Player Ratings by Peter Doherty
What a perfect response to all the naysayers and doubters who proclaimed the wheels were coming off for Artetas boys after the last couple of performances. Admittedly I had one foot in that camp from the thirty minute mark up until half time, but the storming second half quelled any doubts.
Here are my ratings for yesterday’s excellent game….
Ramsdale (7) Another match that left him with very little to do, but what he had to do he did it well. A few speculative shots straight at him aside, he wasn’t particularly troubled. A confident claim from an inswinging corner was a relief after his midweek disaster.
White (7) Similarly untroubled by Forest’s attacking threat as very little went down his side. Constantly offering overlap options in attack which is an element of his game that he has developed massively. Has to be a shoo-in for the England squad.
Saliba (7) Was nervy in the latter part of the first half, but recovered well and then offered stability in his decision making. His speed is a huge asset when the team play a high line and he frequently won the foot race to shore up any danger.
Gabriel (6) Like his defensive partner was at sixes and sevens just before half time, at one point offering Lingard a glorious opportunity for an equalizer with an insane pass in the box. Regained his equilibrium and made a few important interventions.
Tomiyasu (7) Spent a lot of time in central midfield particularly in the first half, which enabled Xhaka to continue to rove forward. His adaptability and choice of pass displays a very acute footballing intelligence.
Partey (8) Sublime when in control, but was the worst culprit in the dodgy fifteen minutes prior to half time as he gave away the ball numerous times and was dispossessed in dangerous positions. Transformed again in the second half and dominated the tempo and struck another beauty, almost a carbon copy of his earlier goal in the season. When in the mood he is absolutely world class.
Xhaka (8) His renaissance continues unabated. Was constantly dangerous and his ball control in certain situations was a joy. His capacity to occupy the right spaces in his new-found role shows what a clever footballer he is.
Odegaard (7) If Partey is the conductor then this man is the lead soloist. His vision and passing range are well documented and he displays them with great regularity but his effort levels are inspired. Watching him close down a Forest defender with a lung bursting sprint in the ninetieth minute whilst 5-0 up should be taught in every PE class in the country.
Nelson (8) Looked unsurprisingly hesitant when replacing Saka and always chose the safe option rather than causing a threat of his own. However, after his goal, he was a man transformed and put on a wonderful display of all the skills that he has been associated with, but has never really delivered. High hopes that this outing will be the true beginning of his Arsenal career.
Jesus (8) Industrious, creative and a constant nuisance to the Forest backline, but boy oh boy does he need a goal. The beautiful craft of finishing seems to have completely deserted him and earlier in the season would have helped himself to a hat trick. Still managed to help himself to two assists and a tackle made almost at our own corner flag demonstrates his commitment.
Martinelli (7) Created and scored the first with a header of great subtlety. Was subdued for a period thereafter by his own lofty standards, but was again instrumental in the gorgeous interplays that tore Forest asunder in the second half. Got a well deserved rest in the sixtieth minute.
A thoroughly pleasing outcome against a team that were starting to gel and could have caused us problems had they been encouraged to do so. Also a timely confidence boost before the Chelsea showdown next week.
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