Boxing day gave us a few exciting and interesting matchups once again.
The North London team was determined to get the 3 points at home after some very bad games in order to regain their top form and to catch up with league leaders Chelsea and Liverpool, but West Bromwich Albion had different plans for the Gunners, establishing a great defensive effort during most of the game.
And just when it seemed like it was heading to a drab stalemate, Olivier Giroud did it again and managed to send a stunner past Ben Foster, earning a definitive 1 to 0 lead for his team.
Petr Cech 6/10
Cech gets this low score, not because of a bad performance, but because he was little more than a VIP spectator. With the Baggies only shooting the ball 3 times and never being a menace for the Gunners defence, it was a field day for the former Chelsea man.
Kieran Gibbs 7/10
Just like Cech, Gibbs wasn’t asked to do much on defence, but constantly showed himself on the offensive front of the pitch, creating great associations with both Alexis Sanchez and Granit Xhaka.
Laurent Koscielny 8/10
The Veteran was one of the main reasons why the Baggies couldn’t get anything going at all, showing once again that he’s one of the best in England.
Gabriel Paulista 6/10
Paulista was yet another VIP spectator and whenever he was asked to do anything at all he felt slow and out of sync, losing a couple of key balls that could’ve been dangerous if it weren’t for the Baggies incapacity to create anything on offence.
Hector Bellerin 7/10
The right back spent most of the time on opposing field playing more as a winger than as a defender.
Granit Xhaka 8/10
Xhaka was everywhere on offence. He created dozens of chances for the forwards and even shooting a couple of times from long range, although he wasn’t on target.
Francis Coquelin 8/10
The French midfielder was a complete wall in the center of the pitch for the Gunners, making clean recoveries and interceptions at will.
Alex Iwobi 6/10
The forward didn’t have his best game of the year, being very inaccurate with his passes and crosses and constantly overdoing things with his dribbling.
Mesut Ozil 9/10
Ozil was strongly criticized over the last two weeks and he totally bounced back this time around. Although his link-ups and off the ball work went unnoticed majorly due to West Brom’s defensive work rate, he seemed to be up for the task. Delivered a peach of a cross to Olivier Giroud for the winning goal.
Alexis Sanchez 8/10
The Chilean was his usual self, but couldn’t beat an inspired Ben Foster.
Olivier Giroud 7/10
The striker managed to save the day with another beautiful last minute goal, but besides that, didn’t have much impact.