Arsenal player ratings v Palace: Ox is back with a bang!

Alex Oxlade Chamberlain

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain scored twice at the Emirates Stadium as Arsenal beat Crystal Palace 2-0 on Sunday. Here's how the Gunners rated.

Wojciech Szczesny - 8/10

The Polish shot stopper was at his no-nonsense best, making a great save to deny Cameron Jerome in the second half and being first to every ball he had to come out to chase. This was Arsenal's 11th clean sheet of the Premier League season and that statistic is in no small part down to their goalkeeper.

Bacary Sagna - 8/10

Speaking of no nonsense, Bacary Sagna was not standing for anything down the right-hand side today, tackling everything in sight. The Frenchman was especially good at fashioning chances after winning the ball, playing several forward-thinking passes throughout the game.

Nacho Monreal - 7/10

The left-back did well for the Gunners today, forcing a great save from Julian Speroni in the first half and getting forward as much as he could. Made several good tackles at the back, as well.

Per Mertesacker - 6/10

The German didn't do much wrong but nor did he excel particularly. Arsenal's clean sheet was perhaps more down to Per Mertesacker's defensive partners today, with the tall centre-back looking a little slow once or twice, especially when he was booked late on.

Laurent Koscielny - 7/10

This was another good display from the Frenchman, who was not noticeable for anything in particular, meaning he was efficient in all the little things that he did. Often chipped in with set pieces in attack, while generally defending well throughout the 90 minutes.

Mikel Arteta - 7/10

The Spaniard's short passing was particularly pleasing for Arsene Wenger today, as he provided his team-mates with clever through balls both in the middle of the park and in the final third.

Santi Cazorla - 8/10

Creativity and trickery are two things you will always get from Santi Cazorla and yesterday was no exception, as he worked his magic to create chances all day long. The 29-year-old linked up particularly well with the Ox and produced several dreamy passes in the second half.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain - 9/10

The win could well be remembered as an important day in Arsenal's season. The Gunners are currently short in midfield and, for 45 minutes, they looked haunted by the absence of Jack Wilshere, Aaron Ramsey and Mathieu Flamini. In the second half, however, Oxlade-Chamberlain stepped up to the plate and scored not one but two superb goals, while also being his side's chief playmaker on the day.

Mesut Ozil - 7/10

As always with the German, his performance looked effortless. There were hardly any beads of sweat or desperate runs - but there was creative passing and skill on the ball. The Arsenal man unlocked the Palace defence on a few occasions and played his part well, without shining too brightly.

Lukas Podolski - 8/10

Another German to impress today, Lukas Podolski was a real handful for the Gunners down the left-hand side. Time after time, Podolski would take on his man, beat him and deliver a good cross or shot at goal. His finishing could have been better but he will continue to impress if he keeps up these kind of performances.

Olivier Giroud - 7/10

With the creativity in behind him, Olivier Giroud must be used to playing a more low-key role these days. Today was the perfect example, as the Frenchman worked hard and played his part in several Arsenal attacks but did not really get on the end of anything in the final third.


Tomas Rosicky - 8/10

For a late substitute, the Czech midfielder was simply sublime. His first involvement was to give Oxlade-Chamberlain the ball for his second goal and his contributions thereafter kept Arsenal ticking along brilliantly.

Kieran Gibbs - 6/10

Got involved as much as he could but was never going to change much as an 84th-minute substitute.

Nicklas Bendtner - 6/10

His appearance late on was largely ceremonial - and he was just two minutes away from sharing a pitch with Marouane Chamakh once again (the Palace striker was brought off just before the Dane came on.)

image: © Ronnie Macdonald

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