Walcott Excels, Swans Struggle. Player Ratings: Arsenal 3-2 Swansea City


These are Fresh Football’s ratings for Arsenal’s Premier League win at home over Swansea City at the Emirates Stadium this Saturday:


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Petr Čech – 6.5

The veteran goalkeeper was brought into action occasionally in the first half, offering a few uneasy moments with his distribution, but, contrarily, the ex-Chelsea man kept himself composed between the sticks when saving a handful of attempts at goal late on from Leroy Fer and co.

Héctor Bellerín – 7

Arsenal’s right back was constant threat down the flanks, meanwhile also ushering the Swans’ attack away to the opposite wing with his defensive capabilities.

Shkodran Mustafi – 7

A sound performance from the German centre half yet again, whether it meant bringing the ball out from defence, threatening from set-pieces, or sweeping up play in behind Arsenal’s backline.

Laurent Koscielny – 7.5

Much like his centre back partner, Mustafi, Koscielny’s covering and reading of the game was near impeccable, in particular when dealing Modou Barrow on Arsenal’s left hand side.

Nacho Monreal – 6

Standard stuff from Arsenal left back Nacho Monreal, who was generally solid but will also be happy to see the back of Modou Barrow.

Granit Xhaka – 5

A day to forget for Granit Xhaka, despite a fairly calm demonstration in between both points of reference that will blemish his performance. The Swiss midfielder lost the ball in a dangerous area in the lead-up to Gylfi Sigurðsson’s goal, whereas his red card for a cynical tackle turned up the heat on an Arsenal side left to fend off a late onslaught on their 3-2 advantage.

Santi Cazorla – 7

An often casual-looking performance from Cazorla’s, whose work in the park looked typically effortless in Arsenal’s large phase of dominance. The diminutive playmaker also shifted quite well to a more conservative approach in the middle of the park following Xhaka’s red card.

Theo Walcott – 8

Walcott’s hot streak in front of goal continues with a first-half brace, gifting Arsenal a 2-0 lead with some old-fashioned goal-poaching. The winger might well have had a hat-trick on another day, too – hitting the woodwork twice in the latter stages of the game.

Mesut Özil – 7

The execution in his passes were uncharacteristically rusty in the first period, but began to look far more refined and familiar for the second half, as Özil made his presence felt with an inch-perfect volley for Arsenal’s third.

Alex Iwobi – 6.5

Iwobi was on hand to provide good interplay throughout the game, bursting into life early in the second half in a dazzling run that almost led to Walcott’s third, but the young Nigerian was then given a break when replaced by Francis Coquelin midway through the second period.

Alexis Sanchez – 6

The Chilean was typically lively when leading the line, but for all the enthusiasm, his touch appeared visibly off peak. Perhaps a consequence of the fatigue picked up from international duty, but Sanchez still found away to contribute with a looped pass for Özil’s goal.


Francis Coquelin – N/A

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – N/A

Kieran Gibbs – N/A

Swansea City

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Łukasz Fabiański – 5.5

The ex-Arsenal man pulled off an important stop in the latter stages from an individual effort by Bellerín to keep Swansea in the game, whereas there wasn’t a great deal that could be done for at least two of the three goals conceded by the visitors.

Kyle Naughton – 5

Not a memorable performance from Naughton, it must be said, with general memory throwing us the image of the full back chasing after Arsenal players and little else.

Federico Fernández – 4

Among the most disappointing for Swans this afternoon, the player took his eye off runners in behind on a consistent basis and could easily have been punished on another day for it.

Jordi Amat – 4.5

Not quite as neglectful as his partner in crime, but the Spaniard was arguably at fault for Theo Walcott’s opener and went on to waste a good opportunity from a set-piece as the first half came to a close.

Neil Taylor – 4

Often tormented by the pace of Walcott and Bellerín, Taylor ended up resorting to physicality and picked up a yellow card for his troubles, limiting him further with coping with the dangers in his flank.

Jack Cork – 5

Quiet and unspectacular from the former Chelsea man, but it always looked as though it’d be that way up against an in-form Arsenal side.

Leon Britton – 4.5

Swansea looked towards a diminutive playmaker of their own to ease some of the strain caused by Arsenal’s dominance; a task too demanding of for a 34-year-old Leon Britton on the day, who was later subbed off for Borja Baston.

Leroy Fer – 4.5

The Dutchman relinquished possession far too often in the middle of the park and, perhaps, should have done more in front of goal when the opportunity presented itself.

Modou Barrow – 7

Another impressive performance from Barrow, who’s threat kept Swansea in the game.

Wayne Routledge 4.5

More often than not found tracking back in a fairly low-key display.

Gylfi Sigurðsson – 6.5

Another rare glimpse of hope for Swansea, coming from their star man. Gylfi Sigurðsson was on hand to capitalise on Xhaka’s mistake and pull a goal back, whereas his set-pieces promised to be the most likely avenue for an equaliser all afternoon.


Borja Baston – 6

Came on to make an impact and did just that when handing Swansea a lifeline with his first goal for his new club.

Ki Sung-Yeung – N/A

Àngel Rangel – N/A