Arsenal player ratings as they secured a straightforward 2-0 victory over Newcastle United at St. James’ Park on Sunday afternoon in the Premier League.
It just took five minutes for Arsenal to get the ball rolling as Mohamed Elneny’s fine finish put them in front at St. James’ Park after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had made a meal of his attempt. Newcastle came close through Allan Saint-Maximin’s deflected shot but Mat Ryan pulled off a fine save while at the other end, Granit Xhaka had an effort stopped while Elneny was denied a second by a goalline clearance from Miguel Almiron.
Twenty minutes into the second period, Arsenal made it 2-0 with captain Aubameyang applying the finishing touches to a fine cross from Gabriel Martinelli. From that point on, Arsenal controlled the game well, hardly letting Newcastle anywhere near the goal, while the hosts’ misery was worsened by substitute Fabian Schar getting sent off on his return from injury late in the game.
It was a much needed win for Mikel Arteta’s men who have been going through a rut of late. And here are our player ratings for the Arsenal stars as they cruised to a comfortable victory at St. James’ Park.
Mat Ryan: 6.5/10
Making his third start for Arsenal, the Aussie was a vocal presence at the back, keeping the defenders alert and organised. Reacted well to stop Saint-Maximin’s deflected effort in the first half. Didn’t have to make any other save for the rest of the game. Made some good claims from crosses while being fairly accurate with his passing.
Hector Bellerin: 7/10
A fairly comfortable outing for the Spaniard who slotted in at right-back in place of Calum Chambers. Had a role in the opening goal as it was his cross that found Aubameyang, who miscued his effort. Not stretched defensively. Finished with two key passes.
David Luiz: 7/10
— Arsenal News Channel (@Arsenalnewschan) May 2, 2021
Making his return from injury, the Brazilian looked in fine touch in the first half, spraying passes in behind the Newcastle wing-backs that caused the hosts problems. Kept things tight at the back as well. Unfortunately had to be taken off just eight minutes into the second half with an injury.
Gabriel Magalhaes: 6.5/10
Starting ahead of Pablo Mari, the summer signing looked comfortable playing alongside Luiz, although Newcastle didn’t really do much to test him. A threat from set-pieces at the other end but spurned a fine chance at 1-0, sending his header over the bar.
Granit Xhaka: 6/10
Another game at left-back for Xhaka but one where he looked a bit nervy and edgy. His lack of pace was exposed each time Saint-Maximin ran at him while an early booking meant he was walking the disciplinary tightrope for the rest of the game. Lucky not to have received a second yellow after the break. Did have some nice moments on the ball but Arsenal will need a better solution against Villarreal.
Mohamed Elneny: 7/10
The fact that Elneny has scored so many bangers that this is considered one of his "worst" goals 😭😭😭 pic.twitter.com/Lb0SiY6hsJ
— GoonerChris✨ (@TheBS7Era) May 2, 2021
Handed a start as Arteta rotated Thomas Partey, Elneny got Arsenal off the mark with a good strike early in the game – his first Premier League goal for the Gunners in 66 games. Should have had a second one before half-time but a goal-line clearance denied him. Sound in his defensive duties, used the ball well, too.
Dani Ceballos: 6/10
The on-loan Real Madrid midfielder, who has been linked to Atletico Madrid, fared a tad bit better than he did against Villarreal earlier in the week. Had some nice moments on the ball, showing some neat touches and good passes. Didn’t exactly make a telling contribution, however.
Given a starting berth as Bukayo Saka was rested, the Brazilian endured a quiet outing in Tyneside. Often tended to slow things down when on the ball and did not offer much in terms of direct running. Did deliver a few dangerous passes but nothing that amounted to anything important.
Martin Odegaard: 6.5/10
A middling performances from the on-loan midfielder who drifted in and out of the game. Took up some nice positions on occasions and managed to play four key passes and was involved in the buildup to the second goal. But there were long phases when he was anonymous. Hasn’t looked at his best since the injury.
Gabriel Martinelli: 7.5/10
Gabriel Martinelli vs Newcastle:
⏱ 96 minutes played.
⚽️ 89% pass completion rate.
✅ FIVE chances created.
🤝 FOUR key passes.
🔴 ONE red card drawn.
🎯 1 assist.
Arguably Arsenal’s best player today. pic.twitter.com/v6syfVPs9a
— AFCTALK. ✍🏼 (@AFCTalk0) May 2, 2021
Starting on the left flank after much clamour for his selection, Martinelli made his opportunity count. A constant menace to the Newcastle wing-back, Jacob Murphy, as he cut in and aimed at goals at times or decided to stay wide and pump in crosses – one such cross leading to the second goal of the afternoon. Finished with a joint game-high four key passes along with Odegaard and Willian and completed a couple of dribbles as well. A step in the right direction.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang: 7.5/10
Starting a game after quite a while, the Arsenal skipper, who was the Player to Watch in our match preview, looked bright from the get-go, with his movement and link-up play being sharp. Got the assist for the opening goal, although in a bizarre fashion and when a chance came his way in the second half, he pounced to make it 2-0. Good signs for Arsenal ahead of the do-or-die Villarreal clash.
— afcstuff (@afcstuff) May 2, 2021
Calum Chambers: 6/10
On for the injured Luiz early in the second half. Kept things in check for the rest of the game.
Nicolas Pepe: N/A
Replaced Aubameyang in the 78th minute.
Thomas Partey: N/A
Came on in place of Odegaard with five minutes left.