Arsenal player ratings: Martinez excels between the sticks and Mustafi solid throughout but Xhaka struggles early on


BUKAYO SAKA and Alexandre Lacazette got the goals as Arsenal earned a crucial win at high-flying Wolves.

The 18-year-old signed a new contract in the week and proved exactly why with a top finish to set the Gunners on their way.

Mikel Arteta’s side had to deal with a fair amount of second-half pressure from the home side.

But Alexandre Lacazette came off the bench to see out the game and scored his first goal since the restart, with a clinical finish off the post.

Here’s how SunSport’s Joshua Jones rated Mikel Arteta’s side…

The keeper was alert from the first whistle as he came off his line quickly in the opening seconds to thwart Adama Traore.

Again did really well to alleviate the danger by diving low at a cluster of feet then put off Traore who chipped over. Another fine performance between the sticks to earn his third Premier League clean sheet in a row.

Took the physical approach to dealing with Wolves’ main danger man, getting on his toes as soon as he received the ball.

And was largely solid throughout on the right of a back three and then won a massive header in the build up to the second goal.

Completely done for pace trying to get tight to Traore and dived in with a sliding tackle on the sideline which promptly saw him booked.

Played the central role of the three-man defence but had a couple of hairy moments – like allowing a throw to bounce in the box and a few risky passes that didn’t come off.

Joined Mustafi in his method of making his presence felt when the Spanish winger got the ball in his vicinity.

Got lucky after giving away a silly free-kick on the edge of the area which was wasted by Wolves and struggled a little in the second half to cope with the home side’s attacks.

A few eyebrows were raised when he got the nod over Hector Bellerin at right wing-back and largely was conservative with his ventures forwards.

Excellent defending at the back post to put enough pressure on Raul Jimenez after Traore got the better of Kolasinac.

Started a fourth Premier League game in a row for the first time and was trying to piece things together.

But like his midfield partner Xhaka, struggled with making the game flow as Arsenal were pegged back in the second half.

A quiet game from the Swiss midfielder, who did his usual silly foul from time to time – including one to earn his customary yellow in injury time.

Failed to take the game by the scruff of its neck as he so often does but did enough to help see out the win with his experience.

Knew he had his work cut out with Traore operating on the right so forced to help back and support Kolasinac.

But when he did get forward, his deflected cross picked out Saka to open the scoring. Came off before the hour mark with Wolves making more headway down the Gunners left.

Arsenal fans were celebrating when the teenager penned his new long-term contract in the week and he had them off their arm chairs with an excellently-taken finish.

This lad looks the real deal already at just 18 and at this rate will be an England starter before long.

Almost opened the scoring on 34 minutes with a poacher’s snapshot but Rui Patricio got down well at his near post.

Showed another side of his forward play to hold it up down the right and win a free-kick, from which he headed over despite leaping well.

After seeing Jamie Vardy score twice to pull clear in the Golden Boot race, created next to nothing in terms of chances for himself.

But did play a key role in the Saka goal, helping the ball out wide to the left for Tierney to cross.

Slotted in as the left wing-back in place of Tierney.

Another straight swap as Bellerin came on for his 200th Arsenal appearance.

Willock helped bring energetic legs – made good progress to set up Lacazette and then had a scuffed shot cleared off the line.

A welcome return from injury and was immediately involved to try and provide a bit more steel into the midfield for the latter stages.

Came on up top for the final few minutes and got a crucial, clinical goal, both for him personally and for the team – his first away from home in the league all season.


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