Arsenal v Cardiff City - Player Ratings

Last updated : 08 January 2006 By Mike Bohndiek

The early goal helped to settle us after Cardiff had created a good opening. From then on they scrapped for half chances, but failed to trouble us in the first half, and were made to pay when Bergkamp slipped in Pires who bagged his second. Further half chances came for us, but 2-0 at the interval was a fair reflection on the balance of play.

We stepped off the gas a little in the second half and Cardiff slowly grew into the game, forcing our relatively inexperienced backline into errors which we could have been punished for had it not been for some poor finishing and some good goalkeeping.

Late on we were almost made to pay for a string of misses when the Bluebirds eventually got their reward for some pressure when they netted from a corner with a few minutes to go.

It could have been a tense ending had one of their supporters not jumped on the pitch and broken up the flow of the game, so well played that man! Now we can just hope for a good draw in the next round.

Manuel Almunia (7) His bravery late on helped us see off some pressure with two fine saves at the feet of Cardiff strikers.

Lauren (5) He didn't look like the most experienced defender of the pitch as he conceded possession cheaply and played himself into trouble numerous times.

Philippe Senderos (7) Strong throughout, with only the odd mistake that he managed to mop up.

Johan Djourou (6) Neat passing and a solid display.

Kerrea Gilbert (7) Superb going forward and kept Cardiff quiet down their left.

Jose Reyes (6) Started brightly, setting up the first goal before being withdrawn at half time after being on the receiving end of a few late challenges.

Mathieu Flamini (6) Lost the ball too often in the first half but he got better as the game went on.

Gilberto (6) Swept up in the middle.

Robert Pires (7) His brace sent us through and his overall link up play was excellent.

Dennis Bergkamp (7) Tidy passing and some runs down the right which caused Cardiff all sorts of problems. He also set up the second goal.

Robin Van Persie (7) Unlucky not to get his reward for a fine display. He troubled their backline throughout.


Quincy (7) An excellent performance with his many runs creating good openings for himself and others.

Sebastian Larsson (6) Some poor passes let down what was otherwise a good display.