Arsenal 2-0 West Brom Player Ratings: Super Sanchez

Lacazette celebrates his second – bbc.co.uk

A fine performance from Alexis Sanchez and a brace from Alexandre Lacazette saw Arsenal to a 2-0 win over West Bromwich Albion, although they were helped by an element of first half fortune. Here’s our player ratings for both teams.

Arsenal

Petr Cech – largely untested, but was found in no-man’s land for Rodriguez’s header that required an off the line clearance from Monreal. 6

Laurent Koscielny – his passing out from the back early on could have been better, but the Frenchman was commanding in the air, which was essential given the opposition’s style of play. 8
Shkodran Mustafi – one excellent Crossfield ball to Kolasinac in the first half, but he could have given away a penalty for an alleged foul on Rodriguez. A tad rash at times. 5
Nacho Monreal – one vital clearance off the line in the first half. Grew in confidence in the second half, carrying the ball into opposing territory more freely when the Baggies dropped deeper. 8

Hector Bellerin – got to the back-post a couple of times in the first half, once creating a half-chance for Ramsey. His hugging of the touchline was key to Arsenal’s second half control, always giving his teammates an option when when West Brom condensed central areas. 8
Mohamed Elneny – gave the ball away in a dangerous area once but was marginally better than his partner, with a good ball to Bellerin that led to Ramsey’s chance. He could have played more of those defence-splitting passes, but that didn’t matter so much in the second half when control was the name of the game. 6
Granit Xhaka – lost the ball on four occasions, even though in the second half, he came under little pressure in possession. He needs to show a better passing range and make more third man runs, especially when the game is in the balance. 5
Sead Kolasinac – some good runs early on but lost some of his duels with Nyom, especially in the latter stages of the first half. Used his physical prowess to good effect after the break. 7

Aaron Ramsey – struggled with the physical side of the game at times and went over easily, although in doing so he won the penalty. Grew in influence in the latter stages. 6
Alexandre Lacazette – crowded out on occassions and found it difficult to contribute in the build-up play, but was alert for his first goal and took his penalty confidently. 7
Alexis Sanchez – has an aura about him and whenever he picks up the ball, there is an expectation for him to create something. Hit the bar with the free-kick that led to the goal and played some superbly weighted passes. Aside from set pieces, Arsenal relied heavily on him for some magic. 9

Mesut Ozil (on 83) – given that Arsenal lacked some creativity in open play, Ozil might feel he should have started ahead of Elneny or Xhaka, with Ramsey dropping deeper. 6
Olivier Giroud (on 83) – got straight into the thick of the action and could have grabbed a goal after turning Evans. Misplaced a pass on the break though. 6
Ainsley Maitland-Niles (90+3) – a crucial substitution – the undisputed man-of-the-match… 5

West Bromwich Albion

Ben Foster – might have got up a little quicker for the first goal. Couldn’t be faulted for the penalty though – he went the right way but the strike was just too strong. 5

Allan Nyom – gave away the penalty and his positioning was at times unconvincing. His forward runs though were key to a period of pressure just before half-time. 4
Craig Dawson – struggled in the first half, giving away a lot of free-kicks, perhaps cynically to stop Arsenal’s momentum. Shuffled over to right-back when Nyom pressed for the ball. 4
Ahmed Hegazi – enjoyed a positive evening with some excellent interceptions, including one that led to Albion’s best moment of the match. He’s had a positive start to his Premier League career. 7
Jonny Evans – gave away a couple of fouls in dangerous areas, including the free-kick for the opener. May not have recovered wholly from his bad back. 3
Kieran Gibbs – looks more suited to a cautious setup where defensive aggression is more important than providing width. A solid performance. 6

Jake Livermore – overrun midway at times in the first half and doesn’t appear entirely fit after a recent lay-off. Needed someone more athletic alongside him, capable of pressing for 90 minutes, allowing him to do a more reserved, mopping up role. 3
Gareth Barry – looked excellent in the first 20 minutes with some good pressing and the ball over the top for Rodriguez’s first chance. Gradually began to tire, as we might expect from someone who has just played the most games in the Premier League era. 4
Grzegorz Krychowiak – defensively aware and covered centre-back positions when Evans shuffled acoss. He also looked more composed on the ball than his teammates and played a couple of good passes into wide areas. 6

Hal Robson-Kanu – one flick across goal for a Rodriguez chance but was otherwise anonymous. One might question whether he would be a Premier League striker without a good Euros last year. 2
Jay Rodriguez – could have had a hat-trick in the first half, hitting the post, having a header cleared off the line and narrowly missing the ball for a back-post chance. Tired in the second half though and was unable to carry his side up the pitch. 5

James Morrison (on 63) – came on in tough circumstances, but did little to quell critics who suggest he no longer has the quality to take West Brom up another level. 4
Solomon Rondon (on 64) – starved of service, not for the first time. With so little support he appears to have lost his goalscoring instinct at the Hawthorns. 5
Matt Phillips (on 73) – hard to judge him in an attacking sense with damage limitation the aim, but he might consider himself unlucky not to start due to his extra pace. 5