Arsenal’s best and worst players in nervy victory at Man Utd

Arsenal’s best and worst players in nervy victory at Man Utd

Arsenal continued their push for the Premier League title with a 1-0 win at Manchester United on Sunday.

The Gunners were far from their brilliant best. And that’s to put it lightly. They gave a terrible United side a lot more respect than was warranted, but their defensive resilience ensured it was barely a troubling day at Old Trafford nevertheless.

Needs-must from Mikel Arteta’s men. Arsenal got the job done and will head into the final day of the season with a chance of winning the Premier League. That’s all that really matters.

But hey, here’s to some nuance. Here were Arsenal’s best and worst performers against United, courtesy of 90min’s player ratings.

William Saliba – 9/10

Saliba was outstanding / PAUL ELLIS/GettyImages

William Saliba. 23-years-old. The minerals of an experienced veteran, the composure of a serial winner. Another big away day, another big performance, another player-of-the-match award.

Perhaps the highest compliment one could pay to Saliba is that it’s quickly becoming boring writing the same descriptions of his matches. He was imperious, he was flawless, he was the best. Rinse and repeat.

There has been a lot of fanfare for Arsenal stars like Bukayo Saka, Martin Odegaard and Declan Rice this season, but as best demonstrated by last season’s inexplicable collapse, they just aren’t the same team at all without Saliba.

Honourable mention

Leandro Trossard – 8/10

Trossard was clutch again / Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/GettyImages

This is becoming quite the occurrence, isn’t it, Leandro Trossard?

The Belgian’s first-half winner took his tally to 17 for the season, and six of those have come in the last nine matches, coming up big down the last stretch of Arsenal’s season.

If the Gunners don’t win the league, then it won’t be because of Trossard.

Thomas Partey – 4/10

A tough day for the midfielder / Michael Regan/GettyImages

It’s incredibly hard to put in a poor midfield performance against a side as tactically lightweight as United, but Thomas Partey gave it a good go.

In contrast to United, Arsenal have built a deserved reputation as one of the Premier League’s toughest and most streetwise of teams. How exactly this diminished version of the Ghanaian fits into that is a mystery.

The game was crying out for some control, and Partey provided the opposite. Jorginho must have been sat on the bench breathing heavily in angry disbelief that he didn’t get the nod.

Arteta criticised his side post-match: “We weren’t composed, clean enough, consistent enough and doing the simple things right. That doesn’t give you control of the game.” That was Partey in a nutshell.

Dishonourable mention

Martin Odegaard – 5/10

Odegaard couldn’t grasp control / Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/GettyImages

Anyone who’s watched Partey in recent months can understand he doesn’t have what it takes to hang in such a top-level Arsenal team anymore, but such a wishy-washy performance from a Player of the Year candidate in Odegaard was much stranger.

Again, this game needed control. Again, this is an Arsenal midfielder who didn’t provide it. That’s the Norwegian’s speciality, though. Thankfully for the Gunners, it didn’t cost them at Old Trafford. Pick yourselves up, dust yourselves off, go again on the final day.


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