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Arsenal vs Porto Player Ratings
Arsenal took on FC Porto the other night and won with style as the Gunners slammed four goals past the visitors. Despite a shaky first 20 minutes, Arsenal took the lead in the 32nd minute and never looked back. The scoreline could’ve reached Slavia Prague proportions if not for some profligate finishing. Here are Arsenal Station’s player ratings:
Almunia: 7.5 Not too much to do from Almunia but there when called upon. He made a fantastic save in the first half to prevent Porto from taking the early lead which could’ve led to a very different result.
Sagna: 7.5 Solid as usual for Bakary. He was tidy in defense, made some good tackles and recovered well when beat. He was again a vital part of the Arsenal attack as he got forward and provided crosses and link up with the other attacking players.
Toure: 6.5 Decent game from Kolo. Really ought to have done better on Porto’s first chance when Toure’s loose marking left Cristian Rodriguez in the middle open for a diving header.
Gallas: 6.5 Nothing much to say about Gallas other than, again, like Toure, he looked as shaky as ever on set-pieces. I don’t know what the manager has to do to get our two center-backs to defend properly but whatever it is I hope he figures it out quickly.
Clichy: 8 Great game from Clichy. Linked up well down the left and got forward often. He was there in defense when called upon and as always was Arsenal’s Mr. Consistent.
Walcott: 8.5 Theo caused trouble for Porto all night long and grabbed an assist on van Persie’s second goal. Theo has shown that even when he doesn’t get on the scoresheet he contributes a lot to this team. His close control and lightning quick pace are conmstantly an asset on the pitch. While he always looked dangerous against Porto, on a few occasions his decision making seemed lacking. I am sure this will however get better with time.
Fabregas: 9 Great game from Cesc. The best so far this season. He hustled in defense and utterly dominated the midfield. I hope this is a sign of what is to come from our true leader as he still looks to get completely back on track after a long summer.
Denilson: 7 Going forward has never been Denilson’s issue. Rather it has been his ability to fulfill the defensive part of his midfield roll. I remain unconvinced. He hardly shields the back and I cannot remember the last time I saw him put in a decent challenge. The kid has skill surely and in the attacking half he is a great asset but when the opposition get the ball the young Brazilian seems to go missing. Perhaps it is time for Alex Song to get a proper run out.
Nasri: 7.5 A solid return performance from Samir. It was quite clear he had been out for a bit and a game like this with a solid 60 minutes will go a long ways towards improving his match fitness. Other than that, he seemed to hook up well with Clichy and showed good skill on the ball. His passing was a bit off but he did again show his willingness to shoot and get inside the box, something this Arsenal team could always do with more of.
van Persie: 9 Fantastic game after a woeful performance on Saturday. The Dutchman still seems to be getting to full fitness and this game surely silenced some who said he should lose his place in the line up. Some great bits of skill, terrific vision and clinical finishing capped off a great night in Europe for Robin.
Adebayor: 8.5 Good game from Ade who scored two and set up another quite nicely. He generally caused problems for the Porto defense but his finishing could still use some work. For a player who gets as many chances as he does it would be nice if he could have a higher rate of conversion since as all Arsenal fans know, not every night is like the one we just had.
Bendtner: 7.5 Did well to win the penalty and had some nice link up with the rest of the team. He played a nice ball through to Adebayor as well for what should’ve been his hat-trick.
Eboue: 7 Really ought to have put his chance in. Other than that, he used pace well and showed a few bits of skill every once in a while but someone should tell him to leave the step overs to others.
Vela: 7.5 Did well against Porto. Kept the ball close and almost had a chance himself. Showed good pace and generally looked threatening. Games like this will prove crucial in the development of the young Mexican striker and as the season goes on I can only see Carlos pushing more and more for a permanent spot in the first team.
Man of the Match: Robin van Persie looks to have finally gotten back to his usual self. His finishing touch was brilliant and he even nabbed an assist to go with his two goals on the evening. Hopefully this game will mark his true return to fitness and help him get in confidence back. A fit van Persie certainly gives Arsenal another dimension. Let’s all hope Robin’s fitness is here to stay.