Mesut as Captain.
What’s this? Have they made up or just a sop against a lower team?
We shall see.
Absolutely dire in the sleet. Two poor teams.
Cardiff might have thought they shaded it with slightly more dreadful efforts off target.
Neither keeper had his hands warmed in 45 minutes of something you could barely call football.
Laca should have had a penalty when kicked from behind in first half stoppage time. Dean was poorly positioned and didn’t see the challenge.
There was a slight improvement after the break with Wobbly on for our centre back screenplay writer.
A penalty was awarded at last when (even) Dean couldn’t pretend he hadn’t seen Kola being tripped in the area. Wobbly’s pass behind the defender was the best pass of the whole game and created the penalty. Finally, we had a clear chance of scoring. Auba obliged.
Laca scored a well deserved second after 83 minutes having got back on his feet after being fouled (one of the only ways of escaping having someone kicking your ankles on a night for the brave).
Cardiff’s consolation was fortunately too little, too late.
A strange team selection which was 100% reflected in a poor first half from the boys in red and white.
No real pattern or structure in Arsenal’s play. I’m still flummoxed.
Still, three valuable points on a miserable January night.
Leno – nothing to do, can’t blame him for that … 7
Lichtsteiner – subbed for Jenks about summed up how effective he was… 6
Mustafi – it seemed incredible that he arose from the dead like Lazarus after seemingly jarring his ankle irreparably to not only continue but also make a few decent challenges – deserves an extra point for tomorrow’s swelling on his ankle … 7
Elneny – ’tis a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. … 6
Monreal – thank heaven he was fit – our best defender by a mile … 7
Kolasinac – flat pack special from the wardrobe – has become plan A … 6
Torreira – still have no idea what his role in the team is meant to be and, it seems, neither has he … 6
Guendouzi – deeper than Torreira in the first half- why? Kicked so many times without recourse from Dean – his legs are going to be blue tomorrow – still only 19 years old, he’s going to be some player if he survives … 7
Ozil – a test or a punishment? – could be either. Not his best performance or his worst. Waved to the crowd when he was subbed … 6
Lacazette – worked his couilles off as usual – extra point for the decisive goal … 8
Aubameyang – reminded me of Adebayor’s first touch in the first half, slightly improved after the break – scored with the pen which is all you would ask … 7
Iwobi – added some forward impetus – superb Mesut-like pass for the pen … 7
Jenkinson – tried hard and did his best while looking slightly like he’s playing in the wrong league … 6
Ramsey – did ok when I’m sure he would have preferred to stay in his warm sleeping bag, nearly got the third … 6
Emery – some seem to have a clear vision of what his aim is for team structure, I’ve none – three points not to be sniffed at, though, even if it was against relegation fodder … 7
Wagner – ‘brave’ showing from his team of average footballers asked to run around like crazy, nipping at ankles like Jack Russells on heat … 5