Arsenal are back in the top four after a long time and extended their winning run to seven games, but luck had a say in their win over Watford as late goals sink the Hornets.
Arsenal have another win in their bag, this time a 2-0 win over Watford at the Emirates, but the North Londoners had to work to get three points, with Watford, rather than sitting deep and defending, took the game to the Gunners. The result could have been much different from what the scoreline suggests, as Watford threatened to break the deadlock before Arsenal scored.
The Arsenal goal also came in uncharacteristic circumstances, as defender Craig Cathcart while defending a dangerous cross from substitute Alex Iwobi put the ball into his own net. With the momentum shifted, Arsenal took advantage of a tired Watford as Alexandre Lacazette crossed the ball into Mesut Ozil’s path from outside the right-hand side area for an easy tap-in, which the German comfortably did.
The win lifted Arsenal to fourth place on the Premier League table, a position they come back into after a long time. It definitely wasn’t a convincing performance from Arsenal, but in the end for Unai Emery and his side, three points are all that mattered. Let’s take a look at how the Gunners rated during their “lucky” win over Watford.
Petr Cech – 6.5
Coming into this game at the back of his MOTM performance against Everton continued his heroics, making many saves and overall establishing control in the box. He collected some dangerous Watford crosses, and his overall distribution was also proper.
But around the end of the first half, Cech pulled his hamstring and was substituted, meaning he now faces a minimum three weeks out.
Hector Bellerin -6
Not the best from Bellerin again. His performances in the attack have been improving, but his defence still has plenty of work to be done. He was time and again beaten by Pereyra on his side as well as Deeney who always looked at Bellerin as the weak link.
Shkodran Mustafi – 4
Performances like this from Mustafi against a much more significant opposition would have seen a different result altogether. Credit to him for dealing will crosses very well, but his persistent giving away of freekicks gave Watford every chance to punish the Gunners.
Rob Holding – 7
Fantastic display from Holding at central defence, barring one time when Isaac Success went past him to hit the post. It was Holding’s brilliance that kept the clean sheet for the Gunners, as he was positionally astute, read the game well and very much comfortable on the ball.
Nacho Monreal – 6.5
Solid defensive display from Monreal, and useful contributions to attack. He has played in all but one of Arsenal’s games in all competition and has shown no signs of slowing down just yet. Bagged Will Hughes on his side of the pitch and generally was astute in defence.
Lucas Torreira – 6
Not the best of displays from the Uruguayan. Scrappy at times and spent more time on the ball than usual. Some of the pacey attackers even turned him rather quickly. Despite those, he was good with his passing and tackles.
Granit Xhaka – 6.5
Xhaka is slowly becoming Arsenal’s midfield general. He laid down 99 passes, 65 of which forward and 36 in the final third. However, he also needs to be sure about defensive duties, which he lacks at times especially when the opposition is counter-attacking. Overall he was a good presence on the pitch.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – 4
Aubameyang had a rather slow and quiet game. The problem however concerning him is his decisiveness in Arsenal’s attack as he does not get good openings to attack as he would please. Good substitution from Emery to bring Iwobi that would change the game.
Mesut Ozil – 6
Up until Ozil score Arsenal’s second goal, he was somewhat anonymous in the game. However, he performed better since moving to the central position after Ramsey was substituted. That said, the goal was generally lovely.
Aaron Ramsey – 4
Not sure if its the contract situation or his change in position on the field. Either way, Ramsey had a bad game for 63 minutes till he was substituted. Created no chances, lost the ball many times and showed that he does not generally fit this system.
Alexandre Lacazette – 6
Missed one good chance in the first half, but made it up by playing a vital role in both goals. For the first, he put Cathcart under tremendous pressure as the defender put the ball into his own net, and provided the assist for the second for Ozil to score.
Bernd Leno – 6.5
Excellent goalkeeping from the German who replaced Cech just before half-time. Some excellent saves then kept his team in the contest. But he did have his nervy moments, although with him Arsenal have one of the best goalkeeping setups in the Premier League.
Alex Iwobi – 6.5
Iwobi has been vastly improving his game under Emery. He made a game-changing impact when sent out on the field as a replacement for Aubameyang. Got the assist for the first and made the all-important, crucial defence-splitting pass for the second goal. It won’t be long until he starts games regularly for Arsenal.