Arsenal player ratings vs Man Utd – One player surprisingly stands out for the Gunners

Arsenal earned a point as they played out a goalless draw against Manchester United.

It was a tense game similar to the reverse fixture at Old Trafford, but this time the visitors survived Arsenal’s onslaught. Here is our Arsenal player ratings.

Bernd Leno – 7
Always steps up when it matters and made two brilliant saves to keep Arsenal in the game.

Hector Bellerin – 6
Solid defensively, but he has to contribute more on the attack and never did that in this game.

Rob Holding – 7
Holding is one player who isn’t afraid of coming up against the best in the league and proved his worth here again.

David Luiz – 7
Had a good game defensively and almost helped the attackers to get a goal with a marauding run in the second half.

Cedric Soares – 7
I thought he was our best full back, even though he had to worry about Marcus Rashford and Aaron Wan-Bissaka. Offers much more going forward with his pinged passes and crosses.

Thomas Partey – 6
His break up play ensured United could create very little through the middle, but he would have loved to do more with his final balls.

Granit Xhaka – 8
Good shift from him as he used the ball well and got better as the game progressed, was in charge of the midfield and the best Arsenal player on the night.

Emile Smith Rowe – 7
Smith Rowe is making it hard for Martin Odegaard to bench him. Pressed well and passed the ball to perfection.

Nicolas Pepe – 7
Pepe seems to be getting better. He pressed well and was a menace to the Manchester United defence throughout.

Gabriel Martinelli – 6
Had a good first half defensively and almost created a goal for Lacazette. Hopefully, he wasn’t injured.

Alexandre Lacazette – 7
Lacazette was such a difficult opponent for Harry Maguire as he kept asking questions of the Englishman. Came closest to scoring when his free-kick hit the crossbar.

Willian – 4
A serious lack of confidence is written all over him. Maybe it is a lack of interest.

Martine Odegaard – 5
Hardly touched the ball and gets a standard rating.

Eddie Nketiah – N/A

Mikel Arteta – 7
Put out the best team he had available, his substitutions were not the best though.

Tags arsenal player ratings Arsenal v Man Utd


  1. I give pepe and willian a lot of stick but credit where it is due. Pepe and willian seem to be hitting form gradually. That is not to say we wouldnt have even been better if saka played. I’m sure we would have scored because we would have created way more chances. But the defence of both teams kept them in the game. I hope Laca and martinelli are alright. I can’t stand nketia starting matches for us now..

    1. I can’t even stand him putting on Arsenal shirt. This is probably one of the reason why we are no longer a team to be taken serious.

  2. Disagree with the ranking of Willian. He performed very well IMO but should have scored though. But Willian was involved in a lot of good combinations on the field making the flow of our game better.

    1. A lot of Arsenal fans seem to have it in for Willian.Good players don’t become bad over night he will come right..all this shit talk about slowing down once you become a certain age .easy comment for dummies..Tierney’sProbably the best Fullback in Europe

  3. Luiz and Pepe for me …
    Shout out once again for Leno and Willian was very good so not sure how he got a 4 TBH

    1. The same here.
      I am beginning to see why Arteta signed those players;, Cedric, Luiz, William, and Mari, though that decision was questioned by the fans for sometime. I don’t think that question should remain.

    1. Xhaka does nothing positive on the pitch for 99% of the game. On the very rare occasion when he’s contributed anything other than a sideways pass a lot of people start blowing trumpets about how great he is.
      The cost 40 million quid and gets paid over a hundred thousand pounds per week for the odd forward pass and even rarer goal assist. He’s a con artist.

      1. you got stuck in 2020. Xhaka is having a turn around since the red card. he has been constantly good.

      2. You are entitled to your biased opinion but most of us who watched the game saw a different Xhaka from the one you saw. He was indeed our best player.

        1. Xhaka was ok, nowhere near our best player. He isn’t dominant enough to be a “best” player. You have to achieve something not just stroll around. Yes he is better but so so limited.

    2. Agreed. Played well yesterday but always too slow to progress the ball and slow in thinking too. Still a key sell for my money!

  4. Web, I would substitute “very well” for Willian with “less awfully than he has been”.
    Pepe yes – in the last two games his enthusism, pace, teamwork, heading, tackling, passing, involvement and influence have advanced a lot. Willian is a winger who won’t go to the byeline, can’t cross, doesnt run fast, cannot beat players, doesn’t pass forward., takes poor corners and free kicks.
    Perhaps your high mark is based upon him being passed to more by the team (probably on MA’s orders) rather than on what he did with it once he got it?
    ps I thought his mark was too HIGH

    1. Pepe played well bit I was disappointed that he didnt shift to the left once Willian came on. He played his best game in an Arsenal shirt on the left midweek.

      1. True Trudeau, but one opponent was So’ton, the other was Man Utd. Quite honestly I’m delighted that he’s improved on either wing!

  5. Someone that ‘hardly touched the ball got your ‘standard rating’ but willian will always get below ‘standard rating’ because he is willian- fear God.
    I am trying to understand the rationale behind your rating of willian which as for me sounds bias. we were all disappointed with the chance he squandered which was arguably our best chance of the night, however, he did well in attack and defence helping out Cedric as well as creating a beautiful opportunity for Pepe, which Maguire unexpectedly/luckily blocked . he deserves a 5 or 6 and Leno my MOTM

    1. I get the feeling I must be biased against Willian, the amount of love I feel from you all tonight. For me yes he was better then other games, he tried to get involved, he was passed to a lot so he had more time on the ball, although thats not down to him.
      He played wide left today.
      You know that overlap to the byeline that ESR, Tierney, Saka, Martinelli, even Kolasinac make that opens them up? Time and again other players were stood there with the ball waiting for Willian to make it? The moves broke down because Willian WOULD NOT MOVE.
      He is a winger who has no pace, no adventure, no confidence, rarely goes past anyone, can’t cross, or take free kicks, prefers to pass backwards, is physically weak on the ball, not a good tackler. Throw in a grouchy body language and I wouldn’t pick him until last if we were choosing my park kickabout team.
      But yes he was “visible” today, he didn’t hide, he pulled one ball back into the box, and he tried harder. Progress but he still had practically no impact.
      I was wrong about Pepe being a player without a future here, but I am not yet wrong about Willian

      1. at least for being ‘visible’ today, he desrve his today rating not rating based on past performance, willian is trying to be dynamic, but seems our tactic is for direct quick pass, he will adjust with time

      2. guy , Total agreement from me! Willian is, tbh, here as a mercenary. His heart is not in this club nor even in winning games. Your ” WOULD NOT MOVE” perfectly sums him up!

        He is here for the money alone and that is completely obvious to anyone who sees plainly the massive and ongoing evidence of half a season of non working and who calls it as it is, instead of making foolish and lame excuses . Well done you for not doing so and that is why I agree, wholeheartedly.

    2. Whatever is a standard rting btw? Dan doesn;t enlarge and in any case until all ratings have a universally accepte mening to us all, they will continue to confuse and start arguments. I, alone on JA, call for a table of what all rating marks mean eg 5 poor, 6 average, 7 good, 8 verty good etc Without this, they are meaningless, frankly!

      1. Ratings are made according to the opinions of the writer, which are not the same person every game. It’s subjective and a personal choice. There cannot be a “system” unless we start voting on it…

  6. 4 for Willian, wtf? Someone doesn’t like him, well I don’t either but he came on and did a job, so a strong 6 from me. My man of the match was Luiz.

  7. Haven’t been impressed with Willian since his arrival but your scoring of 4 is way off. Tonight was Willian’s best game in an Arsenal. Obviously it’s all about opinions but a 7 IMO would be about right.

  8. Some positive signs of improvement from Pepe…for the second game in a row bodes well for the rest of the Season….Although Willian performed a little better his contribution for the most part was still negligible.I presume that Martinelli was injured…otherwise why replace him with Willian.
    Hopefully Arteta might have also worked out by now that Bellerin offers almost nothing to the team both offensively and defensively.Surely once Tierney is fit enough to play then Cedric switches to right back.

    1. Joel agree, Tierney at LB and Cedric Soares at RB. ESR is improving every game and his combination with Pepe
      was excellent, playing the ball into space for him to run onto.

  9. Dont agree with xhaka MOM, played ok granted but Luiz, Lacca, Pepe and even Holding were better perfomers. I cant knock xhakas performance but he wast better than at least 3 or four players. I think also Leno was a unsung hero.

  10. Martinelli substitution was purely tactical according to Arteta. With Soares on a yellow coaching staff felt they needed someone more experienced on that wing as Rashford was being instructed by OGS to target Soares.

  11. So funny are some of the fans here, we are on verge of having the worst offensive season in last 2-3 decades. We have only scored 26 goals n created almost same big chances. We are out of two cups including FA cup which was hailed as the most prestigious n important cup when we won it last season but now it’s of no importance because we got kicked of it …now league is more important? 8 defeats 4 draws but we think Areta is special and our club is on the right path to become great again….hahaha. We will never be title contender again the direction we are going in but for sure we are on due course to get our title back of borring borring Arsenal n judging by comments here some fans would love. They are happy to be mid table team but with less goals conceded then be in top 4 or title challenger with more goals scored. What’s the point of having a good defence when the offence sucks n we become a mid table team. No attraction no achievements but we will have the best defence in league which is pointless. Some fans think fixing attack or offence is easy n we can do it over night and they are not concerned. If you think that is the case then best of luck we are already loosing international fan base because of this boring football n our earnings will suffer n shrink year after year which is evident from us falling out of the top 10 biggest earning clubs for first time after years.

    1. Ah Mohsan, back with your 100% negative comments again. You truly wallow in misery don’t you? Very few successful managers do not start with the defence. A stable defence, once established, actually gives a team the freedom and confidence to become more offensive – in particular the mdifield can concentrate on creating for the attack rather than staying deep to protect the defence. An obvious example of neglecting defence is Arsenal during the last few years of AW. We had multiple attacking midfielders but no defensive ones and a weak defensive unit. The result was a tactically confused team that, whilst achieving some good victories was also subjected to some big defeats and ultimately lost confidence. A good defence is the cornerstone of any great team. You think fans are happy to be mid table? You think we dont want an attacking team? You think the term attacking means you have no defenders ? You think Arsenal have a magic wand to pay for all these attackers? Or do you think if MA is sacked this money will just appear? We have what you dont have, – patience. And we support our club. And we like to enjoy the journey to success, unlike you it seems.

      1. Bravo Guy – such a negative Mohsan. How people live with such a poison inside them.
        Luckily there are many decent Arsenal fans with brain and patience.

      2. Misses the man’s point which is that arteta has sacrificed attractive attacking football for a more traditional defensive approach and which refelects his style of cautious football … in bellerin Luiz and holding we have average defenders (though holding is an improved one) but it’s certainly not a bedrock and we all like tiernay because he is a quality attacking fullback who stands out in comparison .. what arteta has done is to pull the midfield back to support his average defence … Martinelli was one of our best defenders yday … this is a choice that is a reflection of his football philosophy .. its different from guardiola for example who gets all his players to defend all over the pitch through pressing the opposition wherever they have the ball … I was expecting this from arteta but it is clear after a year that this is not his approach … people forget that arteta grew up and had his longest spell as a footballer at David moyes Everton and for me as a manager he is more moyes than gaurdiola … so dullness is hard wired in to his game am sorry to say and affects his choice of players … he might if we are very lucky get us to 6th with this style … some fans seem happy with that and they are of course welcome to their taste … personally I expect something different

      3. guy, I read all your posts and am becoming increasingly impressed, the more I read, about your intelligence and ability to see truth and stand up for it fearlessly. What a contrast to the dull wits of those like Mobella and Jah son!

    2. How I kept saying lcw and Mohsan were Ozil fans and not Arsenal fans? This about confirms it. Notice how lcw too stopped commenting since Ozil went to fernabache? Well Mohsan, you can go right ahead to ferna too. Good luck.

  12. Should give Arsenal confidence going forward, as Manchester United had a full strength squad, whereas Arsenal were missing Aubameyang, Saka and Tierney.
    Arsenal created chances, as did United and on a luckier day could have won 3-2.

  13. So, then what was responsible for Arsenal not scoring at least a solitary one goal in the game to beat Man Utd and earn all the 3 points that were at stake in the match for collection, instead of the one point that they earned?

    As the game pans on in the 2nd half of the match, I started getting afraid anytime Man Utd made incursion into the Arsenal area/box thinking they might score. And the Gunners may not be able to equalize if Man Utd did score.

    This is because Man Utd can hold their fort so tightly to not allow it getting breached by Arsenal to equalize. More especially as Man Utd seem to have the top and better big players who can do this kind of defensive job successful if they had scored than Arsenal have on parade in the game to equalize to share the points.

    But despite that Man Utd are looking to have the upper hand in terms of the big players and squard cost that is higher than that which Arsenal have. The Gunners incredobly raised the level of their game in the match that matched that that was played by Man Utd in the match. Which I think resulted for both teams unable to register a goal in the game to win the match. As they looked to be equally matched. Thus, hence the godless draw result outcome in he match that us witnessed.

    Lacazette would have scored but for the cross bar that denied him for Arsenal. Who if he had scored, the goal would have sunk Man Utd in the match. But the lack of Lacazette having the desired high level of mark manship to score, he failed to score.

    For, Man Utd wouldn’t have been able to come back in the game to equalize, as Arsenal looked to have put out an impregnable defence in the game that will stop Man Utd from equalizing.

    I think I will succumb to the notion been pedal around by some Arsenal fans who have opined to say. Had Tierney, Saka and played in the match, the goaless draw outcome that played out in the match wouldn’t have been. For, if Arsenal have had their above named trio Gunners starting the match, Arsenal would have store in the match and beat Man Utd.

    But all my above takes and observations are now academic exercise. But this doesn’t exonerate Mikel Arteta the Gunners gaffer from been blamed for Arsenal not beating Man Utd. For he should have put out the Arsenal team that will beat Man Utd. However, getting half loaf of bread to eat to suppress remaining in hunger is better than not to have the full loaf of bread to eat to quench hunger. A point collected by Arsenal in the match is better than to not getting any points at all in the match.

    1. “godless draw”?
      Samuel, what team did you expect Arteta to select given the players unavailable?

      1. Yes – answer the question Samuel. Which team you expect MA to put on the field??????Soem fans are just out of their mind.

    2. “For he should have put out the Arsenal team that will beat Man Utd”

      So what team is that exactly?
      Or you just feel like spewing rubbish?
      Which of those players on the bench deserved to start ahead of those in the starting 11?

    3. Samuel, you have a knack for stating the obvious.
      I see the lunatic Menace is on your case in the Conspiracy Blog. Ignore him, he’s completely mad a should not be anywhere near social media.

  14. Both team had oppurtunities to win game,the better defensive side was Arsenal.Leno and co were pretty good especially that save from leno💯❤,his reflexes are world class

    The priblem MA has on his hand is that some teams below Arsenal or are in level with Arsenal have more games to play.9th is not our realistic position.😐
    Happy witg the unbeaten run💯 but unless we win,we will be in deep trouble.

  15. I’m happy with the result!
    United at full strength and a completely different animal on the road! 4/6 points this season 👍
    Even Neville said we’re difficult to score against!! 😱

    I saw this on Twitter:
    Bruno Fernandes has come up against Rob Holding four times and his team haven’t scored a single goal in those 360 minutes. (Twice for Sporting)
    And apparently he stropped off down the tunnel without shaking hands!! 😄

  16. Said it before but its really looking to me like Leno has ironed out the few weaknesses he showed last season, namely in dealing with crosses and passing out. Doesn’t appear to have any major issues with his game at all now. I must say I’m surprised at how much he’s improved in those areas and it shows he must have an amazing mentality.

    1. There’s not much between him and any other keeper in the league now in my view as he was already a great shot stopper.

  17. this is my first-time posting here, though I have read this blog for years and been an Arsenal fan since 1998. I must commend Granit Xakha. For all the criticism against him, he has been pretty good of late. His turn of form has coincided with our upturn of form and I feel he is not getting the credit he deserves from some fans. For sure, he is no Viera, Petit, Parlour, Carzola or Fabrigas, but in his own way he has contributed to the change in our fortunes of late. I don’t see any of his critics calling for him to be benched given what we have on the bench, until the summer when we can get a better replacement I suggest we get behind him to boost his confidence because he alongside Partly are critical to what we are currently doing compared to Enemy, Cebalos or Willock. The earlier criticism of Lacazet is an example of this. Before December, most fans were calling for his head, sell Laca and all that. Today he is one of the first names on the starters list because of how well he plays with Saka and SmithRowe. When he went down yesterday am sure a lot of fans were picnicking because we do not have a like for like replacement, at least not one who is ready to start game after acknowledged Balogun.

  18. In my opinion willian had a better outing …Cedric was being exposed by rashford ..partey didn’t him a good …was happy to see pepe showing signs of improvement…leno at his usual best ..luiz was outstanding

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