Arsenal lost 6-3 to a gloriously free-flowing Manchester City side, but there were some positive signs for Arsene Wenger – not least thanks to a few dubious decisions by the officials. Read player ratings here.
Wojciech Szczesny: 6/10
Could do little about any of the goals, and rushed out his area to make intelligent interceptions where in previous seasons he might have appeared panicked.
Gave away a penalty at the end though, and was booked.
Bacary Sagna: 5/10
Right back Bacary Sagna got forward effectively against former club colleague Gael Clichy, but looked rusty at the back, and it was his slip at the beginning of the second half with the score at 2-1 that allowed Fernandinho to extend Manchester City’s lead.
Per Mertesacker: 7/10
As imperious as ever in the tackle, Mertesacker received little support from midfield, meaning Arsenal were regularly outnumbered as Man City flowed forward.
Laurent Koscielny: 6/10
Commitment could not be called into question, as he was close to both opening goalscorers, but of course was defeated in each of the two individual battles. Went off injured, and Arsenal were noticeably more open at the back.
Nacho Monreal: 5/10
Arsenal noticeably missed Kieran Gibbs, with Nacho Monreal looking poor and regularly beaten for skill by Manchester City players on the right – if he wasn’t already out of position.
Mathieu Flamini: 6/10
Mathieu Flamini did his very best to marshal the midfield, but was ploughing a lone furrow, and would very much have appreciated the presence of Mikel Arteta alongside him.
Aaron Ramsey: 6/10
Aaron Ramsey showed some nice touches in midfield, and combined well with Mesut Ozil and Theo Walcott in attack, but left Flamini isolated.
Jack Wilshere: 4/10
Regularly gave the ball away with simple passes in dangerous positions. Looked terribly off the pace, and his middle fingered salute to Manchester City fans capped off a disappointing performance.
Mesut Ozil: 6/10
Dangerous as always in the attacking third, with some nice touches, but drifted in and out of the game. Fine vision and assist for Theo Walcott’s equaliser.
Theo Walcott: 8/10
Theo Walcott proved on his first start back since his abdominal injury that he is a brilliant finisher – though of course Costel Pantilimon ought to have performed better for his first.
His second though was sublime, and his pace and movement was always troubling for the Manchester City defence.
Olivier Giroud: 5/10
Showed admirable resolve and good strength when receiving the ball on his own while he waited for support, but finishing poor (other than his ‘goal’ incorrectly ruled out for offside), and was substituted off tired.
Thomas Vermaelen: 5/10
Came on as a substitute for the injured Koscielny, and played as he always had – stepping up in risky fashion and leaving space behind.
Serge Gnabry: 6/10
Offered pace and skill out wide, and should have come on earlier.
Nicklas Bendtner: 7/10
Was unlucky not to score when called offside through a marginal call. Played sublime pass to play in Theo Walcott too. Perhaps it’s time to give Olivier Giroud a rest.