Arsenal welcomed their London rivals Chelsea at the Emirates this weekend, as the two teams were keen to win this high intensity battle. Both sides were unbeaten in their last five games in all competitions and Arsene Wenger would have wanted a good solid display from his side. On the other hand, Guus Hiddink would have been happy to take something back home from this match as well. The game started off well, with both sides playing some good football.
Just when it seemed that both sides had settled into the match, Per Mertesacker made a late challenge on the 18th minute on striker Diego Costa and he was shown red. The defensiver superstar was sent off, as he could not get anything on the ball and Olivier Giroud had to be sacrificed, as a result of that. Further, the Spanish international scored for Chelsea on the 23rd minute, which would have frustrated the home fans further. The hosts did try their best to make something out of the game with their ten men, though they were unable to equalize and it eventually ended 1-0 on the night.
Petr Cech: 3/5
Tried to make the save from the Costa shot and was beaten. Did everything asked of him apart from that to keep his side in the game, despite being down to ten men.
Nacho Monreal: 3/5
Defended well on the left and looked good pushing forward as well.
Per Mertesacker: 1/5
Had a decent start to the game till he made that late challenge on Diego Costa which saw him sent off in such an important fixture.
Laurent Koscielny: 2.5/5
Could have done better in order to prevent the goal that was conceded by his side, but looked apart from that in the game as his side was down to ten men. Could have easily given away a penalty as well for a challenge on Cesc Fabregas, though he was lucky to get away with that.
Hector Bellerin: 3/5
Though he was not the most composed player on the ball, made a vital contribution in keeping the game alive for his side.
Mathieu Flamini: 2/5
Got close to scoring thrice, though he showed why he doesn’t get too many goals. Also, nearly gave away a penalty in the match.
Aaron Ramsey: 3/5
Looked to create goals and nearly put his front-men through on a few occasions, though there were no goals and put in a good shift.
Mesut Ozil: 2.5/5
Could not make a major impact in the game as his side were down to ten men. Looked a bit better since the arrival of Alexis Sanchez.
Theo Walcott: 2.5/5
Judged offside quite a few times as he looked to push forward and score goals.
Joel Campbell: 2.5/5
Did not really trouble the Chelsea defence in the game and was a mere spectator for most of the match before being taken off.
Olivier Giroud: 2.5/5
Surprisingly replaced to bring on Gabriel, after the sending off.
Gabriel Paulista: 2.5/5
Came on for Olivier Giroud after the sending off and gave Costa too much free space to make a run and score.
Alexis Sanchez: 3/5
Brought new life to the Arsenal attack with his energy filled performance and invited a lot of fouls on him as he made some good runs.
Alex Oxlade Chamberlain: 2.5/5
Got a few good chances to make an impact on the game, though he failed to do so.