Second half goals from Emile Smith Rowe (and I like it), and Bukayo Saka (I like it) gave Arsenal a well deserved win over Brentford at the Emirates today, even if the visitors late consolation made the scoreline seem closer than the game that actually played out.
The Gunners had 16 attempts in the first half and were denied 25 penalties by VAR, but Smith Rowe struck early in the second period before his Hale End mate made the game safe.
A lack of end product in the final third remains a concern, but today was all about 3 points and that’s exactly what we got (I li-li-li-like it).
Here’s how the players rated this evening (here we go-oooo, Saka and Emile Smith Rowe).
Read the Arsenal 2-1 Brentford report and see the goals here
Arsenal 2-1 Brentford – 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 Aaron Ramsdale. Also, please give the ratings a few seconds to load.
10/10 to the Emirates PA System/DJ at full time playing the actual tune the supporter chant “Saka and Emile Smith Rowe” is sung to!
Officiating conspiracy continues, but never mind we got 3 points!
Jon Moss is slower than a freight container ship wedged in a canal but he is fair minded. You can see him talking sensibly with the playera, not allowing situations to get out of hand.
Yes a couple of iffy handball decisions but just think ita better to concentrate our fury at crooked a***holes like Dean and incompetanta like Atwell
I don’t understand handball anymore. How is a shot hitting a raised arm not a penalty? A similar one was just given for Man City against Spurs (can’t believe City still managed to cave in that match). Moss should have at least been told to go to the monitor.
Also 12/10 for those corner kicks from Cedric. We haven’t had a player whip them in that hard since Van Persie
Have to be honest, I hope he doesn’t take any more corners for us – several didn’t make it past the first defender and one just flew over everyone and out for a goal kick… we have much better corner takers!
We’re within touching distance of 4th…just need to win our head to head against Chelsea…..great strides…no matter the our this season…the fear factor is back at the Emirates… we’re competitive…I saw some CL matches and didn’t feel this team is out of place.
Fourth is what matters but i think Chelsea are leapfroggable
The 6 for Lacazette seems generous. I’d have said 4 or 5 at best. Misplaced passes, needs to avoid that offside, and not fast enough. Need to try Martinelli in the middle or Pepe. And not give him a new contract. The armband should have gone to Tierney or Odegaard.
You’re pulling up laca for an offside yet no mention of cedric being the reason we conceded because he was immobile after the fk?
I think both should have been 6.5
Big mistake to play the second half of the season with Laca and Nketiah as the only 2 established strikers I understand why we didn’t spend big on a new main man when our top options weren’t available, we have to get that signing right. But we’ll probably need 2 new strikers this summer right? We could have signed the understudy, and have him rotate with Laca until he goes. Laca is usually a lot better when he has to fight for his minutes, but Nketiah just isn’t good enough to start unless you have to. Definitely need to give… Read more »
I would rather exhume my granny and play her upfront rather than nketia or even stick Pepe up top. Anyway, a good win. Cmon Man city, beat those dirty spuds!
Anyway, yep. Our only hope up front is Martinelli, and lets not forget that when he amazed us to begin with…he played as a striker.
He’s a good wide man, and can provide goals from there like Auba and Sanchez. But I have a feeling he will be a striker, in the mold of real Ronaldo.
Auba just cracked a hat-trick in his first Liga start for Barca.
The person who started the put Pepe upfront needs some prison time, he has underperformed in his own position, how is he a viable option in a more difficult role? Laca wasn’t even offside, Xhaka was, watch it again. Martinelli has been useless most of the time he has been upfront, again foolish
Laca is the reason we got the second goal.
It was good play and the youngins seem to play well with him despite his limitations. Imagine a better player in that position. Its the same with Xhaxa. Despite what everyone thinks he is a decent player. But Imagine if that was a good or great player.in that position.
Am I the only one who didn’t think is Laca was offside for his goal? He looked level at worst to me. Thought maybe the offside was called on the player on the wing who played it to him (can’t recall who it was).
He wasn’t offside, Xhaka was when he passed the ball
I have to agree. I love Laca and want him to be better but his passing was terrible and he makes no runs, just stands there wanting the ball to feet. Yes that’s his game but it takes away so many chances for us.
Saka and Smith Rowe. What fantastic players. £120 million worth of talent at todays prices. Hale End is saving us a fortune.
Which one are you suggesting isn’t worth anything? 😉
Ha ha ha 😀
£120 million wouldn’t buy Saka’s right foot.
These 2 are priceless
And the rest!
I told my Liverpool supporting friend it would have to be $260 million for me to consider anything
I thought Odegaard was fantastic in the first half, a bit less so in the second. Yes, he should have shot. Same with Cedric (though he was never as good as Odegaard). Ben White was very good indeed.
Wait till odegaard has a lethal front man to play it into. If they get the summer signing right odegaard could be our best player
He already is.
Agree. He is such a classy looking player. If he adds a little end product, he’ll be world class.
Odegaard was my MoM today, ran the show all along. Not to undermine Saka and ESR but the guile, finesse and craft of Odegaard is just pure top class.
Smith-Rowe today for me, yes Odegaard had a very good performance indeed, put in a bigger shift, and was more overall involved offensively today too, but to score a solo goal like that to break the deadlock in a game where we should’ve scored a bunch by then, but lacked composure and the right final decision, well, its just immense.
I am a bit worried by Odegaards hesitation to pull the trigger. I’m sure he’ll get better with that but he could’ve had 2 today.
Also loving that Gabriel quietly goes monstering about the pitch while Ben White gets all the plaudits. What a back line we have at the club these days
Gabriel my second pick for Motm today, felt like he just completely bossed it out there, saved White’s ass a minute or so before we went two up too with another won duel after White went for an interception and let his man past him with.
But both generally speaking switched on and instrumental in the W today.
Second right after Smith-Rowe, the scorer of that all-important deadlock breaking solo goal.
As much as I love Martinelli we really missed ESR on that wing!
I think ESR (fitness permitting) can play in the spaces Xhaka occupied today and have Martinelli ahead of him, they could look something like the Saka-Martinelli partnership did with Tierney supporting and Gabriel sweeping left. But the big worry for ESR is just that, fitness.
Maybe. Xhaka tracks back though and ESR doesn’t really play defense. I can see Martinelli in Lacas spot.
ESR does his fare share of tracking back and defending. Moreover he’s played in that advanced midfield role before (in the EL and on loan at Huddersfield).
Don’t think Martinelli is ready to do the job Laca is doing for the team. And more importantly I don’t think the team is ready to do without the job Laca does. Having a midfielder other than Ødegaard who can be a creative/goalscoring threat would be a big step towards not needing a striker to do that role.
Laca needs to be moved on
ESR’s build doesn’t look very strong if you compare it with likes of Odegaard. Maybe this summer has been marked for him to work on strength.
He’s 6’1, he’s quick and he’s committed. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with his build or his qualities to play as an advanced central midfielder. De Bruyne and Gundogan do a similar job at City, both players who went from being wide midfielders/wingers to more central ones.
I meant the ability to last full 90 from a physical perspective, which I have rarely seen from him
He can, but I think you just want him in those little pockets in between biding his moment to receive the ball, turn his marker, and drive at the opposing backline, that’s his special skill.
If he’s otherwise preoccupied and needs to help connect our back four and the rest of the side and receive the ball in our own half, or even in the opposing half but with the whole opposing defense sitting deep and him dropping back and having them all way in front of him, you just don’t have him where he really makes a difference.
I think if you look at how Martinelli interprets the Left forward role (drifting central while Laca does other things) he regularly creates space on the left for someone to exploit with that movement. We’ve had mostly wingbacks do that job, Tierney is typically crossing while Tavares was more unpredictable and explosive, both had some output but not consistently. Looking back on the game those spaces that Xhaka found himself in are exactly the ones you’d want someone with ESRs skillset. The ability to be explosive/unpredictable with his dribbling and close control and the ability to interlink with quick exchanges… Read more »
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again now, even if he’s yet to barely play there… Martinelli’s just more of a striker to me, his skillset just fits the role better. When he runs with the ball at the defence sitting deep, I just don’t think he offers as much as you need him to… if he’s looking to give something a go himself, then he’s got his head down and is oblivious to his surroundings, and no one will dribble past 4 guys and score a cracker every game, as sick as he is on the ball,… Read more »
100%. His skills translate to a ST. Auba offered no link up play yet had a very succesful spell with us and scored goals.
The year is 2030. Saka and ESR share the Ballon d’or for the 7th time in a row. Unbelievable scenes at the Emirates as Arsenal do the treble again.
Arsenal.. 8 time Invincibles , they are now unbeaten in 284 Premier league games ( yes, started our run from that Burnley game few weeks ago ).
How did you find out about my football manager save ?
I thought the officiating was generally pretty good, especially compared to recently. The one exception was late–Pepe was tripped, but it was not so clear in live play. Jon Moss’s problem is that he is usually far behind fast play in transition. But today he really only had to came out in our attacking final third to get a good view of everything.
Think moss was waiting on var calls that never came. Which is what the refs should do tbh. Var has a much better view, and even us at home can see some incidents need investigating. Pepe’s was a nailed on pen.
camp out in our attacking final third
If by the officiating was generally pretty good, you actually mean it was terrible, and John Moss is a complete cu*t
Then I 100% agree with you.
Yes, every ref in the prem is out for us. John Moss is conspiring against us with the FA. I heard they have Lee Harvey Oswald in thr VAR booth as well.
Like Laca he would have missed the target
Cedric was fine but too many crosses. Hopefully Tomiyasu is back for Wolves. Quite surprised he didn’t get 15 or 20 minutes today.
Tomi will be a nice upgrade. Can’t wait to see him back. COYG!
I don’t rate Cedric highly but his 1st touch really is flawless.
He’s a neat player. We can get away with Cedric against smaller teams, but he’s so slow, very easy to track, so just crosses from deep a lot to players that will never make anything from those sort of crosses. He’s quite iffy defensively as well
There are some players who are amazing technicians without quite being amazing footballers, and Cedric is definitely one of them. There’s a touch of the Denis Suarez about him – beautifully tidy and invariably ineffective.
Cedric is technically gifted by poor defensively and slow.. Its weird to watch him.
Emile Smith Rowe simply has to play, no way round it. But so does Martinelli. Only solution I see is Gabi down the middle. I think it really has to happen soon and just see if he can adapt to being a striker bc if not, we’ll sign a 70 million pound striker in the summer and be in this same conundrum.
If I wring out my failing memory, I seem to recall an article concerning how Martinelli was being trained separately to get him ‘used’ to playing the striker role. About a year ago, perhaps a bit more but don’t quote me on the dates.
With luck, we’ll see the results in a few months and will have no need to pay for another house for an agent or two to solve the striker issue.
I think Martenelli can play upfront. Lacazettes deep play can be replicated by Saka and Smith rowe coming off the flanks more often and inside to link up with Odegaard and the other midfielders while Tierney and Tomiyasu when he is back can overlap. Gabi’s pace in behind will have teams scared to push out so quickly so Midfield should get more space despite Laca not being there to glue everything.
If we can unlock another level from Odegaard then he will be incredible. Blogs is spot on about that right foot but everything flowed through him. Better finishing and some use of his right and he will be special.
You could say the same about Saka as far as right foot goes. Can’t understand why they don’t do the work. That’s what makes CR7 exceptional – he’s done the work. So had Santi Cazorla.
ESR is magnificant. Odegaard was so bright especially in the first half he was really enjoying himself out there, needed to be braver and have a shot, maybe a bit sloppy in the second half too but overall still good. Saka was good too. Laca needs a goal, he is low in confidence, been a few not so good games the last month or so. Referee and VAR tried their best to keep us from scoring, absolutely shocking, atleast 2 stonewall pens not given, stupid.
Really dominant performance, Saka probably just edges MotM, so dangerous when running at defenders, Brentford just couldn’t handle him. Ødegaard also continues to impress despite a quieter second half. Cedric deserves credit as well, somewhat maligned on here but against teams that don’t offer much going forward, he’s arguably a better option than Tomiyasu. His overlapping runs create more space for Saka to come inside, mirroring Tierney on the other flank. Real mixed bag for Lacazette today. Certainly doesn’t lack for effort and fight, but his lack of quality was laid bare on occasion. Can’t help but feel that we… Read more »
John moss wasnt terrible today, just a few iffy calls or no calls, but I still deeply dislike him. Is there a more misshapen human?
Put down the fork Jon
Whisper it quierly…. but this Cedric lad is playing like a half decent back up option
Let’s see Laca gets the assist for the ESR goal. Check. He then makes the second goal possible by: keeping Jansson from intercepting a bad pass by fighting then fouling him. Then, and this part is almost as delicious as the resulting goal, giving Pontus the impetus to get a yellow for dissent. We score on the retained possession. Check and double check. 6.5? Really? Laca isn’t scoring but we don’t score without him doing his dirty work thing. Get your head out of the obvious stats, Blogs. Appreciate what Laca is doing. Don’t hate him for what he isn’t.… Read more »
He normally has a bow and arrow ready for him every game, last week his comments on him were embarrassing but I think he was actually fair today, he did some good things but did some bad things too. I mean his for “goal” he wasn’t the one that was offside something he just assumed he was given his opinions on him
Good point about Laca’s overall contributions (I scored him higher as well), but you could have made it without the sarcasm. And the criticism of his finishing/lack of goals is fair.
I could have made the point without sarcasm and the criticism of Laca goal shyness is fair. But…….without Laca on the field yesterday we might have had no goals. I’m suggesting Blogs and all the other Laca detractors take a holistic look at his contributions. It is cheap and mindless to only point at the lack of goals credited to him and not look at the pass to ESR leading to his goal and his whacking away at the Pontus Jansson so that we retained possession and scored on that retained possession. Laca is what we have. We don’t have… Read more »
HALE and Hearty!
“Waiting for Goddos”. Beautiful. Just beautiful
Your bonus rating hits the nail on the head, we all feel it
According to ESPN, Arsenal currently sit 7th in the table of clubs who have benefited the most from VAR overturned decisions this season. In 20/21 we were 18th (one place above so-called LiVARpool) and in 19/20 we were 11th. (three places above Chelski)
We don’t press except when we turn over the ball around our offensive box. Then we are tigers. Most clog the passing lanes like bad cholesterol and one or two hunt the ball. Brentford were frazzled most of the time trying to clear their lines and we retrieved the ball most of the time. Laca, ESR, Saka, and Xhaka all nudged the ball loose of a defender’s dribble. Our gegenpressing was a menace today. I love when we defend from the front. I thought we also picked up a huge portion of the second balls. The bad news was that… Read more »
Odegaard will be world class in few years.
The three points is all that matters
Replace Xhaxa and Lacazette with real quality and this team goes up several levels. I would still keep one next season because they seem well liked and respected by the other players but on the pitch they are holding us back from our full potential. Imagine what a really good prime striker could do for Saka, Smith rowe, Martenelli etc
If we want to be allowed to play with the big boys again we need upgrades on Xhaka, Lacazette, Cedric, Nketiah, Pepe, Holding and Elneny
Well deserved win
If some of the treatment handed out to Saka took place in an England shirt, there would be uproar in the press, but it seems ok playing for Arsenal. 🤷♂️
I wish I could get the slider to work!
If you’re using the mobile site on an iPhone, as I am, once you get to the point that the slider seems not to work, you actually have to scroll the entire page down a bit and then the slider works fine, fwiw
Good team performance but for unfortunate laps at the end. Keep building on it and we will see if we can scrape into top 4. Teams around us have been our allies but we must not let up bc this could easily turn around for the worse very quickly 1) Ramsdale – Solid enough. A couple of iffy passes from the back but he always stays alert and assertive 2) Cedric – He has been beneficiary of a more stable feature and coming back into a groove. Tomiyasu back in for us a double bonus. But good movement by Cedric… Read more »
I’ll say it again: within a year or 2, MO will be the next proper Arsenal captain and within 5, the next Arsenal legend. Watch this space….
Lacaspeed, Lacaskill, Lacagoals. Need I say anymore.