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Dinamo Kyiv vs Arsenal Player Ratings
Arsenal traveled to the bowels of Eastern Europe last night to take on Kiev in thier Group G opener for the Champions League. The game that was marked by rugged play saw the Gunners robbed of all three points by a dodge penalty decision. Luckily the brilliance of Theo Walcott combined with the touch of William Gallas earned Arsenal a draw.
Almunia: 6.5 Had little to do all night but appeared to go down way too quickly on the penalty, making it all the easier for the Kiev goal scorer.
Sagna: 7 Harshly judged for what replays showed to be utter cheating nonsense, Sagna was the one to “concede” the penalty. However, his brilliance in defense as well as his ability to get forward in support showed that even when one bad decision goes against him Sagna is still a rock we can rely on.
Toure: 7.5 Toure looked brilliant all game. His marking was very solid and he was quick in the recovery when he was beaten. He made some very crucial tackles as well and had an all around great performance.
Gallas: 6 While Gallas deserves credit for grabbing the equalizer it is impossible to skip over his utter ineptitude as a central defender. He was caught out on multiple occasions, his marking was all over the place and his judgments were suspect. All of this from the man who is supposed to lead us to glory. All in all a very disappointing game but nevertheless expected. Perhaps Gallas should spend some more time concentrating on the job he actually gets paid to do.
Clichy: 7 Another solid display from Gael. Linked up well with Denilson and Van Persie and did just about all one could ask for in defense. He we creative going forward and continues to bring a vital part of Arsenal’s dynamic play with him to each and every game.
Walcott: 8.5 The kid has now played 3 games in just over a week yet he continues to bring it. Theo showed last night he would not be bullied or kicked off the pitch. He was tidy in possession, excelled going forward and terrorized defenders as well as set up the winning goal. It appears that with each game Walcott goes more and more. The kid is on fire and truly showing that for him, the sky is the limit.
Fabregas: 6.5 Disappointing outing for Cesc to be honest. The others out shone him. I thought at times he looked to play the long ball a bit too much. Credit to him for being hard working and tidy in defense but based on his usual class this would have to be a disappointing game for him. He had one good shot on goal that he really ought to have put away and a shot from distance that seemed week. It appears that Cesc is still just trying to get back into it and I hope that this comes sooner rather then later.
Song: 7.5 Song had a fantastic match. He was a rock in defense, helped add some steel and grit to the midfield and protected the defense. He put in nice tackles and had good distribution. I would like to see Alex get more of a run in the side as I believe he is a class player who brings a much needed defensive element to the team, as he showed last night.
Denilson: 7 He was good in possession but what stood out was his tenacity to chase the ball. At times he looked lethargic but in farness he has played every game this season.
Van Persie: 7 Had a good game, set up some good chances and helped out a lot in the midfield but Robin did have two chances himself to put the game away and failed to capitalize.
Adebayor: 7 A decent game. He troubled defenders all-night and linked up well with the rest. He held the ball up well and put in some good crosses. But, like Van Persie, he had two good chances that he failed to convert.
Bendtner: 6.5 Nick certainly looked creative but seemed to hold onto the ball too long. He also seemed to have a hard time adjusting to the flow of the game and in the end had little impact.
Eboue: 7 Eboue was fantastic off the bench. He used his space well and made good runs as well as linking up well with the rest of the team. From the season so far it appears that Eboue is finally starting to show what Wenger has seen in him all along.
Vela: 6 Invisible really. Failed to make much of an impact on the game but I believe that goes down more to the 8 minutes he played rather then a lack of class.
Man of the Match: Theo Walcott showed last night he is no lightweight and will not be kicked off the field. Foul after foul yet Walcott kept running. He even got right in the face of one Kiev player after a very poor tackle was made on the Englishman. At the end it was Walcott’s own inspiring display that set up the equalizer. Well-done Theo!