Win? Check. Three points? Check. Clean sheet? Check.

Except it wasn’t quite as comfortable as it should have been, playing against 10 men for over 80 minutes, and with our goalkeeper forced into action more than you would like.

Results far more important than performances at this stage of the season, but we didn’t half make hard work of that.

Read the Watford 0-1 Arsenal match report and see the goals here

Here’s how the players rated this evening.

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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AmericanGooner

Aubameyang was pretty brilliant. His movement is so good. You can’t help but feel if he was a bit more consistently clinical, he’d be a top 5 striker in the world.

Hurensohn

But he missed about 3 great chances too…

Stuart_Ten

That’s why he said IF he was a bit more consistently clinical..

Usmanov

He was in that bracket for at least two seasons at Dortmund

Hantal

Considering his goal scoring stats it’s amazing that he misses the chances he does.
If he could score the sitters he’d be rivalling messi/Ronaldo for numbers

Kyle

Deeney rating: 10/10. Lovely stuff. Thanks Troy!

YoungFabregas

Deeney is a flog, but that was a soft red. Torreria is just tiny and went down as if Agent 47 sniped him from the top tier balcony.

But then again, how good for us!

Faisal Narrage

An intentional forearm to the face is a straight red, regardless of if Torreira went down or not. Not sure what your thinking is to claim it a soft call.

YoungFabregas

I dont like Deeney and really don’t care to defend him, but it was very low impact and was only a problem due to Torreira’s height.

I am also of the opinion that CDMs should be tough and not act like little girls on the park. Lucky he has talent.

Martin

It was a deliberate elbow to the face and was a clear red card. Torreira picked himself up immediately unlike some players who would have had the same reaction that you unfairly criticised him for

Simon

Funny I am of the opinion fans should support their team no matter what, not act like little girls on the internet….

….oh and you have no talent!

OnlyBeingHonest

You should never support something “no matter what”

JohnHendry

Agreed, blind faith/support is largely the reason the world is on it’s arse.

George

Deeney is a filthy piece of shit who knew exactly what he was doing and got exactly what he deserved.

Faisal Narrage

Once again, your opinion on the matter is irrelevant. To the letter of the law, you do not intentionally raise your arms to an opposing player’s face to hit them, regardless of intensity. So soft or not, it’s a red card. Blaming Torreira’s height and toughness is a red herring.

A Different George

I agree it was a justified straight red–Deeny knew what he was doing (including how tall Torreira is) knew the referee would have turned away, and did not count on the linesman seeing it. This is one of the (few) areas where I hope the introduction of VAR will make a positive difference–send the offender off immediately, instead of a retrospective ban that does not help the team against which the offense was committed (I’m looking at you, Diego Costa).

N10

Nah, YF. As people are saying Deeney took the chance and he got boned. Fucking dipshit that he is.

And also: Torreira is very skilled in getting others booked, the dark arts as it were. He embellishes just enough to get attention, but not enough to get called for a dive. It’s a high-level skill that no doubt honed in Uruguay.

Cyprus The Immortal Gooner

That was a 100% red card. Deliberate elbow in the face after the ball had been passed away. Deeny wanted to lead by “example” to try and rough us up and I really hope his stupidity costs them the 7th place…

Ponsonby Gooner

Lots of downvotes but I agree with this comment

Lula

@YoungFabregas
Deeney looks at him and plants one on him. Ot was subtle but he meant it. Thats a paddlin…

KongoKim

Fucking awesome. Showed his enormous cojones by beeing the fucktard that he is. No doubt about the straight red.

Billy Bob

Would easily give Leno and Kos 8/10, whilst Miki about a 4 because although he got himself in good positions he really fluffed his lines!!!! Mav looked dodgy too and probably needs to wait till next season and the comedy cup for match time!!!

COYG1001

Thought Leno was MOTM. Milo was crap going forward, but tracked back well and contributed to the clean sheet. Deserved a higher rating for that.

Ram

Awful finishing by Mkhi from all shots he took, have anybody seen Watford player hitting the woodwork from long distance, Leno was already beaten by that tremendous pace from the shot only to hit the woodwork.

Sell MKhi in next season and get Nicolas Pepe from Lille.

Nosferatu

It’s especially disappointing because when we saw him playing well earlier this year (what was that, two months ago?–everything is a blur now) it showed that he can have a big impact and influence the game, and there was the hope that he’d turned the corner for us.

Tonight, not only did he have those terrible shots, but I thought he was quite invisible for much of the first half, just incredibly uninvolved. More involved in the second half, yes, but that involvement was generally poor.

Bosscielny

I see a lot of negativity amongst the fans, blogs included despite the win. At this time of the season it’s all about the 3 points. Maybe some people we’re expecting us to absolutely blast Watford after the red card. A lot of times, it is more difficult to play against 10 men than 11. A bit of perspective is needed. We are without our 3 first choice defenders, playing away to a team, that is a pretty good team, probably one of the best outside the top 6, in the FA cup final, who had a full week off… Read more »

Stuart_Ten

Thank you!

BidOnLard

Torreira was not going to finish this game – the ref after the red was reclining and not whistling theirnfouls, one being straight buttons to his foot… I believe this was the best way to protect him from either being injured or getting a red card. That however was bad for the mid defence. If we were not with Bosscielny and Nacho we’d have lost. Also have to give it to AMN – he was calm af which is what the team needed. First clean sheet and a victory against the best team outside the top 6 which is also… Read more »

Badaab

Officials seemed to defer to the crowd a lot after the sending off, almost like they were afraid of their wrath after making the correct decision within the letter of the law. There were a number of interesting fouls given to Watford, and a number of very tight offside calls against us, that seemed to halt any sort of momentum. Granted, the amount of time we gave them on the ball was ludicrous, but always going to see some rustiness as we rotate for Napoli.

Jack4343

I agree. Imagine tomorrow’s Arsecas t if you couldn’t…
Blogs: Well James, we looked bad but 3 points, can’t complain.
James: Agreed. Uhhhhhhhhh no complaining.
Blogs: That’s it, talk to you soon.
James: Bye-bye!
Followed by 59 minutes of Phil Collins “Sussudio”

Dobbi

This!

Stephen

Naaaah. Should’ve buried them

YoungFabregas

A bit of perspective?? We made 10 man Watford look like Real Madrid, even their LB was taking Roberto Carlos shots :/

Lula

@YoungFabregas

I think Watford would look good against Chelssa or Man U in similar circumstances. But its just opinion at the end of the day.

Frank Bascombe

Well said that man.

Xhakakaka

I doubt a performance like this will help instill confidence…

Lula

Probably depends on your temperament going into the game. You can be negative but we beat an in form team that knew tonight that they could beat us and wanted to. We came into the game brittle from past defeats. Sure the red card helped us. But it was right to send us off and then we proceeded to stay physical, Close the channels and drag the carcass over the line. Maybe thats how you win when your form is bad. We beat finalists and the in-form team at home that thought they smelled blood. If we get through the… Read more »

Mick Malthouse

Way too generous.

Mesut O'Neill

Generous with the marking.

Only Leno deserved above a 6

AmericanGooner

I thought he made some really good saves today, keeping us on top. There was the one blunder towards the beginning where he was caught out, but overall he did very well and is obviously seeing the ball well lately.

Squared

Leno definitely saved our behind

facts

are u thick? he didn’t criticize leno

AmericanGooner

Facts, some would say I’m “thick with it”. But, perhaps that’s a different thing entirely.

Pat Rice and Beans

Ugly, but I took it as it comes.

Gandalf

You talking about the gaame, or Deeney?

Flash

I think Mustafi is a bit over-critisized.
(not because of the beard 🙂

Mutisya

quite unfair. read a stat just now that he won 100% of his 7 aerial duals. Blogs has turned him to a whopping boy even when he has a decent game

Lacabang

And he deserves it he’s a f***ing clown

A Different George

Once again, for those who care, Mustafi was WhoScored’s MOM. That does not prove he is wonderful, but it just cannot be the case that he is as bad as people think. I think he is a better centre half than several who play regularly for top-6 clubs (Otamendi, Lovren, Smalling, Jones). I thought he was very good at Watford, though perhaps not as good as Koscielny.

Billy

Except he was aweful today, I really can’t figure out how sometimes he can figure out new and awe inspiring ways to go to ground without being near ball or man. He was slightly better when moved to Cb. There was one moment he slid 5 yards away from a player like that would stop him and maintland-Nile luckily sprinted over and cleared the ball, it’s comical at this point.

Martin

I thought Mustafi had a decent match tonight and and has improved in the last few matches. I’m not saying he is great but I think he is sometimes criticised unfairly

John Lavery

I still say buy Koulibaly and throw in Mustafi, what could be wrong with that? I mean can anyone name a better centre half apart from the big names like Van Dyjk etc?

A Different George

It’s good you spotted his talent so early–Napoli only want 80 million (I think pounds, might be Euros).

KongoKim

Why the beard?! “Haha, nobody ever says Italy!”

NMArsenal

With Mustafi it’s always Jackel and Hyde. His stats for most games quite good maybe the best between the teams. But he makes very very silly mistakes which are quite serious. I wished he cut those a minimum but in these three years he still hasn’t improved enough to be consistent.

I think he is probably great defender for a European place chasing teams in Europebut he can’t be reliable center back for trophy chasing teams

A Different George

I agree that he is usually very good but sometimes makes mistakes that are both silly and seriously dangerous. He does it less, but still too often. But we are rating this match–and he was very good.

Tas_Gunner

Maybe the beard plays a part ?

Orse

He is never going to be very confident on the ball. But in terms of clearances and tackles (despite the occasional madness) he is a good player. I feel like Monreal has had some pretty bad games this season, it’s just not talked about very much

Drew

Man I do think you are now a bit blond to Mustafi, again far from perfect but he won everything that came near him in the air in that second half. Still went to ground and nearly cost us, I’ll give you that though.

Stephen

That slip and a few times he’d hit it straight to a Watford player. He’s far too nervous for the age he is. He’s not the level we need. I don’t even want him on the bench because for all the good tackles every match, EVERY match, there are at least three needless mistakes/give aways.

Shank

I’m not a Mustafi fan, but always hope he will improve.
Tonight I thought he was committed and effective…….6 is mean score for him, easily one of our best players tonite along with Leno and Aubameyang, and Kos of course.
The rest of them were largely brutal.

loose_cannon

That’s funny because I didn’t Mustafi was that great at all today. Gave away a few needless fouls, failed to cut out an easy ball that would of cost us if Gray’s touch was better, and provided nothing going forward from right back. Why he’s even considered an option there I’ll never know.

SuperTomRosicky

Yo get your head out of your arse and rate people fairly man. Mustafi literally put his body in the line and almost got booted to the head, won all aerial duels and ‘he as a beard?’ Atleast back your own damn players and quit the agenda if you claim to be an unbiased publisher.

A Different George

You are mostly wrong about Mustafi, mostly right about Ramsey, and produce a wonderful blog.

Lula

@SuperTomRosicky

go get mad about something that matters, mate. There’s plenty out there. This ain’t it.

Duno

I thought AMN deserves at least a 7 for that goal bound block!!! Leno is an 8 for me; two excellent saves!!

Mpls

And as blogs mentioned, our shape was instantly better when AMN came on. The last couple matches he’s shown himself well to be the best RB/RWB we have while Hector is recovering.

The movement and playmaking was instantly better with him on.

The Mustafi – Mkhi right side DOES NOT WORK. That is where plays went to die.

Loving the 0-1 win. It was not pretty and I dont care that Elton John’s ragbag bunch were down to 10 men. An away win was absolutely needed. BTW – our away (third?) kit is hideous, thank feck we wont see this next season.

Goatee_of_Pires

While I am no fan of Mustafi and his clumsy demeanour, he won a hell lot of headers today and was instrumental in the clean sheet. I think sometimes the general dislike gets ahead of a fair rating for him.

Dr Zebra

That’s probably true. But good thing these ratings also don’t really mean anything! Haha

Stephen

I think Dr. Zebra’s trying to be fair so Unai won’t be too mean to Mustafi after reading blogs ratings. I do feel bad though because poor Shkodran must be mortified when Unai puts these posts on the big screen the first training session after a game. Imagine the stick he must get. The world doesn’t hate you Shkodran just the stats!

Mpls

He won a lot of headers and acquitted himself pretty well at defending, but as a right back his play was totally uninspiring. Possession and attacking are required of that position in our game, especially with a man advantage.

Mind you, I thought he had a good Mustafi game. But a RB he is not.

loose_cannon

Thought Iwobi, Xhaka, Ramsey and Ozil probably deserve a little higher. Mkhitaryan…maybe a little less, truly that man is a real enigma.

Lula

Yeah Mkhitaryan is a really strange one. Certainly not worth the wages but probably gets off the Hook because of the hilarity that is Sanchez earning 60 million off United.

Goonshow

Alex Iwobi remains largely a waste of space. Yes, he bustles going forward but there is so seldom any end product – one good cross which Mikhi fluffed? And the way his utter laziness on defence exposes our left flank is unforgiveable… it’s infuriating to see how he persists in just ambling back when the opposition have the ball just metres away from him! It’s almost as though he believes tackling isn’t really part of his remit! Granted – he is a local lad and has talent… but at what point (almost 23 now) do we start to question his… Read more »

Orse

This!

martin

Whatever faults Iwobi has it’s certainly not laziness in any part of the field. He never stops running and even his final ball is slowly improving. He was arguably our best player yesterday.

Will

Not enough credit for AMN – huge block and very tidy on the ball today I thought

Phil

Delighted to see a turn of fortune for Deeney against us. He’s got that classic arrogance of thinking he’s ‘hard’ because he leaves something in the challenge – you could see what he wanted to do a mile off and for me there’s no place for it. By all means challenge hard, but fair, not just leave your arm in to try and be the big man!

Crash Fistfight

It’s very easy to be “the big man” and show “cojones” when you’re the size of a house.

Typical bully.

Nick

Sixty-odd minutes against 10 men and not a word about Ramsey in the report? Not even that he tried really hard, never hid or a reference to him being a model pro or his engine? So disappointing. I was hoping for more insight from A[aronRamsey]rseblog about our legendary man’s performance.

Lula

Bully.

martin

Probably because it was not up to his usual standard. He had a disappointing game

Rob67

By my calculation four wins out of the next five – we can afford to lose one – will get us third place. Whether we are capable of that or not…..?

Lari03

I’d rather not lose any game at this point in the season.

Josheha

Very welcome 3pts against a dirt bag team that love to mess us up. We have played better away and lost or drawn so playing shit and winning is very nice.
I’ll take a down right piss poor performance and a win all day at this stage of the season. It’s not pleasant to watch but I got some weird satisfaction knowing the other teams fans fighting for top 4 (and prob plenty of our own) were expecting us to fuck up here. Today we have increased the pressure amongst the top 4 battle and put ourselves right in there.

Xman

I we still 11 or 12 points from the remaining games. Essentially Man U is the only one left as Chelsea will only get 9 points from its remaining games.

Lacabang

Emery’s tactics and selections for away games are still very weird which really concerns me ahead of the game at Naples. I just hope somehow we make it and also villareal cazorla vs. Arsenal would be just incredible scripted football !!

CLEGooner

Convince me Guendouzi deserves the amount of playing time. He seems like a talented yoyng player, but I feel like ge xonstantly put in a position to do things he cant do.

CLEGooner

*amount of playing time he gets.

Merlin's Panini

Pleased for the win. I was slightly dreading this one given our record there in recent seasons. I know we’re poor away generally but against 10 men for 80+ minutes I thought we should have done much better than we did. It concerns me that we still go to Wolves, Leicester and Burnley when we’re scraping a win at Watford in the circumstances. Well done Auba for taking the chance he did. That’s the sort of opportunism that we need to get us over the line. Given the players we have though, we should be controlling games like this. I… Read more »

arsepedant

Not sure what record you’re talking about the last few seasons … with today’s win, we’ve now won six of the last seven visits there.

A Different George

It’s actually one of the few away fixtures we have consistently won.

Merlin’s Panini

We lost 2-1 away last season and were outplayed. We also lost to them in the FA cup the season before, although that was at home.

Robiedinho

We almost lose to a team with 10 men because Emery saw it fit to bring on Guendouzi, put Ramsey on the right midfield and Mkhitaryan as the right back. He gave Watford the advantage with that move.

Santori

Overall POOR display. Ref man of the match for dismissing Deeney on his reputation. Or whoever paid off the linesman and Foster on our behalf. 1) Leno – Very good save to deny Capoue. Generally alert for us. Got beat by the Masina shot, as we rode our luck. Wish he did not kick long quite as much since we had the extra man but must have been fed up by the outfield players and their inability to make the numbers count. You’d have thought it was the other way round. 2) Mustafi – Clearly his fault since in the… Read more »

martin

I stopped at your ludicrous assessment of Torreira who is becoming one of the best DM’s in the country. It was a clear red card as Deeney elbowed him in the face.

Stuart_Ten

Especially as he can’t even spell Cazorla.

Santori

Shout to AMN as well.

Such a low rating for essentially a game saving block for us. Koscielny gets more? Go figure.

'L' incoming

AMN deserves a 6.5 rating for the last man block alone, NO?!

Gzolo

How Iwobi gets anything above a 4 is beyond me. My wife thinks his first name is “Fucking” after listening to me watch the match. He slows down play, gives the ball away and freezes inside the box.

Mpls

Sometimes it didn’t look like his best night, but he did tee up at least 4 good goal scoring opportunities that Auba and Mkhi did not convert. On another day he could have come out with two quality assists.

TorontoGunner

i think blogs been too critical, The three checks at the
top need to be done justice to!

Badaab

Seemed to me like Torreira was taken off for a couple of reasons: to preserve him for Napoli, and perhaps also because his temper seemed to be flaring as the Watford fans (and players) made the most out of everything he did.

Dave Cee

That and he passed the ball to a Watford player on at least 3 occasions

Matt P

Slightly generous ratings. Given the one man advantage, and opposition is bang average, I thought we were pretty poor.

Jack4343

Hey Deeney, We didn’t even need cojones to beat you today! Ref has a big ol’ set though right?

Mark

Don’t understand Emery’s selections sometimes. At this point in the year why give the first PL start to Mavropanos when points are critical and we just dropped three on the road in our last league match???? Then why take of Ramsey instead of one of the wings when he clearly has the motor to play the whole game without losing his workrate???

Mpls

Because Ramsey was fabulous against Napoli and we’ll need that again from him in 3 days.

Cajones Balones

Game summary:

10th minute: mmm
11th minute: mmmmmmm
Final whistle: phew!

Santori

Some people in their foggy minds thought Torreira had a good game.

He was OK but struggled. Gave the ball away and then fouled Hughs to set up one of their best chances outside the box (free kick) that needed a strong save from Leno.

Imagine if that were Mustafi or Granit, there would be the usual inane criticism. But since its Torreira, some peole are in their own reality and conveniently say nothing.

Jeremy U

The ref did all he could to try to get Watford back in it. He let the crowd convince him that’s what should happen. I supposed credit to their supporters. But it’s a shame the ref in a league like this lets fans dictate the calls. Micky was bad. Iwobi not much better. They just didn’t seem to want to win that bad. Why are they not more up for a game like this? Torreira let the crowd get to him after the Troy Deeney threw out his prophesied hit, but I’m not worried about his (Torreira’s) character. The young… Read more »

Matt P

Ok….I have given Mikhi a fair bit of support this season but he’s an enigma. Way too inconsistent. At times looks really good…Same with Iwobi. I would like to see both of them sold.

N10

What the fuck. We should have slaughtered these guys a man down.

Temperanillo

Is the rating of Mustafi for once abit harsh? He had a really solid performance, and given the usual stick he gets he should also be credited where its due.

Lion

Please please please Unai don’t play ozill any physical game ,

Jht

This was undoubtly the worst Arsenal performance leading to victory that I’ve seen. Slept over night, but still shell-shocked to steal 3 points. So glad we did.

Ray Smuckles

Poor Troy Deeney. The red card was deserved but having his house burn down the next day is a bit harsh.

Dave Cee

2/10 for the ref. Great start w the Deeney red, then spent the rest of the match giving Watford every 50/50 decision to try and even it up

Chidi

I’d have loved blogs to give Mustafi the credit he really deserves and not some lazy journo there…. He was immense on the night and put his body on the line a couple o times. Won a lot more duels and clearances..
With all the flak he gets, he should be commended when he plays well.

George

“10/10 for Troy Deeney getting his cojones in a twist and a red card. Couldn’t happen to a nicer bloke. 10/10 for a win and a clean sheet away from home. 1/10 for this team making us shit ourselves throughout when we should have taken full control.”

Honestly couldn’t sum it up better.

sAMa

I would give Mustafi a 7/10 he won a lot of duels at that RB position.

Orse

I understand why most people are singling out Micki, but I’m really starting to worry about Iwobi. He is a great talent, still young and all that, but if we buy one or two wingers and somebody to replace Özil in the summer, I think he could become the next next big talent that never quite makes it. He is so sloppy in his decision-making and so lazy in tracking back. One instant last night really summed him up nicely: We were in their box, he had opportunities around him, but instead he did a sexy little nutmeg into three… Read more »

Nameless_Gooner

We should go for Doucoure And or Capoue!!! What beastly tank they were.. they made it look like Watford had an extra player on the pitch..

Lula

10/10 for the Watford player gesturing to Cech that Ozil had pushed him to the floor only for Cech to laugh raucously in his face at the very idea of it.