Arsenal ratings: White dictates game but Aubameyang bailed out by youngsters in poor performance against WatfordNovember 7, 2021
BEN WHITE's fancy footwork and Emile Smith Rowe's finish gave Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta a reason to celebrate his 100th game in charge with a 1-0 win over Watford.
The Gunners started the game on the front foot and looked to take the lead after just eight minutes.
Buykao Saka had a goal disallowed after he was behind Ben Foster when he swept in an effort.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang saw his penalty saved by Foster after Danny Rose clattered into Alexandre Lacazette.
But it was Smith Rowe who broke the deadlock in the second half when his effort deflected in after the break.
The win moved Arsenal up into fifth, just behind West Ham and Liverpool in the Champions League spots.
Here’s how SunSport’s Frankie Christou rated the Gunners’ players against the Hornets.
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AARRON RAMSDALE – 6
After pulling off the save of the season against Leicester, Ramsdale hardly had much to do against Watford.
The ball was at his feet more than it was in hands as he helped the side build up attacks from the back.
Another box ticker for Gareth Southgate as nears what should be his first England start next week.
TAKEHIRO TOMIYASU – 7
What a bargain the Japan international is turning out to be.
A £19.5m coup from Bologna has paid off as the Japanese international is an absolute rock in defence.
He dealt with the trickery of Emmanuel Dennis and Ismaila Sarr with ease and linked up well with Saka down the right-hand side.
BEN WHITE – 8
Whether he is spraying balls from the back or going on a marauding run, nearly everything goes through the former Brighton man.
His spontaneous 30 yard runs took Watford’s midfield by surprise and carried the Gunners up the pitch on countless occasions.
And it was his fancy footwork on the edge of the box which finally saw Smith Rowe break the deadlock.
GABRIEL – 7
If White is slick and stylish then Gabriel is the brute bully in Arsenal's defence.
He is forming a formidable partnership alongside the England star as swept up and ruffled up Josh King.
And after getting on the scoresheet against Leicester, the Brazilian had a towering header denied by a great save from Ben Foster in the first half.
NUNO TAVARES – 7
Another solid performance from the left-back.
His pace and determination to get forward gives Arsenal an extra outlet in attack.
When Kieran Tierney is back to full fitness, Arteta will have a selection dilema on his hands.
AINSLEY MAITLAND-NILES – 7
It may have been his first Premier League start since September, but Maitland-Niles showed Arteta why he wants to play in central midfield.
Tenacious tackling and a zip in his passing, the England International offers something different to this Gunners side.
The England International may be getting a few more starts off the back of this performance.
ALBERT SAMBI LOKONGA – 6
A workhorse in midfield who is willing to do the dirty work.
He got stuck in when he needed to as he marshalled just in front of the defence.
A needless booking in the first half showed his inexperience as it meant he was walking on a tightrope for the rest of the game.
BUKAYO SAKA – 7
Danny Rose will be having nightmares tonight about the youngster because Saka showed just how far he has fallen from his Tottenham days.
Twisting and turning, the left-back could not keep up as the England international’s pace was too much for Rose.
The 20-year-old had the ball in the back of the net early on but it was ruled out for offside.
EMILE SMITH ROWE – 8
The Gunners are becoming so reliant on his quality.
It is mind-boggling that Gareth Southgatw snubbed him for this week’s England games.
He was willing to roll the dice and have a crack for his goal and it paid off. His third goal in as many games.
ALEXANDRE LACAZETTE – 6
Worked hard up top, holding up the ball and linking up play in the right moments.
He could not get it going in front of goal as he was too hesitant to pull the trigger.
He won the penalty which Aubameyang missed by just putting his body in the way and he never stopped running in the second half.
Hooked after 69 minutes.
PIERRE-EMERICK AUBAMEYANG – 5
Not his best performance in an Arsenal shirt.
His quality is there for everyone to see but a yellow card, a missed penalty and then stopping Martin Odegaard from putting the Gunners 2-0 up by tapping in his already goalbound effort from an offside position.
The skipper need to find his feet again as he was bailed out again by Arsenal’s youngsters.
MARTIN ODEGAARD – 6
Would have had a goal if Aubameyang did not try to steal his goal bound effort from under his nose.
GABRIEL MARTINELLI – N/A
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