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Arsenal

Arsenal firing on all cylinders at Brums expense

Premier League Player Ratings

Sat 1 January, Kick off: 17:30, St Andrews Stadium

 

Birmingham City 0

(4-4-1-1)

 

26 – Ben Foster – Did his best to halt the Gunners relentless attacking. 7

2 – Stephen Carr – Birmingham’s best outfield player by some distance, only player who didn’t look terrified. 7

5 – Roger Johnson – Looked edgy and couldn’t cope with Arsenals movement all night. 5

15 – Scott Dann – Was another who got bamboozled by Arsenals changing of positions. 6

6 – Liam Ridgewell – Never got close to Walcott all evening, will want to forget this one in a hurry. 5

12 – Barry Ferguson – Not his usual combative self, Arsenals quick passing meant he was chasing shadows. 5

8 – Craig Gardner – Got up and down the pitch but hold up play just wasn’t there. 5

7 – Sebastian Larsson – One to forget against his former employers, didn’t have the pace or quality to trouble Clichy. 5

4 – Lee Bowyer – Lucky to stay on field after some rash challenges. 4

23 – Jean Beausejour – Looks distinctly out of place in the Premiership, only surprise was he lasted an hour. 4

10 – Cameron Jerome – Plenty of effort and endeavour was ploughing a very lonely furrow and as Arsenal upped the tempo he quickly tired. 6

 

Subs:

1 – Maik Taylor

28 – Martin Jiranek

18 – Keith Fahey

22 – Alexander Hleb – Why he wasn’t starting when he is the only Birmingham player who is comfortable on the ball is a mystery. 6

9 – Kevin Phillips – Didn’t really get a kick after coming on late. 5

14 – Matt Derbyshire

19 – Nikola Zigic – Had a decent header come off the crossbar, otherwise ineffective. 6


Arsenal 3

(4-5-1)

 

21 – Lukasz Fabianski Will probably never come off a pitch having done so little again in his life, one great stop from Larsson’s free kick. 7

3 – Bacary Sagna Got forward more and more as game progressed and always an attacking outlet for Arsenal. 7

20 – Johan Djourou – Never troubled and was unlucky not to connect with first half header. 7

22 – Gael Clichy Caused problems with his attacking all afternoon offered an outlet when overloading midfield. 7

6 – Laurent Koscielny Comfortably dealt with Jerome threat. 7

17 – Alex Song Looked to be positive with every touch broke up Birminghams attacks well. 7

19 – Jack Wilshere Distributed well and looked to bring wide players into the game, a very happy birthday for the youngster. 8

14 – Theo Walcott – Gave Ridgewell a torrid time with his positive running. 8

4 – Cesc Fabregas Looked back to his majestic best tonight, everything good in the game came through him. 9

10 – Robin van Persie – Was lucky to gain free kick which he scored from and luckier not to have given a penalty away for hand ball but a good nights work from the Dutchman, always offering from wide positions. 8

8 – Samir Nasri Immense again tonight, Birmingham couldn’t cope with his link up play with Cesc and his pace troubled all of Blues backline. 9

 

Subs:

53 – Wojciech Szczesny

18 – Sebastien Squillaci

27 – Emmanuel Eboue

15 – Denilson – Introduced to see the game out quietly went about his business. 7

23 – Andrey Arshavin Came on for last 10 and added even more attacking impetus to the Gunners. 7

52 – Nicklas Bendtner

7 – Tomas Rosicky

 

Overview:

An outstanding display of attacking football from the Gunners, to break down what is normally a stout Birmingham defence. The only question on Arsene Wenger’s lips should be how they only scored 3. At times it was men against children at St Andrews, Blues for their part put up a little fight in the first period but after a couple of dodgy decisions from Peter Walton gave up all hope, the Gunners smelt blood and exposed Birmingham time after time. When the Gunners hit this form there really is no team in England who can live with them. Alex McLeish will be pleased the score was kept to just 3. The result leaves Arsenal right on the tails of the Manchester clubs and Birmingham rooted in 19th spot. I fear a season of struggle if they can’t learn to attack. And that is coming from a Birmingham supporter.

Follow Steve Featherstone on Twitter @FeathersWorld

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Article title: Arsenal firing on all cylinders at Brums expense

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