Arsenal player ratings vs Everton: 3 impress, forwards disappoint

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Arsenal kept a clean sheet for the first time since October 6th in a boring 0-0 draw against Everton on Saturday lunchtime.

Freddie Ljungberg took charge of his final game at Goodison Park, with new head coach Mikel Arteta watching from the stands. The interim coach at least got one thing right in the match, overseeing a defence with more solidity keeping a rare clean sheet.

At the other end, Arsenal really didn’t offer much. They had a couple of shots on target (two more than Everton), but needed to do more.

 Let’s have a look at our Arsenal player ratings for the Everton fixture.

Goalkeeper

  • Bernd Leno 7 – Didn’t have to make a save. Looked to have a near-miss free-kick covered. Dealt with a dodgy backpass pretty well. Distributed the ball effectively enough.

Defence

  • Ainsley Maitland-Niles 7 – Along with Saka, stepped up to the task in the absence of the senior full-backs. Supported the attacks well as well as easing some of the pressure on the centre-backs defensively.
  • Calum Chambers – 8.5 – Played really well up until a late heavy touch and foul earned him a booking. Particularly impressive in the air, winning seven aerial duels. Making a case for more chances.
  • David Luiz 6.5 – I don’t want to be too harsh on Luiz because he was a good part of a solid defensive effort. Still, he was very lucky not to pick up a booking after a number of rash fouls, some in dangerous areas. Thankfully, Everton’s free-kicks were poor.
  • Bukayo Saka 8 – An excellent effort in a position he almost never played for the u23s or the first team before Saturday. Saka led the team in tackles with four, and he made a great block in the first half. Going forward, got Martinelli into a few nice positions, could’ve done better with his crossing though.

Midfield

  • Lucas Torreira 7 – He did have one or two defensively lapses in the first half, particularly when Davies got in behind. Played an excellent pass to create a chance for Martinelli though, and shielded the defence more effectively than the midfielders have recently.
  • Granit Xhaka – One loose touch near the end was the only stain on a very positive performance, similar to Chambers. Solid passing throughout and a few nice touches to get away from pressure.
  • Emile Smith Rowe 6 – Lacking in confidence a bit in the first half, but he worked harder than anyone else out there. In the opening 45 minutes, he ran far more than any other player, which is probably why he came off first. It was a shame because he looked to be growing into the match as it went on.

Forwards

  • Reiss Nelson 4 – Started brightly, but quickly faded and became more ineffective as the game went on. It was a surprise to see Ljungberg stick with him over Nicolas Pepe. The problem is that neither he nor Aubameyang could hold onto any long balls, nor find each other.
  • Gabriel Martinelli 6.5 – Missed a good chance at the end of the first half. On his weak foot at a tight angle on his weak foot, it wasn’t easy. Needed to do a little more with his crossing opportunities. Made a lot of good tackles tracking back.
  • Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – Aubameyang is really struggling to get involved in any Arsenal games at the moment. He didn’t have one consistently impressive performance for 90 minutes under Ljungberg despite starting every league game. Should have finished the chance headed on by Chambers.

Substitutes

  • Joe Willock 5 – Continued where Smith Rowe left off in terms of pressing, made one chance for Martinelli. Couldn’t change the game in the final quarter as much as he would’ve wanted.
  • Alexandre Lacazette 4 – Hardly had a touch in the final 15 minutes.

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