An enthralling encounter between Watford and Arsenal saw the Gunners take all three points from Vicarage Road. The 90 minutes were a thrilling one right from the kick-off. Moreover, the win took Arsenal to fourth place, a point above fifth-placed Manchester United. Arteta’s side are now in the driving seat to qualify for the Champions League as they still have 3 games in hand over United. A fourth consecutive win for Arsenal and a chance to qualify for the Champions League since 2016, what else the Gunners would want as the player ratings are here from their win.
Arsenal sent their fans in a frenzy after taking the lead right in the fifth minute. Bukayao Saka and Martin Odegaard combined on the right flank to open the scoring. Saka teed up Odegaard in the box with the Norwegian placing the ball into the far corner. Arsenal’s lead was short-lived as Watford pulled back on the level within six minutes. Watford’s Cucho Hernandez gave flashbacks of Rooney‘s overhead kick from the Manchester Derby. Hernandez scored an outrageously identical goal from an inch-perfect cross from Kiko Femenia.
Saka was again at the heart of Arsenal’s second, winning the ball back with a clean challenge and linking up with Lacazette. Lacazette played smartly to Saka who slotted the ball in the net for Arsenal to retake the lead. Mikel Arteta then got himself involved in Arsenal’s third as the manager handed the ball to Saka for a quick throw-in, followed by a delightful one-touch passing before Martinelli disposed the ball into the back of the net. However, a late goal from Sissoko made the five-minute stoppage time of the game an exciting one. But it wasn’t enough for Watford to pull the level to earn a point.
Arsenal player ratings- Defense
Aaron Ramsdale- 5/10
This time it was not meant for another solid performance for the young ‘keeper. Though he couldn’t have done much to stop the first goal, his poor positioning has to be blamed for letting in the second. Ramsdale got away with some poor passes too, thanks to Watford’s wastefulness. Already among our lowest-rated in Arsenal player ratings.
Cedric Soares- 6/10
Soares formed a link-up triangle with Saka and Odegaard on the right side, which resulted in the Portuguese playing a crucial role in the Gunners’ third goal. Not convincing, but a decent defensive performance from Soares.
Ben White- 5/10
Really an off-day at the office for Arsenal’s back-line. Except for some important clearances, White failed to cover the space left behind due to Arsenal’s high-line defense. Moreover, the center-back’s bizarre dealing with Sissoko in the box led to Watford’s third, inviting unnecessary pressure on the Gunners.
The Brazilian didn’t compose himself and was shaky at times. Unlike other times when he is confident on the ball, it was the complete opposite against Watford. But as the game progressed, Gabriel looked settled and covered for his compatriot White who looked off-pace.
Kieran Tierney- 7/10
Tierney was more about defense than offense. Another decent display as he too was caught off-pace at times. However, Tierney grew into the game at later stages and made up for his slip-ups.
Martin Odegaard- 8/10
Odegaard enjoyed his time on the pitch with some really sparkling passes. His goal was a thing of beauty as Odegaard was composed calmly to place the ball before exchanging a genius pass with Saka. He once again showed his class with a cheeky ball to Lacazette who rolled it for Saka to blast in Arsenal’s second. To add to his blistering game, Odegaard chipped in 4 key-passes
Thomas Partey- 8/10
Partey’s displays are only improving and Watford was another game where it was evident. Partey imposed himself in the middle of the park with some optimistic passes between the lines. His fearlessness was also on display as he completed an impressive 3 dribbles out of 4 attempted, and 7 long-balls out of 9.
Granit Xhaka- 6/10
Xhaka did his job, and he did it quietly. While Tierney and Martinelli didn’t help much in the defense, Xhaka took care which helped Partey in moving forward too. However, failed to read Hernandez’s ball for Sissoko’s goal.
Bukayo Saka- 9/10
Simply highest rated among Arsenal player ratings. The Hale End product was too hot to handle in the afternoon. Saka tore open the right-flank of Watford with his dazzling runs. With a goal and an assist, he took his goal contribution tally in the league to 13, with 8 goals and 5 assists.
Alexandre Lacazette- 8/10
Lacazette’s other side of the game is on display in recent times. Not on the scoresheet against Watford, but assisted those on it. The captain assisted both Saka and Martinelli’s goals with sublime passes. Though he didn’t score, he kept the Watford defenders busy tabbing his runs.
Gabriel Martinelli- 6/10
Martinelli couldn’t click Tierney on the left and was hence uninvolved for the majority of the game, besides his clinical goal which extended Arsenal’s lead by 2 goals.
Nicolas Pepe- 6/10
Came on for Martinelli in the 73rd minute. Another good 17-odd minutes from Pepe. He inflicted his pace on the tired legs of Watford defenders and created some half chances too.
Eddie Nketiah- 5/10
Came on for Lacazette in the 80th minute. Nketiah came close to scoring Arsenal’s fourth when he struck the outside of the post, catching Foster out.
Rob Holding- N/A
Came on for Martin Odegaard in the 90th minute.
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