he came on.

  14. this rating is just biased believe it or leave it guendozi has been our best midfielder this season not only this game

  15. Gwendouzi is was and has been the driving force 😔 so where is the shop heading kmt. The boy isn’t ready to be the general in arsenal midfield I totally agree with the admin on this point. Another manager will play a more technically gifted player box to box and he isn’t a great defender. Average at best.

  16. I am not a Gwendouzi fan I think he is not up to premiership standard but he did play well last night. I would have gave him a 6.5 at least verging on a 7.

  17. To be fair to Admin Martin he is only giving his opinion, like the rest of us. As for my opinion, I think AMN is overrated hugely. He gave away 2 goals in the EL final against Chelsea. Last night he was slow and cumbersome. Midfielders need to be mobile to get around the pitch in all directions. A few flashy turns and a couple of runs are not enough. He has some skill but is not thinking quickly enough. Anyway, that is MY opinion. COYG

  18. Right now if I were to pick two or three players who could be crucial to AFC towards the last stretch of our season, besides our Deadly Duo & our Fullbacks (it was interesting hearing Tierney talking about the pressure he and bellerin have from fans expectation) –

    I would pick Ceballos, Guendouzi, and Torriera, and I could also see Martinelli and Saka playing/giving an impact from bench with young legs coming on and swinging things favorably/crucially. Ceballos, because he’ll be playing better stuff towards the end. Guendouzi, because his heart is in the right place and he wants it so much that he can smell it and he can taste it as well he has the abilities, we just need to sharpen that blade. Then Torriera, because I reckon Emery is trying to bring the warrior out in our other little lion heart, I can see him working his way back into the team and it will go in our favor more so in second half of season when players are a bit more corresponding/coordinated.

  19. Again I’m saying willock is not arsenal type, I want those who compare carzolla with cebellos to apologize cebellos has not. Being good since Burley game

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