Arsenal had to work hard to go past relegation-threatened Cardiff City yesterday night. Two goals from their premium strikers Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang secured a 2-1 win for them in the end.
Arsenal were the home side but it was Cardiff City who started the game strongly. Bobby Reid was a constant menace for the Gunners defence, and there were some frantic goalmouth action in the Arsenal half. The Gunners had a penalty shout, but the referee was having none of it. The Bluebirds deservedly went in level at half time.
Cardiff were punished for not being clinical in the final third and Aubameyang converted from the spot after Kolasinac was brought down in the box. Lacazette added the second after a brilliant solo run, and that wrapped up three points for Emery’s men. Cardiff added a consolation goal in injury time, but it was too little too late.
Bernd Leno 6
Didn’t have much to do. Couldn’t have done much to prevent the goal. Distributed the ball well.
Shkodran Mustafi 6
Made some crucial blocks and interceptions. Was limping but Emery would be glad that he carried on.
Nacho Monreal 5.5
Looked stretched for most of the first half as he was trusted to play in an unfamiliar centre back role. Was shown a yellow card for committing a foul in a dangerous area. Improved as the game went on.
Stephan Lichsteiner 5
The veteran was found struggling in the full back role. Was substituted early.
Mohamed Elneny 5
Almost non-existent in the first half and was substituted at half time for a more attacking option in Iwobi. A below par 45 minutes for the Egyptian.
Sead Kolasinac 7.5
Worked like a maniac down the left. It was his run which earned the Gunners a penalty. Always looked threatening while going forward.
Lucas Torreira 6.5
Like always, did the nitty gritty job well in midfield. Moved forward when presented with an opportunity.
Mateo Guendouzi 8
Best man in midfield for Arsenal. Covered every blade of grass. Always looked positive on the ball and tried to get it forward. Worked his socks off on the night.
Mesut Ozil 6
Didn’t have the kind of impact which the manager would have wanted from him. Did alright but nothing special to talk about.
Pierre Emerick Aubameyang 6.5
Was isolated for the most parts of the game. Just wasn’t his day as none of the balls landed in his zone. However, scored the most crucial goal of the game as he converted from the spot.
Alexandre Lacazette 7.5
His movement up front was outstanding, and he scored a brilliant solo goal in the end to give his side a comfortable win. His energy until the very final whistle was fantastic.
Alex Iwobi 7
Played a smart pass to Kolasinac and the fullback was fouled inside the box which earned the Gunners a penalty. Made a positive impact after coming on.
Carl Jenkinson 6
Did his job well after coming on for Lichsteiner.
Aaron Ramsey 6
Provided fresh legs. Should have scored from a free header.