Arsenal players’ ratings against Sheffield United: Martinelli scores in return

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Arsenal, Pablo Mari


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Arsenal players’ scores against Sheffield United in the Premier League on Sunday as Alexandre Lacazette and Gabriel Martinelli score in a 2-0 victory. (Photo by RUI VIEIRA / POOL / AFP via Getty Images)

Gabriel Martinelli entered the starting lineup with explosive fanfare and he contributed to what was an impressive Arsenal first half full of unorthodox system play.

Sliding in a back three with Granit Xhaka in the left center-back, Arsenal played with six men up front with Bukayo Saka in the central areas exchanging with Alexandre Lacazette. There were combinations on both flanks as Arsenal had bodies in wide areas, playing neat football with movement and energy galore.

The first goal was of the highest order as Lacazette completed a magnificent passing stroke with the impressive Dani Ceballos who placed him in the way of the Frenchman, who finished coldly.

A much more subdued second half, Arsenal saw negligence enter their game as Sheffield United pushed for a return path.

Although Saka was forced to leave due to a thigh injury, the match ended with less than 20 minutes left as a delicious job from Pepe ended with his shot parried on the way. from Martinelli, who had a simple tap-in.

From there it was about seeing the game end without spending unnecessary energy, which Arsenal did, after adding a sublime turn and pass from Thomas Partey expertly finished by Lacazette to the score.

Spanish Arsenal defender Pablo Mari clears the ball during the English Premier League soccer match between Sheffield United and Arsenal. (Photo by TIM KEETON / POOL / AFP via Getty Images)

Notes from Arsenal goalkeepers and defenders

Bernd Leno (GK) – 7/10 – Fairly simple game for the German who was only briefly asked questions, but it was simpler subtractions than long divisions.

Calum Rooms (RB) – 7/10 – Played so advanced that he formed a trio with Saka and Pepe in the Sheffield United half, it was like there were three right-handed players on show. Did some nice runs past the full-back and whipped up some good dangerous deliveries. Solid watch.

Rob Holding (CB) – 6/10 – Rob Holding’s death remains a problem. He’s not a good distributor of the ball and is the weakest of all the central defensive options, but he sweeps efficiently and performs well under pressure.

Pablo Mari (CB) – 7/10 – Calm, composed, creative and expansive, it was a solid evening of work for Pablo Mari on his return to the starting lineup. Arguably the most composed in possession of the options for the job – with the exception of David Luiz – he showed it at Bramall Lane.

Granite Xhaka (LB) – 7/10 – Fits the left center-back role where he was rarely under severe pressure, with Arsenal keeping possession well in the advanced areas.

Not a position to play against stronger opposition but useful on this occasion. It always seems to be playing well there.

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