Football

Arsenal 2-0 Borussia Dortmund: Player ratings

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Arsenal confirmed their place in the Champions League knockout stages with an impressive 2-0 victory over Borussia Dortmund at the Emirates, producing the kind of reaction Gunners boss Arsene Wenger would demand after a three-match winless run.

Wenger made the bold decision to replace stricken Danny Welbeck with Yaya Sanogo and the much-criticised French youngster delivered, opening the scoring with his first goal for the club after just two minutes.

The Gunners controlled possession and territory from that point on and doubled their advantage just before the hour mark courtesy of a curler from Alexis Sanchez, but he was far from the only player to shine in a morale-boosting win for the home side.

Player Ratings pleasant reading for Arsenal fans

Damian Martinez - 7 -Young Argentine goalkeeper made one superb save from Henrikh Mkhitaryan early on and that stop clearly settled any early nerves. Relative passenger from that point on, but did enough to suggest he can capably cover for Wojciech Szczesny in the short term.

Kieran Gibbs - 7 - Pace was called upon to stop Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang breaking in-behind on more than one first-half occasion. Was afford plenty of time on the ball from deep, which is unlike Dortmund.

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Nacho Monreal - 6 - A quiet night for the Spaniard and one he will have appreciated after being hunt out to dry late on against United. Clean sheet will have gone someway to restoring shattered confidence given the calibre of opposition.

Per Mertesacker - 7 - Far more composed and comfortable than against United, also used his aerial advantages to get rid of danger consistently. Quick pass to Cazorla also played a key role in providing the platform for Sanchez to score the second goal.

Calum Chambers - 7 - Plenty of attacking endeavour in the England international's showing, regularly linking up with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to create danger in the final third. Final ball still needs work though, the only major criticism of a strong showing.

Mikel Arteta - 6 - Silly booking early on put him under pressure, with the challenge deep inside Dortmund's needless however harsh the yellow card. Looked steady and aware of his pivotal position in midfield thereafter, until worryingly leaving the field with yet another hamstring problem midway through the second half.

Aaron Ramsey - 7 - Given licence to get forward and showed signs a return to form isn't too far, with his passing in particular a vast improvement on recent showings. Also showed the tactical nous to sit deeper in the last 25 minutes to help Arsenal maintain their lead.

Santi Cazorla - 9 (Man of the match) - Justified Wenger's decision to have him replace Jack Wilshere with a wonderful showing, punishing Dortmund for giving him the time and space to thrive in attacking areas. Clever flick set up for Sanogo for the first and a pinpoint crossfield pass helped Sanchez score the second. Easily the little Spaniard's best game of the season.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain - 8 - Speed demon is clearly enjoying a regular run in the side and looked a constant menace all night, driving forward with pace and purpose down both flanks. Extremely unlucky to see an opportunistic volley come back off the crossbar.

Alexis Sanchez - 8 - Chilean magician is an absolute joy to watch, chasing down every lost cause and showing quality in possession when it matters most. Scored his 13th goal for Arsenal tonight, imagine what he'll be capable of after the initial adjustment period is over?

Yaya Sanogo - 7 - Tremendous start for the Frenchman saw him catch Dortmund cold with a maiden strike from close range. Was slightly offside but won't care one bit. Used his physical presence to offer Arsenal an out ball until feeling pain in his hamstring late on. This would have sounded stupid before kick off but Wenger needs him fit and firing.

Substitues:

Mathieu Flamini - 6 - Came on for Arteta at a very similar time against Anderlecht, but this time had plenty of support in that deeper central midfield position. May be needed to start against West Brom this weekend.

Lukas Podolski - 5 - Barely had time to make an impact in a rare appearance from the bench.

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Topics:
UEFA Champions League
Arsenal
Premier League
Football

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