Arsenal v Newcastle United - Player Ratings

After an over heated first half, where we offered little in the final third, we pulled it around to show off the best of our game for the majority of the second half. We really should have been 3-0 up, and but for the heroics of Shay Given, we would have been. We kept Newcastle very quiet, and played fantastic attacking football.

Key Incidents:

Goal (Arsenal) (19) – A well worked move from start to finish. Flamini put a neat ball through, and Dennis took the ball down with a great touch before sliding the ball beyond the reach of Shay Given.

Man Of The Match – Patrick Vieira

Player Ratings

Manuel Almunia - 6 - Had little to do on a day where Newcastle offered little threat to our goal. I was surprised to see him start, as I felt his confidence may be low after his display a Bolton.

Ashley Cole - 6 - Fought for the team, and linked up the attacking play down the left. However, he was caught out once or twice by Ameobi, and that could have cost us.

Kolo Toure - 6.5 - Dealt with the muscle of Shearer (mainly using his elbow) quite well. His passing was good and he got forward whenever he could.

Sol Campbell - 7 - Played his normal game to good effect. Good to see he has put pen to paper this week. That certainly helps to reassure me that our defence will have a strong leader for years to come.

Lauren - 7 - Kept in position more than in previous games. Still got forward and gave us a good performance. Echoing the message for Sol, it's good to see him sign a contract. A solid base at the back it what we really need right now.

Jose Reyes - 7 - After having a largely ineffective first half, he came to life in the second, when he showed shades of his form from earlier in the season. He used all his pace and skill to push us forward, and lets hope we see more performances like this from him from now on. He also deserves praise for giving the fans what they wanted when he crunched Lee Bowyer. A standing ovation all around, that little rat had it coming.

Patrick Vieira - 8.5 - After an awful display against Bolton, he showed us some true class. Along with the rest of the team, he was kept fairly quiet in the first half, as Newcastle were playing with a “draw at all costs” attitude. However in the second half he was simply amazing. He drove the midfield and over ran all he stood in his way. He provided an outlet, and always looked like he wanted the ball. A captains performance at last!

Mathieu Flamini - 7.5 - He had a great game. Not only did he continue to show off his amazing work rate, but he also showed us what he can do in the final third. He hasn't done that in previous games, but he looked at ease on the ball and was able to find the killer pass.

Robert Pires - 6.5 - Found his feet early on, and helped us to put the pressure on. Was unlucky not to score when he saw his long range shot fly inches past the post.

Thierry Henry - 7 - He could have had a hat trick on another day. Whatever he did, Given was equal to it. The look of disbelief on his face after Given saved his third effort summed it up. His passing and movement were good as ever.

Dennis Bergkamp - 7.5 - Well, unsurprisingly, I thought he had an excellent game. He led by example, with great passing and a fantastic strike. His vision of the game shone through, and I look forward to him scoring a wonder goal against the mancs,

Subs:

Cesc Fabregas - N/A Only game on in injury time.