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Assessing Arsenal: Gunners get glimpse of future, Pol-SMASH-ski, Ozil back

Arsenal devastated Coventry City by a 4-0 score to progress into the pot for the 5th round of the FA Cup. Here, we provide player ratings for the Gunners.

Arsenal defeated Coventry City on a rare Friday evening match-up on January 24 at the Emirates Stadium. The visiting Sky Blues were hit for four, with a brace from Lukas Podolski and goals from Olivier Giroud and Santi Cazorla doing the damage.

While it is the accomplished first-team players who will hog the headlines for busting the net, equal applause deserves to go to rampaging right back Carl Jenkinson and mirroring left back Kieran Gibbs from their attacks from the back, Mesut Ozil for putting his awful form behind him and showing once again his class and, of course, to the young guns - to teenage starlet Serge Gnabry and to substitute debutant Gedion Zelalem who, at just 16, looks set for a bright future.

Here are the player ratings:

Lukasz Fabianski - 7

Forced into making a Hollywood save after a surging run and super shot from Coventry's Carl Baker two minutes after Lukas Podolski's opener. Denied Leon Clark, in front of the attacker's own fans, within minutes of play resuming in the second half.

Carl Jenkinson - 8

Played with great adventure… so much so, that his runs down the flank, as well as his crossing from wide, proved fundamental to Arsenal's attacks. It was his job to fling that football into the six-yard line and he did - often - creating all kinds of problems.

Per Mertesacker - 8

Perfectly-placed for a corner - a free-kick drill taken straight from the training ground - where he dutifully flicked the ball on with his noggin so that his Germany mate Lukas Podolski could capitalise like a predator from a yard or so out - nice assist from Per.

Laurent Koscielny - 7.5

Began accomplished moves from the back, passing with a good accuracy. As usual, was an exquisite interceptor of the ball.

Kieran Gibbs - 7

Started as a left back but played well all the way down the left wing. On the hour mark, his activity in the penalty box led to a great pass into the six-yard line but there were cruelly no team-mates positioned there, thus wasting what could have been a key chance. Provided a classic cut-back to assist Olivier Giroud for the club's third.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain - 7

Arsene Wenger's proclamation that Oxlade-Chamberlain is a future Steven Gerrard attracted a unison shake of the head by non-Arsenal/neutral fans, yet, positioned centrally, the Ox performed admirably before he was withdrawn and replaced by Mathieu Flamini due to fatigue.

Jack Wilshere - 7.5

Occupied a deep position but played the role of pass picker and there were times he really delivered, finding space for his team-mates with a vision only found from elite level operators.

Mesut Ozil - 8

His perfectly-weighted ball to Podolski saw his team-mate with the Gunners and with Germany secure the game's first goal, after just a quarter of an hour. Hit the outside of the post when he was attempting to grab Arsenal's fifth.

Serge Gnabry - 7

The subtleties in his game are great. Dips of the shoulder, feints, his poise. Class, young player.

Lukas Podolski - 8.5

Got the game's first goal with a cheeky, confident finish and then, ten minutes later, pounced on a Per nodded assist to double his tally.

Nicklas Bendtner - 5

Struck an air shot in what is already on Vine and Twitter, clumsily finished just after the 60 minutes after a number of team-mates were attempting to pass the ball into the net and the Dane ended up lashing the shot high. And wide.

Substitutions: Santi Cazorla - 7, Olivier Giroud - 7, and Gedion Zelalem.

image: © sdhansay

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