Arsenal 2 Middlesborough 0: Player Ratings

Last updated : 16 February 2015 By Michael Jung
​From the opening minute Arsenal controlled the match. It was a question of when Arsenal would finally score. ​When they did, it was a thing of beauty. Santi Cazorla's through pass found Kieran Gibbs on the overlap, who cut it back perfectly for Giroud to score. ​The second goal came soon after. A quick corner from Ozil found an alert Giroud, who scored from a sharp angle. ​The only time Boro threatened in the first half was from Adomah, whose shot was well saved by Szczesny. ​The second half proceeded with the question in mind of who would score next. Nobody did. ​Boro's best chance came as the game was ending, Kike heading against the upright. ​Arsenal had countless chances to score, the best being Sanchez's header from a Cazorla free-kick, which produced a brilliant save. ​Ozil had several good chances, but he kicked the ball at the keeper each time, and Walcott would come on and have a couple of chances as well. ​Arsenal looked comfortable for most of the game and the interplay of their passing was terrific. Their finishing around the box could be a little better. Player Ratings: Szczesny 7. A comfortable afternoon for Wojciech. A decent save off Adomah in the first half was about the most work he had to do. Was beaten by Kike's header at the end, but it hit the post. Chambers 7. Snuffed out the threats from his side of the field. He was able to get forward a lot and contribute to the attack. Gabriel 7. His debut and he had a good game. Made a couple of key interventions in the box. Got a yellow card for a professional foul in the second half. Obviously not afraid to take one for the team. Koscielny 7. Tidy and solid game for Laurent. Gibbs 8. Kieran reminded Arsene of what he brings to the table. More pace and attacking verve than Nacho. He really combined well with those around him. He assisted on the first goal and he had a shot well saved. Was beaten defensively once near the end. Flamini 8. One of his best games of the season. Was able to come forward and get involved. Broke up many of Boro's attempts to get upfield. Cazorla 8. Fabulous match. Combined well with Ozil. Involved in the buildup for the first goal. His free-kick in the first half produced a good save and his free-kick in the second half found Sanchez, who almost scored. Ozil 8. Assisted on the second goal. He created a number of good chances and he had several shots in the second half. Looked very good. Welbeck 7. Worked hard and had a number of half chances where the ball just didn't sit well enough for him to get a good shot away. Frustrating day but encouraging. Giroud 8. My man of the match. Did what he needs to do which is score. A number of his little touch passes didn't come off today and he couldn't get the hat trick he so desired. Sanchez 7. Had several chances to score, but like Welbeck, things didn't come off for him. He had his poor touches and passes as well, but he played with energy and he was always dangerous. The keeper made a great save off his header. Substitutes: Walcott 7. One chance was well saved from the keeper, the other blocked by a defender. A good cameo. Rosicky 7. His through ball to Walcott was sumptious. A good energetic twenty minute outing. Akpom n/a. Took a couple of tumbles out there, but had only a couple of touches.