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Fulham-Arsenal: Player Ratings
Arsenal traveled across London in a game that should have seen the Gunners take all three points if they are to be taken seriously as title contenders. However, shades of last season seemed to shine though today as Fulham were able to grab a first half goal off of a William Gallas mistake from a set piece. Arsenal seemed to pull it together toward the end but it was too little too late as the Cottagers were able to secure their 1-0 victory.
Almunia: 7 Couldn’t have really asked from more from Manny in this one. He came out on some crosses and made a good save. His distribution was also good.
Sagna: 7.5 Another very solid performance from arguably Arsenal’s most consistent performer. He was great going forward and laid off a fantastic cross for Adebayor who was denied by the post. Sagna was great getting back as well and he made several important challenges throughout the match.
Toure: 6 Not the best game but certainly not the worse from the Ivorian. He seemed to get muscled in the air a bit, as usual, but used his speed to recover well and made one very important challenge in the box.
Gallas: 4 They say football is a team sport but today the errors of our “captain” cost us three points. The replay shows that Gallas stood around and watched his man score what would turn out to be the winner. Other than that, his marking was poor at best, his command of the box was lacking and his distribution was abysmal. All in all, it was another truly awful performance from Gallas.
Clichy: 6 Certainly not Clichy’s best game. He was shut down in the first half going forward and got caught out in defense a few times. He really came on toward the end of the match but it was a bit too late for him to make any real impact.
Walcott: 6.5 Theo had a much better game this time around than he did against West Brom in the season opener. He was better in possession and even had a few decent crosses. More importantly, he made some excellent runs off the ball. However, the central midfield’s inability to keep possession, sorry passing, and consistent failure to penetrate deep into the attacking third effectively took Walcott out of the game for decent spells.
Eboue: 5.5 Whatever good deeds Eboue might have done last week seemed to be undone this week. He held onto the ball way too much and in the first half his presence as the defensive midfielder was completely invisible. To be fair, he had two of our more penetrating runs but paid the price by twice being chopped down from behind with no attempt to play the ball not to mention a few other rough and/or late challenges fairly deep in the midfield. For clubs outside the top 7 or 8, this is called “tactics.”
Denilson: 5.5 As the first half ended I was left wondering if the young Brazilian was even on the pitch. Coming off a fantastic opening day performance much was expected again this time around but Denilson failed to deliver the goods in the absence of Fabregas. Denilson’s passing and distribution was incredibly poor at the start and he seemed poor in possession. His one saving grace was that he seemed to find his place in the match as the game started to come to an end.
Nasri: 6.5 Samir was active again today. He picked out some nice passes and made some good runs. He even whipped in a good shot. However, he seemed to easily dispossessed at times and his free kicks off of corners were poor.
van Persie: 6 Another poor game from the Dutchman. At midweek he hit a sublime shot for the Dutch national team and many Gooners were hoping he could transfer his international form back to Arsenal. However van Persie seemed unable to get into the game until the very end when he was moved into a more central midfield spot. He missed a few chances in the match and over all his free kicks were very poor.
Adebayor: 7 Ade did as much as he could with what little service he had. He was unlucky to be denied by the post and he linked up very well with the rest of the attacking players. He also seemed to be the one Arsenal player ready to have a go. He worked really hard trying to win back possession and all in all had a good outing considering the midfield was feeding him scraps all day long.
Bendtner: 7 Bendtner certainly added a more physical dimension to the squad and he made a few nice balls that he played through the defense. His link up with the rest of the team waas good as well.
Song: 7 Song was certainly an improvement in the back. he attacked balls in the air and his passing and distribution was fantastic. Shame he didn’t get more playing time because it seemed that he added a better dimension to the squad coming out of the back.
Man Of The Match: Bakary Sagna was the best player on the pitch today for the Gunners. His attacking abilities combined with his commitment to defend meant another great game for the Frenchman.