Two goals from Alexandre Lacazette and one from Gabriel Martinelli handed Arsenal well deserved win over Sheffield United this evening.

The league’s bottom side were taken apart for the opener, Martinelli tapped in a rebound from a Nicolas Pepe shot, and Thomas Partey set up the Frenchman for his second to seal the game late on.

There is a worry over a Bukayo Saka injury ahead of Thursday, but let’s keep fingers crossed it’s not too serious so we can enjoy a win and a clean sheet.

Here’s how the players rated.

Read the Sheffield United 0-3 Arsenal match report and see the goals here

Sheffield United 0-3 Arsenal – Player Ratings

The ratings are 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, please give the ratings a few seconds to load.

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Jules

Pretty pleased with pretty much everyone today. Now let’s win on Thursday! COYG

Johnny 4 Hats

People often accuse me of showing bias towards the Hale End lads but I thought Azeez had an absolutely amazing game.

viegunner

before the game and after spurs’ home defeat against united, i thought to myself: are we too quick to write off 7th, with spurs (now, after beating sheffield utd) just 4 points ahead?

of course there’s everton with two games in hand, too, but villa and leeds should drop points. prioritize EL by all means, but if we’te out by thursday, we still have to take the rest of the season serious – if only to catch spurs!

Johnny 4 Hats

You can’t help but smirk when our club is in absolute turmoil, playing bad, inconsistent as hell, really stupidly low in the table.

But still in touch with Sp*rs and their “golden era” team.

Rich

This season has been disappointing

But we still have the opportunity to qualify for the Europa League Semi Final on Thursday, and then see where that takes us….

We should try and aim for 60 points in the league

Fulham
Everton
Newcastle
West Brom
Chelsea
Crystal Palace
Brighton

Taking 15/21 points is a realistic target, it’s not the worst run in

Reaching the Europa League final is also is realistic target

Hopefully we can pick up some form like we did after Xmas

Unknown

Palace is a trap game. On the surface it’s a game we should win but that one worries me more than Chelsea or Everton games.

A Different George

Palace will have nothing to play for by then, and hopefully that will be true for Brighton as well. With any luck, by the time we play Newcastle, they will be pretty safe too.

Jimbo1

Arsenal should definitely still focus on the league, as 7th could still get them back in the Europa League if City win the Carabao cup and say Chelsea win the FA cup, and finish in the top 5 or 6. Europa League is still a tough ask even if they get through on Thursday, but they have a good league run in so should overhaul Spurs and Everton.

Jules

Bonus points for Partey’s sublime turn and assist.

Adrian

It was a joy to watch.

Toni

When our midfield clicks, we do wonders. Forward and onward. Let’s kick ass on Thursday.

Arshavin's fake moustache

If you squint it looks like a prime Vieira through ball

Lid

Reminded me of Cesc pass to Nasri —> Arshaviiiin

Mike_14

Comfortable game today, I have no problem with Saka as a 10, in fact I wanted to see him there. He can go both ways and is a genuinely good option there with slick movements happening around him. It´s just with those fullbaback spots, I think today we were absolutely fine in there but it isn´t clear how it would work in other matches, were these guys to start again. I would still like to try Saka at LB if ESR or Odegaard are fit, considering how important Tierney was for us this season. I really wished for Martinelli to… Read more »

Johnny 4 Hats

Arsenal fans a year ago – Teams don’t play with number 10’s anymore…

Arsenal fans today – Let’s make every player a number 10 and then buy some too.

Mike_14

Yeah man, there are ways to play, it can work with 4-3-3 like Real but it seems that we are settled now with n.10 so why to change it, just stock with technical magicians and build a solid defensive foundation to make it work…

Cranky Colin

Anyone know who was the little guy scored the second goal?

A M

o fenomeno’s lost son

SG_Gooner

Freddie Mercury

A M

hopefully saka’s injury is not too bad, the only blemish on a confidence boosting evening coyg

Vin

Lacazette has the 3rd most goals per 90 in the league, he deserves more respect than he has gotten. He has to deliver it in the crunch game, but he is a big game player so whether it is him or Auba I have the confidence that we will get through as we are much better away from home funnily enough.

john

He’s definitely better than last season but he’s still so inconsistent and this year he hasn’t turned up against better oppositions in quite a few games. Same as Dani, He plays well when he’s afford little bit more time on the ball. An Arsenal team shouldn’t be built around them.

Vin

He played well against chelsea at home, played well against Leicester away from home, played well against west ham both home and away, one of the bright sparks against tottenham away despite being in a number 10, scored the only goal against city in the carabao cup. So he has had games where he played well against better oppositions

Vin

You have to consider also that we were almost bottom for creating chances at the end of December

john

Sorry to disagree, he wasn’t that good against spurs. His overall play lacking any fluidity. The only thing that worked was he got a penalty even though he had made a mess of controlling the ball.

john

That was at home.
But again if you have to make the performances count, it speaks more about him. He has never reached 15 goals in a season for arsenal. He’s 29 with a year left and his knees aren’t that great. I would rather have gabi as a backup striker especially if we can sign odegaard but that big if.

Vin

He’s got 13, 7 games left, he can do it. Martinelli will be a great player but he is 19, and especially with his injuries I don’t trust him to be our 2nd striker just yet, remember he will be relied upon consistently and how many games have we seen of him in the league? not many at all

ObiKing

Martinelli isn’t a striker. Play players in their natural positions and judge them accordingly. The kid has expressed his intention to play on the wing. Just because he has goals in his locker it doesn’t make him a striker.

Vin

I was talking about the away game, we were dreadful but he could be one of the players who at least say they did something, I remember a very good pass to Bellerin who had a easy cross to make but couldn’t and we got countered leading Tottenham to score their 2nd, his passing was quite slick, he held the ball up quite well, and had a decent game. I do agree with you with the home game I would have gave him a 5 and only because he scored the penalty.

goonshow

No-one mentioning the Balogun in the room?
Seems we’ve managed to keep him.

Vin

Again, we haven’t seen enough of him to judge, if he plays well in the pl great, we need all the depth we can get, rumours are that he has agreed to sign a new deal, if anything at least we won’t let a player leave for free

Maxigunner

I think u r just right, we’re good away this season than at home

The Arsenal

I would have preferred this performance a couple of days ago. Seems to be a trait of Laca and the team in general. This isn’t the Sheffield Utd of even last season.

Runcorn Gooner

Did what we had to do….same again Thursday please.

Johnny 4 Hats

10/10 for Sheff Utd being absolute dog shit.

RockyRog58

Nice to see Ceballos play well Best passing game for yonks

GABBI

He always plays well against sht teams though so not surprised he had a good game today.

Matt P

Yep looks great against shit teams, mediocre against good ones.

BillyKrystal

He probably received a stern phone call from Madrid. It’s about pleasing his overlords now, but that will suit us just fine the rest of the season.

jon

I don’t think Arsenal will want to buy Ceballos. Neither is he good enough for Real. They will lend him on or sell.

loose_cannon

As the ratings say, played with a lot of confidence today. Didn’t have much to worry about defensively so he played with more freedom and aggression, though he did defend well when he needed to as well.

Mcheza

Disappointed not to see Nelson and azeez given a run. How will we start to blood them in if we can’t do it now on the season when there’s nothing to play for other than pride which the youngters have plenty of.

Be brave and give them a taste Mikel. I’d also like to see cirjan play that number 10 role or cottrel.

Fezec

I get the desire to see our youth players blooded, but a loss/draw today would have dented our hopes for Thursday.

What was the Wengerism? You build Confidence a stair at a time but it comes down in an elevator?

He probably put it better. And in his 3rd language.

Sachin

Speaking of Wengerisms… I’d like to see a What’s up with Wenger column here. What’s he eating for breakfast, his messages to his former wards now managers themselves, his Spotify playlist, his shower thoughts about the future of football, how he chooses his ties, a joke he heard the other day that made him laugh, how much he tips, etc etc. Yep I miss him. There’s a lot of pressure on Mikel considering how we have done and this being his first job and the mandarins, but I am very hopeful that he has the kind of character, foresight and… Read more »

Jac

Why do people keep saying this, there’s plenty to play for. We are barely out of the Europa League places with a very easy remaining fixture list.

IAmGooner

I’m still aroused by the first goal. Sexy as fuck!

Jack of All

Don’t get a down vote on that. It was definitely sexy

IAmGooner

Who knows mate? Thought that was something we would all agree on.

loose_cannon

Saka at 10 was a surprising and interesting development, thought he was excellent and played with real maturity and authority. Hopefully his injury isn’t too bad.

Nostalgic Gooner

Hard to get excited over this. Maybe Sheffield United is Arteta’s level.

viegunner

at some point close to the end of the game i thought something similar although quite content being 3-0 up in an away game. we’re a midtable club who at least win comfortably against the worst team in the league. they apparently lost 15 of their games with only one goal between the sides, 3-0 isn’t bad.

i was never gonna get excited about tonight but it definitely made me a little more opttimistic about thursday

Philip Visser

Win, scored 3, cleansheet. Feels good doesn’t it. Blogs wished for simple. This was simple, to the point of boring. Lovely feeling

Big Fudge

Normally agree with the ratings but I think Pepe was worth more than a 7. He took a lot of chances and looked so bright and lively! I would be starting him on Thursday

Big Fudge

He definitely has a bit of that Gervinho spirit in him where the defender doesn’t know what he is going to do but either does he!

Arsenalnut

Disagree, Blogs. You could see Pepe and Chambers, Pepe and Saka, and Pepe Chambers and Saka beginning to work out how to play in that very different set up. Sure, some of the early experimentation didn’t work but you could see it improving. Really, how many times had these guys played with each other in those positions? None, right? I’d like to see them again. One pf the things I wish Arteta would do is to give Pepe a little consistency in playing time, position, and colleagues. Its almost as if he’s punishing him for being who he is.

Arsenalnut

One more thing. I’ll apply the logic you use with Auba to Pepe. You don’t make the guy you paid 72 million for and has shown you some creativity and quality (and has added graft), a utility player. I trust Pepe more now than I do Auba. He’ll have 5 things that don’t work then make his own shot and score or make an assist. Plus he’s hunting the ball now when defending.

Fezec

He was shite in the first half. But I do think that’s his game. Crap for 90% but that final 10%, he brings something no one else can.

Jack of All

So……my average vote per player may be down a bit but…….. Ceballos does some good things but as a whole performance I thought he was a nightmare. He constantly takes too many touches, turns into bad areas and most of all , runs the ball to a defender (teammate) and only passes it to then when the opponents are five yards away instead of when they are twenty yards away. It’s like he gets into a bad area and then just offload the responsibility at the last moment. At a very low level of football, the few times I played… Read more »

viegunner

i can’t say too much about his performance tonight because i didn’t pay much attention (nice assist obviously), but i’m definitely fine with him leaving in the summer. he’d be an alright squad player if it wasn’t for his mistakes, either way we shouldn’t spend money or him.

if we improve on xhaka and xhaka (along perhaps azeez instead of elneny?) is our squad option, that’d be fine by me

Jack of All

To be honest, I think if (due to finances) next season was xhaka and parter first choice and then maybe willock and azeez or Elneny and one of those, I’d be okay with that. Not perfect but I’d rather spend on Oedegaard and second LB. If we can’t do other stuff then whatever. Ceballos is great when he plays one or two touch but he does all this other stuff as well that’s really damaging. I agree there are upgrades on xhaka around but I think he is (for where we are right now) not a terrible option if he’s… Read more »

Fezec

This was one of his best games for us. Attacking wise I thought he was excellent today.

I get where you’re coming from though, I feel nervous when he’s on the ball and under pressure. It could just be collective PTSD that I’m always waiting for some cunt to punt it off the their standing foot and into our own goal though.

Jack of All

Hahahaha! Absolutely with you on that!
My thing with Ceballos is when he holds the ball for long periods…..hen rarely ends up in a better place than when he started. I agree he had some good movements and they were mostly one or two touch. I wish he would do that the majority of the time!

The Arsenal

Absolutely right. This team well remain where it is if we think Xhaxa, Ceballos, Elneny are the answers.
The way people defend Ceballos you would think he was one of the hale end youngsters. Haven’t seen him do anything guys like Flamini and Denilson couldn’t do. He does not even touch injury prone but when he was on Diaby or even mr chip pass Song.

Marc Undermars

The hale end youngsters are far worse than Ceballos, who is a Spanish international midfielder. Joe Willock is one of our best Hale End products who will become a Championship level midfielder in the future. Eddie and Nelson can barely get a game and Ceballos will return to Real Madrid (who will probably be La Liga champions) When Ceballos was at their age he was being signed by Real Madrid and winning u21 Euro player of the year while ours are getting 4 minute appearance fee’s at the end of a win if they’re lucky. With the exception of Saka… Read more »

A Different George

I agree with you that he has a tendency to hold onto the ball too long and run it halfway across the pitch to a teammate instead of looking for an early pass. Watching him against Sheffield, I thought that maybe I was being harsh, since Odegaard (who I think is great) sometimes does the same thing–maybe it’s a Real thing, or a La Liga thing. But Odegaard always looks for the early pass, and runs across the pitch only when that isn’t on. I think that’s the difference between a genuinely creative player and one who dwells on the… Read more »

Gunnerlocutor

Feels like your basic building block performance and result after a rough spell. We needed it. I hope it calms some nerves and injects a bit of confidence. A win on Thursday in Prague and things start to look a bit brighter. Fingers crossed for Saka’s thigh.

Almunia4Pires

Why do I feel a lot more secure with Pablo Mari rather than Gabriel at left-side centre-half?

GABBI

he’s a better more experienced CB with composure. Gabriel is not bad either

viegunner

bit disappointed with gabriel at this time after he started quite well, but him and mari to fight it out for the LCB spot is good enough for me. one of them plus saliba (rather than holding) could be good enough for top4, which is what we should aim for.

if we perhaps improve on bellerin, do we need both of cedric and holding though? can’t see us selling cedric but don’t really want chambers to leave either

Arsenalnut

Because he’s calmer on the ball than Gabriel? When we got pressed today there were some hospital passes put about. But the players who received the ball anticipated the problems and moved their feet getting into a better position to both receive and pass the ball without injury. Chambers did this quite a few times. Pablo Mari ended up receiving that pass into the left corner of the field that often causes the turnover for which we are brutally punished. Today he dribbled out of that space and made a sure and easy pass out of the press. Today, I… Read more »

Andy

he also took mcburnie out of the game. he likes a bit of aggro. well able to stand up for himself. i think holding + mari right now is the best combo we have at the back.

Arsenalnut

Chamber likes a bit of aggro? I like us having a bit of aggro. I still have fond memories of a game against Liverpool in which Bergkamp was red carded for an attempted stamp. Not a stamp that actually happened but one he attempted. There was no question of intent. We looked better with 10 men than we had with 11 and won. One can only dream of something like that at present.

Jack of All

I agree with Gabbi…..I think it’s the experience and perhaps at the moment highest ceiling versus lowest floor….Mari does fewer exceptional things but does very few awful things, as a young CB Gabriel veers wildly between the two. Hopeful for the future, nerve wracking for the present!

nemogunner

Don’t get carried away, he was playing against last place Sheffield. Easy to be calm against a feckless attack.

That said, wouldn’t mind seeing Marí keep his place against Prague

The Arsenal

He also played in one of our better defensive away performances at a decent side in Leicester. Kept them real quiet that game although i remember he made a mistake for their goal.

Dave

COVID has really fucked Gabriel. I’m not sure if he is still feeling the physical effects but it’s really interrupted his form. Also playing with right footed player at LB didn’t help him in the last game. Cedric couldn’t get the ball forward and kept sending it back to him.

Vonnie

Gabriel played better with Emi, they communicated well. Leno is very jittery lately and that transmits to the defenders. Mari is more experienced so can cope better, Gabriel needs someone like Mari or Luiz to settle.

Crash Fistfight

I’m pretty sure they’ve never played together.

The Arsenal

From what I have seen Mari is better. Gabriel ‘looks’ better. Hes faster and has a great leap. Gabriel for some reason does not cut out crosses at the front post and whenever he plays with Holding the latter seems lost whereas with Mari you dont even notice him, in a good way. The defence in general just seems more stable when he plays. Games featuring Luiz or Gabriel are the ones where we shoot ourselves in the foot or the defence just has that period in the game of complete chaos.

American Gooner

A good way to end a Sunday. Let’s do it again Thursday. In the meantime can we sort out our corner routines, yeesh.

Ben C

Thought Xhaka looked excellent in an unfamiliar role. He was playing as a sort of inverted fullback, stepping into the LCM space and using his passing range really well. Also made some tidy tackles.

Sheffield didn’t seem to know how to handle that side of the pitch with a lot of interchanging btwn Xhaka, Mari, and Ceballos. Interesting tactics if nothing else.

The Arsenal

Really like Mari. Always comes in and out of the side so he cant really build rhythm consistently but he mostly does really well whenever he plays. Only recall the Leicester goal (Tielemans) when i thought he made a massive error and even then it was 3 or 4 players involved not just him. Very assured and Holding seems to play his best with him.

Crash Fistfight

Personally, I thought Elneny was more to blame on that goal as the man closer to Tielemans, than Mari.

ABC123andallthat

Really generous ratings, wow. But it was good to see us flex a bit and get the win.

Partey was mostly decent tonight but like others had a poor start. (Chalking it up to Arteta’s dicking around with the formation again). Gorgeous play to get Laca the ball, world class.

Laca wasn’t great until his goal, but he redeemed himself big time! Pepe was good and confident tonight.

Nice to watch us beat a championship side as we should. Let’s take this confidence boost into Thursday!

Aik

Good win but it’s just Sheffield utd. Sara’s injury isn’t so worrisome as he’s struggled lately with form, pepe can fill in. But the damage this season doesn’t make this win much fun.

MojoWillneny

Decent sparring session with a punch-drunk paluka before the big fight…

Now it’s all about Thursday…

santori

Not to get too carried away bc of opposition today being so weak…but draw positives where they are to carry into midweek IMPORTANT match : 1) Leno – Decent enough. I was more looking at opposite number Ramsdale, and we should still eye him when they go down should they prefer to sell. Decent young keeper, a couple of mistakes today (minor) but overall through season despite deluge of goals let in by team, a strong young keeper with plenty of upside. Prefer his size to David Raya or even current number two on loan with us. 2) Chambers –… Read more »

benjmin

Partey Xhaka Ceballos Martinelli Lacazette= hats off guys

Exit the Lemming

Partey improved significantly after a sloppy opening spell where he constantly gave the ball away but not enough to warrant a ‘one man midfield @ 8?’ Ceballos is a player I would happily carry on my back to his new club but I thought he played really well throughout. Those two goals will do Laca’s confidence the world of good. (he really needed a mojo transfusion) We ought to temper our hyberbole about Martinelli. He was decent and has bags of energy is all. Saka was poor again and probably needs the break that his unfortunate injury might provide. Kudos… Read more »

mrugunner

it’s fun to see the ratings when we play a bottom relegated team.

jon

I like Partey. He is good at the ball, good to alliviate pressure, hits good passes. But it is difficult for team mates to play the ball to him, as he is often hidden behind or too close to opponents. Hence he gets far to little involved.

Viraf

Does anyone else think that Thomas Partey might just be better in midfield on his own without others getting in his way!