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Player Ratings: Watford FC vs Arsenal FC


 

Result

Sunday's early Premier League kick-off saw Arsenal face a trip to Vicarage Road for a meeting with relegation-battling Watford. The Gunners were well aware that a win would see them climb into the top-four and very likely stay there with a weak Manchester United set to take on Manchester City later in the day.

And, when all was said and done, Arsenal would come away with a 3-2 win, and therefore move into the top-four.

Watford had the ball in the back of the net after just 16 seconds, but it was ruled out for offside.

Arsenal then scored an early goal of their own, which stood.

Martin Odegaard and Bukayo Saka would combine superbly down the right, with the Norwegian finishing off a well-worked move.

Arsenal’s lead did not last long, though, with Cucho Hernandez scoring a stunning overhead kick after 11 minutes.

The tie then became an end-to-end affair with Arsenal next to find the net. Bukayo Saka was once again involved, this time linking up with Alexandre Lacazette before smashing a shot past Ben Foster from the edge of the box.

That goal appeared to suck the life out of Watford, with Arsenal later going on to score their 3rd of the day 52 minutes in. Moussa Sissoko did pull one back late on, but it was too little, too late for the day's hosts.

Arsenal player ratings

Aaron Ramsdale (5) – Bit of a late dive for the Hernandez goal and his positioning and distribution was not the best throughout the clash. Should have done better for Watford's second.

Cedric (5.5) – Should have been marking Hernandez tighter for his goal, and sloppy in possession on occasion.

Ben White (4.5) – Like Cedric, White’s defensive awareness for the Hernandez goal was not good enough. Was then largely at fault for the Sissoko goal.

Gabriel (6.5) – A fairly solid game that saw him win a number of duels and put in some key tackles.

Kieran Tierney (6) – Far from Tierney’s best game in an Arsenal shirt with his passing particularly lackluster.

Thomas Partey (7.5) – Started a number of attacks with his impressive long-range passing and was also defensively sound. The jury remains out on Partey’s shooting.

Granit Xhaka (6) – A quiet display from Xhaka but his passing on the day was solid and helped Arsenal control the tie.

Gabriel Martinelli (7) – An uneventful first half but he then placed a lovely curling effort into the top left of Foster’s net. Taken off after 72 minutes.

Martin Odegaard (9) – Scored the opening goal of the day and was crucial in the build-up to his strike, finding Saka with a clever pass. Odegaard also found Lacazette with a lovely, dinked pass in the build-up to Arsenal’s 3rd.

Bukayo Saka (9) – Linked up well with Odegaard for the opening goal. Saka would then score Arsenal’s second of the day, winning the ball from Tom Cleverley before finding Lacazette who laid off for the Englishman to lash home.

Alexandre Lacazette (9) – Does not score too many goals but was once again instrumental in Arsenal’s attack against Watford, pressing well and setting up both Saka and Martinelli's goals, the 2nd courtesy of a cute lay-off. Taken off after 78 minutes.

Subs

Nicolas Pepe (4) – On for the final 20 minutes, did not do much.

Eddie Nketiah (4) – On for the final 10 minutes, nearly scored with one of his first touches but hit the post.

Rob Holding - On for injury-time to help ensure that Watford did not find an equaliser, which they did not.

Watford player ratings

Ben Foster (4) – Did not do too much wrong for the opening goal, before being wrong-footed for the second. Considering he conceded three times, Foster did not play terribly.

Kiko Femenia (5) – Provided the assist for Hernandez’s equaliser but did little else of note.

Samir (3) – Did not make a single block, tackle or interception in the first-half whilst also losing possession a few times.

Craig Cathcart (4) – A slightly better display than his centre-back partner but still not great from Cathcart.

Hassane Kamara (3.5) – Struggled to deal with Saka and Odegaard throughout the game.

Tom Cleverley (3) – Poor touch and lack of awareness near his own box led to Arsenal’s second goal.

Imran Louza (4) – Could have been tighter to Saka ahead of Arsenal’s second goal.

Moussa Sissoko (4) – Really struggled to deal with Arsenal’s fast-paced passing moves on the day.

Joao Pedro (4.5) – Did pose something of a threat down Arsenal’s right with a number of good runs but failed to make any of them count.

Emmanuel Dennis (3.5) – Scored after 16 seconds but was offside. Had a very quiet game after that, missing a big chance late on.

Cucho Hernandez (8)  – Equalised for Watford after an early setback with a sensational overhead kick, and then set up Sissoko for their second. By far and away the Hornets' biggest threat on Sunday.

Subs

Edo Kayembe (3) - Came on after 64 minutes and did little of note.

Samuel Kalu (N/A) - Only on the pitch for a few minutes.

What they said

Arteta on the top-four race: "We are there now and we'll go game by game. Every game is a rollercoaster, we have three big games coming up in a week."

What you may have missed

Mikel Arteta's quick thinking in the build-up to Arsenal's 3rd:

Click here to view our latest Premier League betting tips.

The Premier League table as it stands


Josh Barker

Josh Barker

Middlesbrough fan from the North East of England. @JoshBarker979 on Twitter.



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