Sunday, July 23, 2023

GUNNED DOWN Arsenal player ratings: Odegaard only shining light as Declan Rice anonymous amid defensive horror show

ARSENAL lost 2-0 to Premier League rivals Manchester United following a disappointing performance in the US.

The Gunners took on United at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey and failed to replicate their dominant display against the MLS All-Stars on Wednesday.

The Red Devils opened the scoring in the half-hour mark with a powerful long-range shot by Bruno Fernandes that Aaron Ramsdale failed to hold onto.

Gabriel Magalhaes and Takehiro Tomiyasu also took too long to close Fernandes down.

United doubled their lead just seven minutes later when Gabriel lost possession in midfield and that allowed Jadon Sancho to break through and beat Ramsdale with a clinical finish.

But who stood out and who struggled for Arsenal? SunSport’s Kostas Lianos rates every single player at MetLife Stadium:

AARON RAMSDALE – 4
Couldn’t inspire the same level of confidence between the sticks like he did against the MLS All-Stars. Carries responsibility for Bruno Fernandes’ goal and didn’t save a single penalty.

JURRIEN TIMBER – 5
Very few moments of brilliance from the summer signing, who started at right-back. But Timber showed he could form a good partnership with Bukayo Saka down the wing.

WILLIAM SALIBA – 5
Struggled during Manchester United’s counter-attacks. Mikel Arteta would have expected more from his star centre-back.

GABRIEL MAGALHAES – 2
Carries responsibility for both goals as he failed to mark Fernandes during his run and was the one that gave the ball away before Jadon Sancho’s strike.

TAKEHIRO TOMIYASU – 3
Struggled throughout the first half and was rightfully taken off at half-time. Also partly responsible for Fernandes’ goal as he didn’t mark him on time – was playing out of position at left-back, though.

DECLAN RICE – 5
Arsenal fans will be expecting much more from their club record signing this coming season. Failed to anchor the Gunners’ midfield and was mostly anonymous throughout the match – early days, though.

KAI HAVERTZ – 5
Also uninspiring, just like his other two fellow summer arrivals. Played on the left in midfield and couldn’t cause United any problems.

MARTIN ODEGAARD – 6
Probably the best of the worst, but not by much. Showed some moments of brilliance and almost got Arsenal back in the game with a clever through-ball from a free-kick only for Eddie Nketiah to miss from close range.

BUKAYO SAKA – 5
Showed he could form a good partnership with Timber on the right flank. But was a far cry from his dominant performance against the All-Stars where he amassed two assists.

GABRIEL MARTINELLI – 5
Largely anonymous for Arsenal during both halves. Couldn’t create any significant dangers on the left for either United right-back.

EDDIE NKETIAH – 4
Had a perfect chance to put Arsenal back in the game when he missed from close range after a brilliant through pass by Odegaard. Will have to do a lot more to take Gabriel Jesus’ place.

SUBS:
KIERAN TIERNEY – 5
Did better than Tomiyasu on the left but didn’t add any significant spark. Seems to be on his way out.

GABRIEL JESUS – 5
Didn’t add anything significant after coming off the bench. But he doesn’t have to stress about his place in Arteta’s starting XI yet…

BEN WHITE – 5
Didn’t add much more in defence but kept United at bay. Far fewer leaks on the right than there were on the left during the second half.

THOMAS PARTEY – 5
Failed to inspire any confidence in midfield after his introduction during the second half. Partey’s future is still uncertain.

JORGINHO – 5
Nothing much from the midfielder. Jorginho and Partey failed to limit United’s attacks after their introduction in the second half and also didn’t push their team-mates forward.

LEANDRO TROSSARD – 4
Scored an incredible goal against the MLS All-Stars and dominated during Arsenal’s first game of their US tour. Couldn’t emulate any of that against United but came back from a knock he suffered against the All-Stars.

EMILE SMITH ROWE – 4
Came on quite late and couldn’t set the game alight. Smith Rowe was largely anonymous after his introduction.

FABIO VIEIRA – 4
Struggled to keep United quiet, just like Partey and Jorginho. Didn’t do much to shield the back four and then missed a penalty for good measure.

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