Arsenal 2-1 Newcastle United: Player ratings

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Arsene Wenger may be well short of building a side worthy of a title challenge, but his Arsenal players showed they have some of the genetic make-up required with another late winner, this time against Newcastle United.

Thomas Vermaelen struck in the fifth minute of stoppage time to leave the Gunners just a point off rivals Tottenham Hotspur with 10 league games remaining, the shortening of a gap that owes as much to Wenger's side's resurgence as it does to Spurs' Spring-time failings.

Meanwhile, Newcastle's top four ambitions look dead and buried, however, given the modest expectations of the club at the start of the season, a top six finish would represent an excellent campaign.

GMF looks at who stuck out at The Emirates Stadium on Monday evening……


Wojciech Sczesny - 5

Committed a goalkeeping sin when he was beaten at his near post by Hatem Ben Arfa. Had little more to deal with through the remainder of the evening.

Bacary Sagna - 7

Nullified the threat of Gutierrez and constantly galloped up the right hand side proving a constant threat.

Thomas Vermaelen - 8

Shrugged off an early injury to provide assurance at the back. The unlikely source of the late winner.

Laurent Koscielny - 8

As convincing an Arsenal performance during his two seasons at the club. Keeping Newcastle's top marksman Demba Ba quiet throughout.

Keiran Gibbs - 6

Inexplicably allowed Ben Arfa onto his deadly left foot in the penalty area for the opener, but shepherded the Frenchman out of the game thereafter.

Tomas Rosicky - 7

Defined Arsenal's energy in the second period, continually driving from midfield. Showed a desire on the ball many of his opponents lacked.

Mikel Arteta - 7

Kept things ticking over in his withdrawn midfield role, allowing Rosicky to take control. How Arsenal could have done with him against Milan.

Theo Walcott - 8

Perhaps his most rounded performance of the season. Created problems for Santon in the first half, while with two assists, he banished those final ball critics.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain - 6

On the periphery of the game throughout. Was shadowed well when he did receive the ball, but cut a frustrated figure when substituted.

Alex Song - 7

Part of the midfield trio that spearheaded the late win. Moved the ball effectively around Newcastle's two-man central midfield.

Robin van Persie - 7

Struck decisively, as ever, to draw the hosts level but a second half missed chance was the highlight from then on. Clashes with Tim Krul undermined his evenings work.


Gervinho - 6

Aaron Ramsey - 6

Newcastle United

Tim Krul - 7

Made an excellent save from Vermaelen's header, but was helpless for both goals. Good service from the ground.

Fabricio Coloccini - 8

Didn't deserve to be on the losing side. Put his body on the line when it mattered, and made a crucial block from Walcott's effort.

Davide Santon - 6

Santon took the fall for Newcastle's failure to cut the service to Walcott. Out of position for the equaliser however.

Danny Simpson - 8

The strength of his positioning showed as Arsenal continued to attack down Newcastle's left. Marked Chamberlain and Gervinho out of the game.

Mike Williamson - 7

Immense in the air as always, but his lack of mobility allowed Van Persie to equalise. Missed header led to the winner.

Yohan Cabaye - 6

An overall quiet evening, with defensive duties dominating his workload. Often a sitting duck among Arsenal's quick passing.

Hatem Ben Arfa - 6

Struck brilliantly to give The Toon the lead, but made few contributions afterwards. Too often tempted to take on players.

Jonas Gutierrez - 6

Spent most of the evening in his own half, toiling against Sagna and Walcott. Wasteful when possession did come his way.

Cheich Tiote - 8

Dominant in the middle of the park, and Newcastle notably faded after his substitution. Quickly becoming the Premier League's best holding midfielder.

Gabriel Obertan - 5

Laid the ball on for Ben Arfa, but like too many of his teammates, found getting involves afterwards difficult. Horribly careless with the ball.

Demba Ba - 5

Really only thrived when Ameobi was introduced, but until then had been cut adrift from the rest of Newcastle's attack. Ineffectual throughout.


James Perch - 7

Shola Ameobi - 7

Danny Guthrie - 6

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