Arsenal's 2-2 draw with Chelsea last night was achieved with a one-man deficit for more than an hour and shoots of encouragement are beginning to emerge in Mikel Arteta's new Arsenal team.
Here's how I rated the players.
🇩🇪 Bernd Leno 7
Denied substitute Ross Barkley with a stunning low save in the 80th minute and was generally a commanding presence.
🇪🇸 Héctor Bellerín 7.5
A captain's display from the 24-year-old, who was drafted into the side after a recent return from persistent hamstring problems. Looked sharp, and came up with the all-important equalizer.
🇩🇪 Shkodran Mustafi 3.5
A horribly short back pass put David Luiz in trouble and the Brazilian was forced to hack Tammy Abraham down and give away a penalty. Mustafi did grow into the game and technically gets an assist for Martinelli's goal, but he is not the central defensive solution for Arteta and Arsenal.
🇧🇷 David Luiz 4
Only on the pitch for 26 minutes but could have probably let Tammy Abraham have a shot at goal rather than bring him down and face an inevitable dismissal. Luiz has received two red cards in the Premier League; one for Chelsea against Arsenal and now one for Arsenal against Chelsea.
🏴 Bukayo Saka 8
The teenager impressed again in an unfamiliar role, getting forward to good effect from left-back despite Chelsea's numerical superiority. Wound the clock down well in the dying stages to help secure the point. At 18, the sky is the limit for this Hale End youth product.
🇺🇾 Lucas Torreira 7.5
The Uruguayan is becoming an increasingly more important figure at the club, looking more at ease as part of a double pivot in midfield. Got in Chelsea's faces and made a couple of key clearances in the second half.
🇨🇭 Granit Xhaka 9 (Man of the match)
Arsenal needed a leader after David Luiz's dismissal and although he no longer wears the armband, the Switzerland captain was that man. Filled in at centre back and was vocal, aggressive and authoritative to bring some order to a makeshift back four.
🇨🇮 Nicolas Pépé 7
Gave Emerson plenty to think about with his brilliant ball-carrying ability. Like Torreira, his unique skill set means that he's becoming key to this new Arsenal system.
🇩🇪 Mesut Özil 6.5
Not Ozil's best game as he was crowded out of it by Mateo Kovacic in the centre of the park. Still, showed some neat and tidy touches as usual and still has a role to play for the club. Replaced by 20-year-old Matteo Guendouzi who brought his unique brand of spikiness and energy to the match on 55 minutes.
🇧🇷 Gabriel Martinelli 8.5
Scored in stunning fashion on the break, carrying the ball from inside his own half to bring Arsenal back into the game with coolness and calmness that belies his age. Arsenal has uncovered a gem who's not afraid to do the dirty work on the frontline.
Gabriel Martinelli is the first teenager to hit double figures for @Arsenal (all competitions) in a single season since Nicolas Anelka back in the 1998/99 campaign. 🇧🇷☄️#CHEARS #martinelli pic.twitter.com/JBocbgN4hP— Futaa.com (@Futaacom) January 22, 2020
🇫🇷 Alex Lacazette 7
It's been a while since the Frenchman got on the score sheet for the Gunners. He did have the ball in Chelsea's net but was ruled offside. Needs a rest and will get it this weekend when Arsenal visits Bournemouth in the FA Cup and then his pal Aubameyang will be back to share the goal-scoring load away to Burnley.
As always, Lacazette never shirked his defensive responsibilities and those increased as Arsenal got reduced to ten men.
Arsenal is next in action against Bournemouth in the FA Cup this weekend.
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