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Arsenal 3-0 Manchester City: Player ratings

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Arsenal beat Manchester City convincingly.
Arsenal beat Manchester City convincingly..

Arsenal produced an impressive display to defeat reigning Premier League champions Manchester City 3-0 and lift the Community Shield at Wembley on Sunday.

An irresistible first-half showing - featuring goals from midfield duo Santi Cazorla and Aaron Ramsey - gave the Gunners a comfortable advantage going into the break, one that was truly hammered home in exquisite fashion by Olivier Giroud in the second half.

GMS was present to witness the Premier League’s traditional curtain-raiser, and here is how we rated the participants…

Manchester City

Willy Caballero - 6

Chosen to start ahead of England stalwart Joe Hart, Spaniard Caballero - who joined City from Manuel Pellegrini’s former club Malaga this summer - could do little about Arsenal’s first two goals, but will have been disappointed to be beaten quite so easily from Giroud’s quality strike.

Showed good speed and reflexes to thwart Sanchez in the first half as he looked to race onto a through ball from Sanogo.

Gael Clichy - 6

Coming up against his former club, Clichy was energetic and made a crucial first-half intervention with his head to deny Sanogo.

Guilty of conceding possession too cheaply on occasion and should probably have done more to attempt to thwart Ramsey before he doubled Arsenal’s lead.

Matija Nastasic - 6

Has been the subject of rumours linking him with a move to Arsenal in recent weeks, although was unable to do much to really persuade Arsene Wenger of his credentials and potential here.

Showed good strength to deal with the threat of Sanogo early on. No major mistakes to speak of and by no means City’s worst performer.

Dedryck Boyata - 5

Still somewhat of an unknown quantity to many despite having made his City debut back in 2010, Boyata also showcased his physicality in an attempt to nullify Sanogo in the first half.

His heavy tackle allowed Cazorla to collect possession for Arsenal’s opener, while he will be annoyed at his inability to stop Sanogo in the build-up to the second goal. Went close with a header from a corner late on, but saw the ball drift agonisingly wide of the far post.

Aleksandar Kolarov - 6

Always a willing runner, Kolarov was frequently available as an attacking threat down City’s left-hand side.

Looked lively coming forward and linked-up well with Navas and Silva on occasion.

Yaya Toure - 5

A surprisingly ineffective display from the powerful Ivorian. Relatively tidy in possession and made tackles, but City really missed his driving runs from midfield. Looked reluctant to join in with attacks, presumably due to fears concerning Arsenal’s fearsome pace on the break.

Fernando - 5

The other main arrival of what has been an uncharacteristically quiet transfer window for City, Fernando was tasked with shielding the back line alongside Toure.

Registered one or two important blocks but looked to struggle with the sheer speed and guile of Arsenal’s attacks. Booked for a pull-back on a rampaging Wilshere.

Samir Nasri - 5

As expected, the Frenchman was greeted by a hostile reception from the Arsenal supporters. Mercilessly booed every time he picked up possession, Nasri struggled to make much of an impact to silence his critics.

City fans did their utmost to lift his spirits but to little avail. Replaced by the sprightly David Silva at half-time.

Jesus Navas - 6

A largely anonymous first-half display from Navas, who struggled to get much change out of Gibbs. Slightly improved after the interval, his excellent cross resulted in Jovetic crashing a header against the woodwork.

He will need to be better and far more consistent to prove to Pellegrini that he is worthy of a regular starting role at the Etihad.

Stevan Jovetic - 7

Arguably City’s best performer and one of their hardest workers on an otherwise disappointing afternoon.

He has been in superb goalscoring form during pre-season and was unlucky not to add to his tally here after hitting the post with a header six minutes into the second half.

Often forced deep to pick up possession, particularly in the early stages, the Serbian international also had a fierce shot saved impressively by the diving Szczesny.

Frustrations began to show late on but he will have done his chances of featuring more regularly this season no harm at all with this showing.

Edin Dzeko - 5

An afternoon for forget for Dzeko, who struggled to influence proceedings aside from one impressive burst of pace in the first half that could have resulted in a City goal had his final ball been slightly better. Replaced by James Milner on the hour mark and will not have been pleased with his overall lack of contribution.

Subs:

David Silva - 6

A good cameo from the Spaniard, who was the catalyst for City’s mini-revival prior to Giroud’s all-important third goal.

Was ultimately unable to get his team back into contention but showed some nice touches and flicks going forward. Will surely be a regular once again in the Premier League this season.

James Milner - 6

England midfielder made no major impact on the game after replacing Dzeko. A relentless grafter who can perhaps often be accused of displaying a lack of quality, Milner is clearly trusted by Pellegrini but was never likely to swing the game back in City’s favour here.

Bruno Zuculini - 5

Only joined City last week, moving to England in a £3 million deal from Argentine outfit Racing Club. He may have been slightly surprised to feature so early on in his Citizens career and will have felt the pressure to perform after replacing Toure with 30 minutes still remaining.

Micah Richards - N/A

Replaced Kolarov with around 14 minutes to play. Richards will have undoubtedly been eager to impress Pellegrini and any potential suitors on a rare first-team outing but there was little he could have done so late with City already staring at a three-goal deficit.

Scott Sinclair - N/A

The lesser-spotted Sinclair has barely featured at all for City since his move from Swansea, spending the 2013/14 campaign on loan at West Brom. Entered the fray in place of Navas with five minutes remaining and was very unlucky to have conceded a late free-kick after Szczesny flew head-first in his direction outside the penalty area.


Arsenal

Wojciech Szczesny - 6

A relatively comfortable afternoon for the Pole, who was untroubled before the break and displayed great reflexes to save from Jovetic after half-time.

Showed good bravery to compete with the City striker in the air, but that bravery bordered on the reckless when he raced out of his goal to dive at the onrushing Sinclair.

Mathieu Debuchy - 7

A solid display from Debuchy, who has been brought in from Newcastle in order to fill the void left by Bacary Sagna. Provided a good attacking outlet on the right early on, threatening with a number of overlaps and dangerous crosses.

The need for him to push forward decreased considerably as the match wore on, but he was also resolute in defence and strong in the tackle.

Calum Chambers - 7

An impressive showing from another of Arsenal’s new recruits. Chambers - who joined the Gunners from Southampton last month - displayed impressive maturity, strength and composure at the heart of the backline, alongside both Koscielny and Monreal.

Laurent Koscielny - 6

A drama-free shift for Koscielny, who had preciously little to do before being substituted at half-time. Did not have to deal too often with Jovetic who was dropping deep, while Dzeko posed little threat.

Kieran Gibbs - 6

Shackled the threat of Navas relatively well and was keen to get forward when he could. Another good display from the left-back whose lack of consistent international recognition is a mystery.

Providing he stays injury-free, another strong season will surely see him drafted into Roy Hodgson’s Three Lions squad on a regular basis.

Mikel Arteta - 6

Never likely to receive much of the limelight compared to his more illustrious midfield teammates, but Arteta continues to do the simple things well. The former Everton man keeps Arsenal ticking over and his position in front of the back four allows the likes of Ramsey to surge forward into the box.

Wenger confirmed after the victory that Arteta will replace the recently-departed Thomas Vermaelen as captain on a full-time basis.

Aaron Ramsey - 7

Ramsey’s incredible progress last season was unfairly stunted by injury, but all of the signs are pointing towards another good campaign for the Welshman this time around. Took his goal very well indeed and was given a rousing ovation after being substituted.

Santi Cazorla - 8

A very exciting first-half display from Spaniard Cazorla, who was dangerous in possession and contributed frequently to Arsenal’s fluid attack.

Showed superb composure and accuracy amid a crowd of defenders to pick his spot for the opener. Has been subject to plenty of transfer rumours in recent months, but Gunners fans will be desperate for him to stay if he can keep up this sort of form.

Jack Wilshere - 8

Arsenal’s attacking midfield unit were evidently all eager to impress and Wilshere was certainly no different. Demonstrated some quick, nifty passing in and around the City penalty box and was a real menace when breaking forward with pace.

Alexis Sanchez - 6

An encouraging 45-minute spell from the Chilean, who joined Arsenal from Barcelona for a hefty fee earlier this summer. A real live wire on the ball, he was perhaps a little too eager to force things at times and that resulted in a couple of promising moves breaking down.

He was denied a goal by the speed of Cabellero and replaced by Oxlade-Chamberlain at half-time.

Yaya Sanogo - 6

Sanogo showed some good movement but he needs to be stronger and more physically assertive at times.

Did well to shrug off Boyata in the build-up to Ramsey’s goal and also provided a good pass for Sanchez, who was just pipped to the ball by Caballero as he raced towards the 18-yard box.

Subs:

Nacho Monreal - 6

Given a slightly unfamiliar role at centre-back in place of Koscielny but did not look particularly out of place alongside the impressive figure of Chambers.

Olivier Giroud - 7

Giroud did not need to exert himself too much during his 45-minute outing, but was still named as the official Man of the Match thanks to a sumptuous second-half strike that beat Caballero all ends up and extended Arsenal’s lead at a time when City were starting to come back into the game.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain - 6

A relatively quiet display from the Ox, who replaced Sanchez at the break. Arsenal simply had no need to commit numbers forward after Giroud had made it 3-0.

Mathieu Flamini - 6

Entered proceedings in place of Wilshere with around 20 minutes left to play. Wenger’s side were content to see out the game at this stage and Flamini helped them to do so without ruining Szczesny’s deserved clean sheet.

Tomas Rosicky - 6

Despite his advancing years, the ‘Little Mozart’ still obviously commands considerable affection from the Arsenal faithful. Replaced Cazorla on the 70-minute mark but had little time to really make his presence felt.

Joel Campbell - N/A

The only slight disappointment of a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon for those buoyant Arsenal supporters may have been that they did not get to see more of Campbell.

There is much excitement and expectation surrounding the Costa Rican striker following strides made last season on loan at Olympiacos and during an impressive World Cup, but he only saw four minutes at Wembley after replacing Ramsey.

Topics:
Premier League
Arsenal
Football
Manchester City
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