Oxford v Arsenal Player Ratings – by Peter Doherty
This was the archetypal game of two halves. Arsenal were woeful in the first half and showed their superiority in the second.
However it is only fair to highlight the incredible work rate of the Oxford team as they gave the opposition no time on the ball and harried Arsenal into mistakes. Here are my ratings….
When Arsenal replaced a German international with a player from the MLS many eyebrows were raised, including my own. However Turner has proven to be an extremely competent goalkeeper. Gave Oxford no reason to believe a mistake was in the offing as he was assured throughout. Snuffed out their one real chance and his distribution was superb.
Looks off the boil at the minute. His decision making in timing his tackles isn’t quite on point, and winning duels is generally one of his major strengths. His passing was awry and he missed a couple of opportunities to create forward momentum.
Rob Holding is a perennial 6. He is limited but those limitations weren’t stretched on this occasion.
It may come as a surprise to award a 9 for a premiership player against League One opposition but you’ve got to play what’s in front of you and that’s exactly what Gabriel did. His head was on every cross, of which there was a lot and he was alert to danger any time Oxford had the ball in the box. The rough and tumble of this game truly suited him.
Was solid in defence but the attacking aspect of his game wasn’t as accurate as usual. Lacked a foil on the left side to work with as Lokonga offered very little.
They say there is a player in there somewhere but I’ve never seen it. Needs an extra second on the ball every time, and that is a luxury not awarded in the English game. Could possibly do a job in Serie A but hasn’t shown anything to demonstrate that he has what it takes to make his mark at Arsenal.
As with Holding I could have given him his rating pre-game and felt fairly confident it would have rang true. Another steady squad player and delighted to see him score the goal as he rarely gets the spotlight. For all his limitations you have to love him.
Rescued his mark considerably with his two assists. Had a horrible first half and looked shaken by the physicality of the game. But the free kick delivery was sublime and his through ball for Nketiah perfectly weighted.
Didn’t offer much really, with the exception of one piece if skill that almost opened the scoring. The boy takes an awful lot of abuse and remains unprotected by referees. Might have paid a high cost for playing him
Was industrious throughout without being remarkable but then does what all instinctive goalscorers do, he pops up with two superb finishes. That is the very reason why he was awarded the new contract and although he doesn’t offer as much an all round game as Jesus, he is probably a better finisher.
Tried hard without really succeeding. The Oxford right back did really well to subdue him. Played a lovely through ball for the third though. You’ll never fault Martinelli for endeavour.
All in all a true cup tie with the underdogs having a go, but the quality coming through in the end.
How do you Gooners rate it?
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