Arsenal sealed their passage into the next round of the FA Cup courtesy of goals from Joe Willock and Alex Iwobi as the Gunners sailed comfortably.
Arsenal, unlike last season, won their third round FA Cup clash and sealed passage into the next round. Blackpool were visibly under pressure from Arsenal, and the away side secured a comfortable victory. Joe Willock scored two first-half goals, and Alex Iwobi added a third in the second half to comfortably see off Blackpool.
Despite how the scoreline suggests, the Gunners were not at their top gear, and there were times when it was visible that they were not as sharp as one would have expected despite a one-sided performance. The defence, in particular, were not up to the mark as Arsenal allowed Blackpool to have too many chances, some of them they could have scored from.
However, Arsenal were clinical of the two sides and took their chances well. Joe Willock was impressive again and continued scoring goals for the club following his last appearance in the Europa League. This time though, the youngster scored a brace in the first half and completely turned the tie in Arsenal’s favour. Alex Iwobi then rounded off the scoring with a goal in the second half.
Here’s how Arsenal’s players rated against Blackpool.
Petr Cech – 6.5
A commanding performance from Cech as Arsenal kept a rare clean sheet. He was useful in catching all the balls that came in and ensured his positioning was right. There were nervy moments with the ball at the feet but nothing that came back to bite him.
Carl Jenkinson – 6.5
A mixed bag review for Jenkinson here, because he was brilliant going forward, but failed to make anything of those runs. Was decent in defence and did well to kill off any attack from the opposition although he needs to improve his forward game.
Sokratis – 6
Not his most composed performance at the back but Sokratis did have his moments in the match. Sokratis is showing visible signs that he might not be suited in a defensive pairing but could thrive in a three-man defence. Still the better part of Arsenal’s defence on the evening.
Stephan Lichtsteiner – 6
Despite the clean sheet, it wasn’t a convincing defensive display from Lichtsteiner or Sokratis. Either way, Lichtsteiner was decent enough to man the rearguard. Still unconvincing at center back.
Sead Kolasinac – 6.5
Sead Kolasinac was pinned to do plenty of defending when needed. Did not commit any silly mistakes at the back and was also decent in attack when he went forward.
Mohamed Elneny – 7
A good performance from the Egyptian in central midfield. He was steady and ensured Arsenal controlled proceedings in the middle.
Aaron Ramsey – 7.5
Ramsey was again brilliant with his performance and showed how vital he is for the club. Two of the goals came from rebounds that were results of his shots, but overall everything Arsenal did in attack he was central to it. An excellent showing from the wantaway Welshman.
Alex Iwobi – 8
Quite brilliant in attack. Tormented the Blackpool defence. His driving runs and critical role in every build-up play was excellent and created plenty of chances for his teammates.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles – 8
Maitland-Niles was a menace for Blackpool’s defence all night. If not for Nketiah squandering some good chances in the opening seven minutes, Maitland-Niles could have had two assists to his name. He definitely looks like a different player when not burdened with defensive duties and is slowly showing Emery what he can do in attack.
Joe Willock – 9
Great performance and worthy of being named the man of the match. Scored two excellent goals to put Arsenal in a comfortable lead in the first half, but more importantly, it was his creativity and reactions that won him admirers. Top talent.
Eddie Nketiah – 7
There seems to be a readymade replacement for the injured Danny Welbeck in Nketiah, who appears to run a lot, pressurise defences and miss from two-yards out. Missed some glorious chances inside the box but squandered it every time and each of those chances will reflect on his ability to form a part of this Arsenal side in the future.
Alexandre Lacazette – 6
Came on, but didn’t do much although was a significant presence whenever Arsenal counter-attacked.
Zach Medley – 6
Apart from winning one brilliant aerial challenge, Medley did not do anything of significance. Good to see these many youngsters getting a taste of senior football.
Bukayo Saka – 6
Unfortunate not to start considering his performance in his last game. Against Blackpool, he came on pretty late to have any impact, and the game was clearly won when he arrived.