Arsenal kept their top four hopes alive with a 2-0 win over London rivals Chelsea at the Emirates.
Alexandre Lacazette gave the Gunners an early lead, beating two men inside the Chelsea box before firing past Kepa Arrizabalaga. And it was doubled just before half-time with Laurent Koscielny finishing from close range.
That would be all Arsenal required in the match, cutting the gap on fourth-placed Chelsea to just three points.
But how did the players rate?
Bernd Leno – 6 – Had very little to do aside from claim few crosses, may not have an easier game this season.
Key stat: Bernd Leno kept just his second Premier League clean sheet of the season.
Hector Bellerin – 8 – Got forward a lot against Alonso throughout the match, linking up well with Lacazette. Sent in a good, hard ball into Lacazette’s feet to set up the Frenchman’s opening goal. Unfortunately was taken off on a stretcher with 20 minutes to go.
Sokratis – 9 – Dominated Hazard throughout, giving the Belgian very little time to do anything. Showed his attacking worth too with a volleyed assist for Koscielny just before half-time.
Laurent Koscielny – 9 – A wonderful performance from the Arsenal captain. Stopped everything coming into the box, heading away crosses as if his life depended on it. Should have opened the scoring but saw a header saved by Kepa from close range. Did get his goal though, doubling Arsenal’s lead with his shoulder.
Laurent Koscielny has scored his first goal for Arsenal since February 2018 (vs. Everton).
350 days later – mostly of injury hell – and the wait is over. 💪 pic.twitter.com/JhafveWNNq
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) January 19, 2019
Sead Kolasinac – 7 – Allowed Azpilicueta to get forward a lot in the first-half, though was not punished with little to aim for in the box. Got forward well as the game went on, but was missing the final product.
Granit Xhaka – 8 – Helped control the midfield, keeping Kovacic and Jorginho nullified. A good performance when under pressure.
Matteo Guendouzi – 8 – Another impressive performance from the youngster, who proved more than a match for N’Golo Kante and Azpilicueta.
Lucas Torreira – 8 – Alongside Xhaka, dominated the midfield. Never one to shy away from a challenge, the Uruguayan put himself about a lot to help Arsenal win the game.
Aaron Ramsey – 9 – Arsenal’s dedicated marker for Jorginho, Ramsey pressed very high on Chelsea’s defenders not allowing them to play out to back. Completely destroyed Sarrismo.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – 8 – A brilliant all-round performance from the forward. Had his chances to score in the first half but either miss-kicked or saw his efforts saved. The Gabonese proved his worth defensively too. Slightly quieter after half-time but his job was done.
Alexandre Lacazette – 9 – Arsenal’s main man in the first half, Alonso will be having nightmares after Lacazette’s performance. The Frenchman was a constant problem down Arsenal’s right and opened the scoring with a brilliant effort, collecting the ball well inside the area before firing past Arrizabalaga. His substitution with 20 minutes to go was understandably booed by home fans.
Alex Iwobi (for Lacazette 67) – 5 – Looked to add some fresh legs in attack with Arsenal hoping to catch Chelsea on the counter.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles (for Ramsey 67) – 6 – Filled in at right-back once Bellerin went off.
Mohamed Elneny (for Bellerin 73) – 5 – Solidified the midfield as Arsenal looked to hold their lead.
Kepa Arrizabalaga – 5 – Fantastic save from point-blank to deny Koscielny’s header from an Arsenal free-kick. Could do nothing to stop Lacazette’s goal moments later, nor Koscielny’s goal just before half-time – being wrong-footed by the shoulder.
Cesar Azpilicueta – 6 – Was fortunate not to have his hesitation punished by Aubameyang in the first half. Looked to get forward a lot but had no one to cross the ball to.
Antonio Rudiger – 5 – Despite being Chelsea’s best centre-back Rudiger struggled alongside his fellow defenders; unable to deal with set pieces and crosses. Showed his passing range late in the game.
David Luiz – 4 – Though it was not as bad as his Tottenham performance this was certainly one of Luiz’s bad games. Looked too calm on the ball early on, gifting the ball to Ramsey just outside the Chelsea area. Struggled to deal with crosses in and was booked for a hard challenge on Ramsey.
Marcos Alonso – 2 – Another poor game for the Spaniard who is looking increasingly bad at left-back with each passing week. Alonso was completely outfoxed by Lacazette on many occasions including for the opening goal, getting turned too easily inside the area. His game was summed up by blocking Willian’s effort on goal in the second half.
Jorginho – 2 – Sarri will be hoping to get a new midfielder and fast. Jorginho did not enjoy his trip to the Emirates, with poor passing and high pressing leaving many frustrated.
Key stat: Jorginho posted his third-lowest passing accuracy in the Premier League this season, completing 85.19% of his passes.
N’Golo Kante – 5 – Pressed high to try and get Chelsea into the game but was often on his own in that regard. Found himself in goalscoring positions but not much came from them. Met his match in Guendouzi.
Mateo Kovacic – 4 – Struggled to get into the game in the first half, with poor passing and bad body language. Allowed Koscielny to run off him for Arsenal’s second. As usual, Sarri’s first sub was to take him off for Barkley.
Pedro – 5 – Perhaps could have done better defensively to put Lacazette off in the build up to the Frenchman’s goal. Should have equalised for Chelsea getting onto the end of a long ball from David Luiz, but his chip – trying to emulate his goal against Newcastle – was just wide. Chelsea’s best attacking player, though that isn’t saying much.
Eden Hazard – 4 – Had Chelsea’s first chance of the match but his shot was well wide. Otherwise very quiet and wasted at false nine.
Willian – 4 – Struggled to get into the game throughout, barely giving Hector Bellerin a moment of worry. Taken off when Chelsea needed an actual striker.
Ross Barkley (for Kovacic 63) – 5 – Got his customary 30-minute run out in the second half but had little positive impact.
Olivier Giroud (for Willian 68) – 5 – Brought on to add an actual striker onto the pitch but it was too late for him to change the game.
Callum Hudson-Odoi (for Pedro 80) – 5 – Did not have too much time to make an impact but could find himself with a start against Tottenham based on the performances of those above him.