It wasn’t the prettiest night of football anyone will ever see, but we needed three points and we got them. It took until the 60th minute to have a shot on target, and that was Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s penalty! Alexandre Lacazette made it 2-0, and of course we couldn’t do the simple thing and keep a clean sheet, but in the end hung on to take the win as Manchester United dropped two points to Burnley.

Read the Arsenal 2-1 Cardiff match report and see the goals here

Here’s how the players rated tonight.

Ratings

The ratings are now hidden by default until you vote, but if you just want to view the ratings and the comments, flick the switch at the top above Bernd Leno. Also, give the ratings a few seconds to load.

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Penfield
Penfield

I fuckin’ love Guendouzi. Dunno why, I just love the way he plays

Highberry
Highberry

I feel the same way. He is a competitor that does not like to lose. We need more like him.

santori
santori

He was good. Some great through balls as well first half.

BUT Iwobi the difference when he came on today.

And Mustafi with a VITAL block first half.

goonshow
goonshow

Santa just get over your nerves and ask Alex out ffs!

clins
clins

I love me some laccazette as well. True fighter. If i’d bet any guy to make the difference for arsenal i would bet on him

Rayk 47

Also, lacazette’s attitude is excellent. Getting along with auba, refusing to goad the fans’ booing when he’s subbed off early, tracking back like a champ… love the guy!

Chamackhyungpark
Chamackhyungpark

I would go as far as he is the only player in the team that is not replaceable

ODB
ODB

I see where you’re coming from but I’ll definitely add Torreira to that list. Just the two of them really.

Gooooooonnnnaaaaaaaa
Gooooooonnnnaaaaaaaa

The first paragraph of this article is the best summary of a football match I’ve ever seen 😂

Hair of Guendouzi
Hair of Guendouzi

I don’t think Ozil will start against City with that kind of performance

A P
A P

With the number of games he get to play and formation, one would almost think Emery is out to sabotage Ozil in making him not match fit and not employing his strengths.

Pat Rice and Beans
Pat Rice and Beans

MOTM in my humble opinion.

Can’t understand the vitriol towards the boy. He’s only 19 yo, coming from the darkness of Ligue 2 right into action in the so called best league in the world, so it’s normal to have a couple bad games. Think he’s one of the best players of the season so far, behind Auba, Laca, Bellerin and Torreira .

And f*ck you Mike Dean.

Guendouzispirit

For all the negativity with the United result brings back perspective after their hilarious points dropped at home to Burnley haha. So much for their fans typical goading. Came back to bite them back in their stupid arses.

Ross
Ross

I think jenkinson might be our best option right now…..scary

MateKiddleton
MateKiddleton

We actually looked a lot better with him on

Pkub
Pkub

Lord Jenko came on in the 60th min & first goal came 6min later, says all. Game chenger.

Pkub
Pkub

Changer*

utk
utk

Still think AMN deserves a good chance there. It’s obvious Jenko is off in the summer and it might be better for us in the long-run to invest that playing time into AMN who may still have a future at Arsenal. Hope AMN comes back from his small injury in time for City!

Mpls
Mpls

Boo to wet blankets.

Water
Water

Hmmmm

GoonerJust
GoonerJust

Better Jenko than Stephan

Mpls
Mpls

Yay to Arsenal bed quilts!

Bring back David Hillier

Is Jenko the man without a face?

santori
santori

Just a level too high for him.

He tries his best.

BUT just not the quality we need. Still Lichsteiner for 90K…

Hair of Guendouzi
Hair of Guendouzi

Would like to see him more on the pitch

Anonymarse
Anonymarse

Mike Dean is always a twat

double98
double98

Did we not petition that he never ref another arsenal game again… why wont he retire?

Fireman Sam
Fireman Sam

He’ll have to retire soon, to Cuntsville-on-sea

myrtle
myrtle

Cuntsville on c

goonshow
goonshow

Cuntsville with a c

Anonymarse
Anonymarse

How about Cunthorpe

santori
santori

He gave us the penalty and refrained himself from giving Laca a yellow for being bundled over second half. Remember Laca already on a yellow for too much talk at half time on his way to the tunnel.

So Mike Dean MOTM for me.

Crash Fistfight
Crash Fistfight

He did get booked for simulation.

Guendouzi was the player booked at half time.

Do you watch the game with the sound off?

goonshow
goonshow

And – if we’re honest – missed one for them and another 1, arguably 2, for us… Maybe you can double date him AND Alex?

I AM ARSENAL
I AM ARSENAL

I think Emery was just rotating. Also with Ozil playing he probably needed more combative players to deal with the obvious lets get stuck into Arsenal tactic.

Olivije Žirod
Olivije Žirod

Because Ozil played we needed 3 defensive midfielders around him? Are we Burnley or what?

I AM ARSENAL
I AM ARSENAL

We were playing a team that has a tendency for orcness. I could see the thinking behind it.

Dobby
Dobby

We’re a team with 2 fullbacks and a wing back in a back 4

DE Gooner
DE Gooner

Exactly, along with on and off defending from Ozil himself.

Tas_Gunner
Tas_Gunner

Ozil with most chances created.most key passes,successful cross,pass and MOST TACKLES.Guy gets a 6…Kudos for being unbiased as usual with the ratings 🙂

Assshavin
Assshavin

Checked out the statistics on whoscored, and seems its only tackles youre right with (shared 3 with elneny and mustafi), the rest are just blatant lies. Please stop spreading misinformation because someone gave your favorite player a very understandable rating.

Also not sure where to check for crosses but, since there werent really any crosses of note, from the whole team, im just going to ignore it.

Assshavin
Assshavin

Checked the crosses, and Ozil had one accurate cross, and shared first with Torreira who also had one.

Any player looks good when youre just picking out statistics where they rank the highest, completely ignoring the context (a single accurate cross is really insignificant to the overall rating of a player).

Red-Sky
Red-Sky

Auba had the most key passes made (3), Matteo had total passes made 83, Torreira was had highest pass success % 91.
tbf Ozil attempted highest number of tackles 6, succeeded in 3.
I’d say he was really trying to play like his coach demanded. and for that he deserves a nod.

santori
santori

Elneny and Torreira did not exactly make us any less vulnerable first half.

Can’t blame Mustafi either as he dug us out a number of times with vital blocks.

Unai probably decided to throw caution to the wind come second half.

Iwobi coming on made a MASSIVE impact.

goonshow
goonshow

Just ask Alex out, so we can move past the obsession/adoration phase?

Michael Ginty
Michael Ginty

Ozil captain… personally I’m all for that however, I know against city he will have a slight knock and will not even be in the squad. Ever Ozil stays and plays or goes

jon

The forecast is minus three in Manchester Sunday, possibilities of snow and some wind. It is maybe harsh on Özil, which I think is a great player, but he has been known to call in sick on away games like this.

YoungFabregas
YoungFabregas

I hope he starts the city game and turns it on, it would completely change the outlook of our season.

Oh also, fortnite has introduced variable conditions to the game like snow which could help Mesut prepare for games like these 😉

Dobby
Dobby

Its been how many years now and people are still hoping Ozil turns it on away from home against a top side…

santori
santori

Well they lost today so anything is possible.

eternalflamini
eternalflamini

Laca’s goal and celebration – 10/10

eddymc2
eddymc2

In my mind’s eye both were the same surging run, just stopped to score a goal halfway through 🙂

eternalflamini
eternalflamini

Hahahah love that.

goonshow
goonshow

comment of the week mate!

laudgunner
laudgunner

Did anyone see the Ozil goodbye wave??. Last game, this season definitely!!

santori
santori

Or maybe saying thanks to the crowd for keeping faith in him maybe?

Mpls
Mpls

He was thanking the stands for positive support. He did so again on social media after the match.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob

Feel sorry for Iwobi, blogs was a bit harsh me thinks? Okay elneny didn’t have a good game but I think Iwobi is one of the positives of this season – he keeps trying to make things happen and I thought he looked a menace in the first half against manure

eternalflamini
eternalflamini

For me his role in this game was perfect- brought on in the second half to shake things up when plan A wasn’t working, and he did just that. The problem is expecting him to be a regular starter. He’s just not there yet in my opinion, unfair to him to expect that. The fact we don’t have any other wingers is part of the story no doubt …

santori
santori

Another one who doesn’t see the match for what it is.

Iwobi coming on changed the game.

He provided the pass last game against United for Ramsey.

Today when he was brought on Kolasinac immediately sparked to life and again his pass to the Bosnian earned the penalty.

Iwobi also protects the ball well and creates space for us bc he pulls players out of position.

Almost everything good at the moment comes from the left side for a reason.

Are you watching the match or deciding it before hand?

goonshow
goonshow

JUST ASK HIM OUT!!!!!

I AM ARSENAL
I AM ARSENAL

I dont even think playing wide suits him. He has to play there because he is one of our quicker players and has a fair amount of trickery

ODB
ODB

Yeah I think the no.10 role is his best position and I hope one day he gets the opportunity to have a run there

Adams9802
Adams9802

Perhaps the conservative selections also stem from the obvious fragility if this squad. Dominate Chelsea to plumbing the depths in less than a week. I much rather have these turgid wins than a gloriously typical defeat. Also no matter the injuries our defense is rubbish.

Dobby
Dobby

The amount of times we’ve set up against a relegation fodder side at the emirates on a rainy and cold day, huffed and puffed and been done on the break or a set piece is too many to count. Think people are too quick to criticise the manager for the selection for the reasons you say but, also, these types of games are always turgid affairs

GunmanT-Rex
GunmanT-Rex

We can 4get about the performance today, this season all that matters is the win and and those points. Anyways both our strikers on the score sheet is encouraging, hope they motivate each other even more
That said, I wonder what is team selection in defense is going to be against city, may be mavropanos can be tried at RB, lich is out of breath and ideas, jenko is high spirited but shaky with the ball, all in all a very tricky job for emery this weekend

santori
santori

Hope AMN is back in.

Lichsteiner is a bridge too far and Jenkinson as much as he tries is just not up to level.

Oliver Rodwell
Oliver Rodwell

If Ozil doesn’t play well with 3 defensive midfielders giving him unlimited freedom… what more do we want? I feel like he is searching for the goldilocks zone.

Bob
Bob

This spectacularly misses the point of playing a creative player like Ozil. 3 DMs is ridiculous, it doesn’t give balanced midfield players for our forward line to combine with. It’s at home versus Cardiff, we should be playing that like we own the place (because we fucking do), not like we are scared to be in a game of football.

Rayk 47

I see your point, but we regardless, we were very suspect at the back in the first half… what might it have been like without the 3 dm’s?

Olivije Žirod
Olivije Žirod

We would have score sooner?

I AM ARSENAL
I AM ARSENAL

Emery recognized we were playing a bunch of orcs

ODB
ODB

I wouldn’t actually say Guendouzi is a DM or even defensively minded, he is more box to box and Lucas may play deep a lot and is great at wink NG the ball but he always looks for a forward pass. Perhaps Elneny is the only one who is really restricted offensively. Like who is the attacking minded option?? Ramsey maybe? But he plays Ozils role really

ODB
ODB

*good at winning the ball*

Dobby
Dobby

Did the last however many seasons get wiped your memory or something? We’ve gone out there against these sorts of teams with that attitude and lost numerous times from a set piece or a counter attack. Our defence is threadbare and we had 3 fullbacks in the back 4, one of whom is basically a wingback and the one centre back in the line was Mustafi. Think the manager can be forgiven for trying to protect the back 4 with his midfield. I have to say, I’m really enjoying how quickly it took for arsenal fans to start hankering for the good old days again. Short memories.

VAgooner
VAgooner

Well said.

A.B
A.B

You nailed it there Dobby

PFo
PFo

False dichotomy.

Surely there’s a balance between late-Wenger casualness and foolhardiness on the one hand, and Emery cravenness on the other. Wenger would jam as many creative ACM types in his side at once, which was a mistake. But Emery goes to the opposite extreme, which is just as bad.

A Different George
A Different George

The real dichotomy for Wenger was home/away–brilliant at home and awful away. Ideally, we should play away as we play at home, which no one (except City last year) can really do. But I worry that, from what I have seen, Emery’s solution is to have us play at home as if we were away: carefully, cramped, eking out a win against relegation strugglers.

A Different George
A Different George

Actually we have very rarely lost at home, to anyone. Forty-seven points at home last season, compared to Man City’s fifty. Short memory.

Little Mozart
Little Mozart

It was hardly three DMs anyway. Guendouzi isn’t a defensive midfielder, and even Torreira has an eye for a forward pass. The idea that Özil was isolated because of the team selection is baffling, especially as both Laca and Auba are capable of creating chances too. Besides, Iwobi came on for the second half and Özil still struggled.

santori
santori

He just came back into the team, takes some time to sync back in. I thought he was involved enough today particularly as we were still quite flat first half and had to struggle to keep focus.

martin
martin

We missed the passing range of Xhaka who would also have helped Ozil

Double98
Double98

Lacas goal was a bit like an angry Walcott versus chelsea

YoungFabregas
YoungFabregas

There is no striker in the world more overpowered than an angry walcott vs chelsea and newcastle 🙂

santori
santori

Laca makes his own goal.

He was in the war today and I was worried he may get sent off (with Mike Dean). But that goal was sheer determination and power.

Between Laca and Auba, I feel Laca brings so much more at the moment but hey, for all his ills, Auba always seems to be there to tap things in.

goonshow
goonshow

True – and how long have we collectively ached for a bloke who just seems to tap things in?
Franny Jeffers anyone…

Thierry Eboue
Thierry Eboue

Iwobi changed the game for us IMO – looked much more like it after he came on.

Can open the game up with a pass, can get in behind with pace, presses strongly and tracks back, and can score – got a lot of attributes.

Timsh
Timsh

Thought Iwobi should have done more to stop the shot from which we conceded. Otherwise he was good but defensively he needs to improve a lot, I think.

goonshow
goonshow

Tracks back???? What season(s) have you been watching? The lad has most certainly improved on the ball but he still offers almost nothing defensively. For such a quick, strong fella – he ambles back on ‘defence’ and just squizz his tackle stats… abysmal

Ausdrexler
Ausdrexler

Mike Dean is definately a twat. But tbh, a club the size of Arsenal, should be able to rotate players against teams at the bottom end of the table and still get the result. It mighta been ugly, but a win is a win and regardless of tactics, if it produces the result who gives a rats @rs3!

santori
santori

Fair play blogs.

1) Leno – OK. Agree maybe he could have done better for their goal. Unsighted I presume. The Burnley keeper made several wonder stops today against United. Can we get him?

2) Lichsteiner – Nothing. Just a man one season too far. Chambers scored by the way for Fulham. Has been playing both at Cback and as a holding player. Remember he also played for Soton to some effect as a Rback. Surely could not have been any worse for pace than Lichsteiner. 90K

3) Mustafi – Well done. Finally some objectivity. Aside from the block he also tackled earlier to prevent a cross when Monreal got his offside positioning wrong. He’s built tough Mustafi at very least. I thought we were going to lose another Cback (some would have been over the moon go figure) but he soldiered on and to most extent nothing silly. The commentator had to rub in something about his impetuousness when he gave away the free kick but that was in all honesty a 50-50 at best + Mike Dean and we’ve seen Sokratis do the same but be commended for taking one for the team.

4) Monreal – Off pace a couple of times but unfamiliar role at best and coming in from lay off so all things considered some very dodgy moments but we escaped with it as Cardiff were in all honesty also poor.

5) Kolasinac – Sparked to life second half when Iwobi was introduced. Started to rampage forward with much more confidence and got us that penalty with a typical driving run. Everything constructed is coming from our left at the moment. Got back to put a vital foot in first half as well.

6) Elneny – Can’t figure out if we were trying to play 3 at the back or Elneny as holding midfield. It was erring on caution and illustrated the massive gulf without Granit able to hit the quick release for us from deep. Once he went off, it was a different game for us.

7) Torreira – Deployed a bit forward first half but when he slotted into the defensive role I thought he was MUCH better than recent showings. Snapped into tackles and recycled the ball high up on 3 occasions at least. Had the common sense at least to attempt to hold the ball in injury time in their corner flag. One good block as well against a potential cross.

8) Guendouzi – One or two fantastic balls in first half. Tireless running and plenty of work in midfield covering. He is an bonus for us. Great work rate today and lots of positives going forward.

9) Ozil – Was OK. Tried to get involved on both ends but somehow we never synced up first half. Some good feints to create space and a couple of good passes. Will need time to work back in of course but if we still have to have him, we may as well try and benefit from his positives.

10) Aubameyang. Scored yet another goal (albeit a penalty earned by Iwobi and Kolasinac) BUT he doesn’t do enough IMO protecting the ball or even competing for it. Many times he simply ducks out. He can certainly improve that aspect or we can otherwise simply rotate on strikers. No point giving the ball to them so cheaply.

11) Lacazette – He created his own goal which is what I like a bout him. Is aid it before, if you are TRULY “world class”, you create your own chances up top. Did not get the rub of the green with two penalty decisions but a hardened warrior and battled to the end for us. He brings a lot to the team holding the ball wide and working out how to break the other side down.

12) Iwobi – NIGHT AND DAY when he came on. Everything good at the moment from our left (which is of course too predictable) but once he came on,we found a different gear and their right was consistently exposed. Still there are people who want to diss Iwobi go figure. He is the only player able to attempt to engage the other side one on one, he takes care of the ball and his decision making is getting better. Only thing I felt is if he is going to truly have a crack at goal then just drill it son.

13) Ramsey – May as well use him till we lose him. Plenty of energy and one to throw on like Iwobi to peg them back second half. Had some opportunities too including the header that went wide.

14) Jenkinson – The right side beyond AMN (hope nothing serious) just falls off a cliff. Jenkinson can’t be faulted for trying and he is half decent but clearly we need much better. There was one moment we played tippy tappy toying with them in front of their box with at least 4 or 5 of our players involved in quick exchanges until it came to old Jenko who of course had a loose touch.

Unai – Too cautious first half with Elneny selected (plus of course likely protecting some assets ahead of next game) but being that we showed no symptoms of being any better defensively, went for the gamble threw on Iwobi which made the difference.

AGAIN another intervention from Unai that makes a difference. He’s got some calls wrong near Christmas (he’s human very much) but on the whole, he has been spot on and night and day to Wenger in willing to affect positive change from the bench in a timely manner.

MOTM – Mike Dean. I saw him on the sheet and I thought a red card and penalty against us.

Instead whilst he denied Lacazette twice, we got awarded the (correct decision for once) penalty for Kolasinac’s marauding run.

AND when Laca got bundled over, Dean as per his usual self called it the other way instead. I saw a card in his hand and thought Laca was off having been booked on his way to the tunnel half time for chit chat to the ref. I’m not sure if he showed it and forgot about the first yellow or restrained himself and retracted his decision for a second yellow on Laca but had that been a red, we would have had a very different game on our hands (Belief that was before the second goal)

Danny Karbassiyoon's toothbrush
Danny Karbassiyoon's toothbrush

I thought Laca was off tonight. His passing was poor and when he had a couple opportunities to shoot he didn’t, and when he was open for a shot in the second half he put it well wide. The dive was embarrassing too, but he took his goal well to thumbs up for that.

Blobby
Blobby

Thought Guendouzi was excellent and not sure I agree with the generally received wisdom that he’s too naive at times (aren’t we all after all)?
Great to see Lacca staying on for 90 mins and interesting to see in what minute he scored his goal… perhaps we can stop sacrificing him too early from now on.
Ozil was very Ozil. I really do like him and can’t help but wish I could do what he does on the pitch, but I totally get why people (including Emery it seems) get so frustrated with him. If I knew what the answer was to getting the best from him, on a consistent basis, I’d be a rich man by now – sadly I don’t (and I’m not)!

Dobby
Dobby

I don’t really have any issue with the way we set up against Cardiff. Why do we keep saying Guendouzi is a “DM” when he’s a pretty creative minded midfielder? Anyway, I think the manager just set us up to grind out a result and he tried packing the midfield to cover for the bad defence which seems preferable to the back 3. We’ve seen us lose these games a hundred times so I don’t really mind that it was turgid when we won, it’s better than drawing to Burnley at home anyway haha

Mpls
Mpls

Definitely more of a box-to-box. Plays the role Ramsey used to play before he morphed into a #10/striker, but is a bit more strong and physical.

Monkey knees
Monkey knees

Guendouzi will be an effin’ and jeffin’ baller in a year or two! I think he’s that good!!!!!!

Monkey knees
Monkey knees

Still shocking to see the vitriol spewed at ozil from fellow gooners. Beggars belief. Bring back the old days of supporting the players wearing the shirt. No matter what. I don’t get the younger fans.

Ausdrexler
Ausdrexler

Yep. One can be a bit dissappointed about a players performance but ya always support them. These days, if the team isnt winning 5-0 and scoring 5 spectacular goals every game, some fans just arent happy!

Bananas
Bananas

There goes Lacazette again…making goals out of nothing.

George
George

“Not sure he should have been beaten for that one.”

I stopped reading after this. Clueless comment.