A 4-1 final score might have glossed over the difficulties this game presented, but it was all about the result.
Here’s how the players rated.
Wojciech Szczesny: 7/10 – Like the game against QPR pulled off a big save that proved decisive. Had Kone scored early in the second half the game might have proved a lot more difficult but he came out, spread himself well and made a massively important stop.
Bacary Sagna: 7/10 – On what might be his final home Arsenal appearance it was good to see him look positive and comfortable, aided and abetted by a disciplined Theo Walcott performance too.
Per Mertesacker: 8/10 – Dependable, reliable, efficient, calming and consistent. Can’t ask for much more.
Laurent Koscielny: 8/10 – See above, and add athletic. Made a great acrobatic clearance in the first half. Should be given a wedgie for his miss though.
Kieran Gibbs: 7/10 – Coped well with the threat of the livewire McManaman and got forward well. Some sloppy passing towards the end of the first half contributed to our wobble though.
Mikel Arteta: 6/10 – Looks like a long season has caught up with him, struggled to be as influential as usual and with a season low pass completion rate of 78% he might not have been fully fit going into this one.
Aaron Ramsey: 7/10 – Storming first half, made great tackles and interceptions, before going through a period in the second half where it looked like he was playing on an ice rink. In wellies. Came through that, his effort was top class, as usual, and thoroughly deserved his goal.
Tomas Rosicky: 7/10 – Kept things ticking over and while not on the ball as much as you might like, set the tone with constant chasing and harrying, and a couple of trademark sliders.
Santi Cazorla: 9/10 – Credited with 4 assists (although Ramsey still had plenty to do after taking the ball), he was denied a goal himself by a brilliant double save, and added the necessary creativity to the side. His talent is sublime and it was noticeable how much more effective he is when those ahead of him provide him with something to aim at.
Theo Walcott: 9/10 – His best game of the season for me. Married a decisive attacking performance with a disciplined defensive one. He hasn’t always been so switched on this season, chasing back, winning tackles in our box, and if he could play with that sort of desire in every game he’d be a far less divisive figure. Let’s hope this is his blueprint.
Lukas Podolski: 8/10 – Seems churlish to point out he found it hard going again up front when he scored twice, but he did. That doesn’t take away from his double though and although subbed again played an important part in a big win.
Jack Wilshere: 6/10 – Got a run out in the final home game, was about to come on to save the day just before Walcott scored, but was able to play without the pressure. May well be needed for Sunday in the absence of Arteta.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain: 6/10 – Came on.
Thomas Vermaelen: n/a – Not on long enough to rate
Mike Dean: He gets baldy cheating twat out of 10