Arsenal v Newcastle United - Player Ratings x 2

Last updated : 30 January 2008 By Luis Anaconda

Kevin Keegan has his hands full on the Tyne, but why should we care - We are top of the league (as I write this - Pesky Mancs)

Jens Lehmann/Manuel Almunia - 6/6 - Neither keeper had much to do, Jens showed he can still be acrobatic with a lovely dive to catch a powerful cross shot. Manuel came for a corner for once and punched well which led to an excellent counter-attack.

Justin Hoyte/Bacary Sagna - 6/7 - Hoyte had an interesting battle with Damien Duff for the first half of the Cup game and looked reasonable - a few dodgy passes aside. Trouble is Sagna came in for the league game and showed him how it is really done, pretty much dominating his winger and getting forward on numerous occasions to put dangerous balls into the box.

William Gallas - 7 - Cool as you like at the back - Michael Owen will be having nightmares about facing him for weeks. Good job it can't happen in the summer then.

Philippe Senderos - 7 - Numerous excellent headers, tackles and clearances but a couple of dodgy passes towards the end of the second game gave his knockers something to make a fuss about. Only central defender who has ever given the ball away, apparently.

Gael Clichy - 8 - Continuing displays of excellence and athleticism that have marked him out by some as our player of the season - not really sure he deserves that praise but he's a gem nevertheless.

Tomas Rosicky /Alexander Hleb - 0/8 - Poor Tommy didn't really trouble the scorers - he has had so many afflictions this season I expect him to take up pinball soon. The only suffering involving Hleb was inflicted on the woeful N'Zogbia, a player so far out of his depth he needed water wings.

Cesc Fabregas - 7 - A few too many "Hollywood" balls were played for this to be Cesc at his best but even then he was a different class to anything Newcastle had to offer. His performance in the league game may have been "average" by his standards but surprise, surprise he was involved in all three goals.

Mathieu Flamini - 9 - Absolutely magnificent and put even Cesc in the shade for much of the two matches. More importantly showed you can still get around the park to kick people and be a good footballer - take notes Barton, Smith and Butt.

Abou Diaby - 7 - Not completely cured of his need to beat six men before passing, but the signs are promising.

Emmanuel Adebayor - 8 - Contrary to popular opinion there were times when he was giving the ball and didn't score. Can do better.

Theo Walcott/Eduardo da Silva - 6/8 - Theo continues to look lively and be frustrating in almost equal measure, Eduardo continues to look classy and much more than a goalscorer (though he could do with one or two of those).

Gilberto Silva - 6 - Newcastle had nothing with which to test our ailing former skipper.

Nicklas Bendtner - 7 - Good footballer, stroppy brat.