Player Ratings as Arsenal Squeeze Past Tough Norwich Side
By Allan Riley
Arsenal have won their first Premier League game of the season, courtesy of a Pierre Emerick Aubameyang goal in a 1-0 win against Norwich at Emirates Stadium.
While it wasn’t the Arsenal of the Wenger years, Mikel Arteta’s side put in a much better performance compared to recent losses to Brentford, Chelsea and Manchester City.
Aaron Ramsdale (GK) – 7 – Was rather untroubled during the game, but was reliable when called upon. His passing was also very good as what was essentially the third member of Arteta’s back three.
Takehiro Tomiyasu (RB) – 8.5 – An excellent debut for the Japanese international. He looked comfortable on the ball, strong in the tackle and was dominant in the air, winning five out five aerial duels. He looks like a great signing already.
Ben White (RCB) – 7 – His distribution was on point today. Was comfortable in defence and always looked to progress the ball forward, rather than simply passing it to the right-back next to him.
Gabriel Magalhaes (LCB) – 7.5 – Untroubled defensively, but looked very solid on the ball. He made a crucial block late on to deny Norwich and has seemed to forge a good partnership with White.
Kieran Tierney (LB) – 7 – Another solid performance from the Scot. Was integral to our attacking build-up play as always and had no problems bombing forward, especially early.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles (RCM) – 6.5 – Didn’t look overly convincing in midfield but put a proper shift in and was one of the team’s top passers on the day. Performed better at right-back, but cramped up and had to come on. He looked tired, probably down to his lack of recent football.
Albert Sambi Lokonga (LCM) – 8 – Another excellent performance from the Belgian international, who looks like a fantastic signing already. He won five tackles and grew as the game went on, later making way for Thomas Partey.
Martin Odegaard (AM) – 7 – His passing was very good and performed well in a free role in and around the final third. Went about his defensive work with little fuss and was one of the main pressing triggers.
Nicolas Pepe (RM) – 5.5 – He looked lively early on and was an important part of Aubameyang's goal, but his first touch was all over the place, and was one of the reasons Norwich grew into the game.
Bukayo Saka (LM) – 7 - Most good things went through Saka, who looked his normal self. Grew into the game, especially in the second half and was much more dangerous once he started exploiting space.
Pierre Emerick Aubameyang (ST) © - 7.5 – While he wasn’t given too much to work with, he did fumble two big chances in the first half. His pressing game was good overall and the goal bumps him up a couple of ratings.
Substitutes and Manager
Thomas Partey (SUB) – 7 – He just makes the midfield better overall. Got half an hour of football into his legs and should cement a starting spot alongside Lokonga against Burnley with another week of training.
Emile Smith Rowe (SUB) – 7.5 – He was only given half an hour but the dynamic of the game flipped as soon as he came on. He changed the game and it’s no surprise Arsenal scored six minutes after his introduction
Cedric Soares (SUB) – N/A – Came on too late to properly impact the game, although did make a vital block late on.
Mikel Arteta (MANAGER) – 5.5 – Largely the right team given the circumstances and it seemed that he did change the attacking tactics for the first 20 minutes, but then the team reverted back to the tactics we’ve seen the Spaniard implement all too often.
The side takes on Burnley next and must use the victory as momentum going into the rest of the season.