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Played
December 29, 2012 12:30 PM EST
Emirates Stadium — London
Referee:‬ C. Foy‎
Attendance:‬ 60087‎
 
   
 
 

Player Ratings: Arsenal 7-3 Newcastle

Gunners run riot with Theo Walcott stealing the show with a coolly taken hat trick that strengthens both his claim for a starting berth up front and and improved contract terms

By Josh Clarke

  • Wojciech Szczesny
    108
    7
    3.50

    Wojciech Szczesny

    Had little chance with any of Newcastle's goals and was often let down by the defenders in front of him. Smart stops from Marveaux, Bigirimana and others kept the goals conceded column respectable.

  • Bacary Sagna
    68
    27
    2.50

    Bacary Sagna

    Had Obertan in his pocket before the winger started to test him by drifting inside, with a foul under such circumstances leading to the free kick that Ba converted. Looked uncharacteristically shaky.

  • Thomas Vermaelen
    73
    18
    2.50

    Thomas Vermaelen

    Still fluctuating massively in his form, with this evening offering little sign of stability. Troubled by Ba's presence up front though looked composed on the ball when playing out from the back.

  • Laurent Koscielny
    70
    35
    2.00

    Laurent Koscielny

    Drafted in with Mertesacker ill and his rustiness was pounced on by a ruthless Ba. His partnership with Vermaelen is obviously under-developed and unlikely to feature again once the giant German is back to full fitness.

  • Kieran Gibbs
    57
    53
    2.00

    Kieran Gibbs

    Non-existent far-post defending made him at least partially culpable for both Newcastle's second and third strikes. Attacked moderately well, demonstrated by his assist for Walcott's second, yet this didn't mask the deficiencies of his defensive game.

  • Mikel Arteta
    82
    12
    2.50

    Mikel Arteta

    Failed to stamp authority on proceedings in the manner in which either Cazorla and Wilshere did. Deliberate and measured in possession, without ever really providing much of a spark.

  • Jack Wilshere
    158
    4
    4.00

    Jack Wilshere

    Arsenal's driving force in the middle, leading his team by example. Unlucky to see Ba's free kick deflect in off his head, but was key in the build-up for Podolski's effort.

  • Santi Cazorla
    118
    11
    3.50

    Santi Cazorla

    Had a quiet first half by his own lofty standards. Decision-making going forward could have been better, though this improved drastically after the break as he began to orchestrate proceedings.

  • Lukas Podolski
    175
    4
    4.00

    Lukas Podolski

    Industrious and effective throughout, playing a key part in most of Arsenal's forays forward. Superb vision released Walcott for the game's opener and similarly intelligent play highlighted a bright attacking display by the home team.

  • Theo Walcott
    211
    6
    4.50

    Theo Walcott Top of the Match

    Constantly played on the shoulder, testing the unfamiliarity between Coloccini and Perch and notched an excellent hat-trick. Classy finish opened the scoring, before a composed turn under pressure put his side 4-3 up and a wicked cross for Giroud and dinked finish made it a rout. Despite compelling evidence to the contrary, still not the finished article up top though, with poor technique and decision-making often letting him down when attacking on the break.

  • Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
    127
    4
    3.50

    Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

    Threatened the opposition in fits and starts, until his composed drive early in the second half handed the impetus to Arsenal after Newcastle had worked hard to subdue them.

Substitutions

  • Aaron Ramsey
    54
    17

    Aaron Ramsey

    Came on for a short cameo to spare Podolski's legs

  • Francis Coquelin
    52
    10

    Francis Coquelin

    Given a short chance to impress with Arsenal running riot

  • Olivier Giroud
    169
    2
    4.00

    Olivier Giroud

    Lapped up a delightful Walcott ball in to sink a diving header after coming on as a sub, before shifting the ball well to fire in a composed second.

  • Tim Krul
    13
    7
    2.50

    Tim Krul

    Ended up on the wrong end of a rout, though with such a lightweight defence in front of him, he can hardly be held accountable.

  • Fabricio Coloccini
    6
    11
    1.50

    Fabricio Coloccini

    The pace of Walcott and potency of Arsenal on the break utterly demoralised him in an evening he will hope to mentally repress as quickly as possible.

  • Davide Santon
    5
    14
    2.00

    Davide Santon

    Made to look pedestrian by both Oxlade-Chamberlain and Walcott as Arsenal ran rampant. Lack of familiarity with Obertan rendered them ineffective as an attacking duo for large periods.

  • Danny Simpson
    2
    10
    2.00

    Danny Simpson

    Penned in by Podolski and Gibbs' eagerness to drive down the Gunners' left with there being little respite throughout for the former Manchester United man.

  • James Perch
    2
    21
    1.50

    James Perch Flop of the Match

    His makeshift centre-half pairing with Coloccini was given the sternest of tests and he struggled immensely. Unlikely that Pardew, even in the desperation that forced it today, will want to return to this duo at the heart of his defence.

  • Gael Bigirimana
    13
    6
    2.00

    Gael Bigirimana

    Got himself into some useful positions and even acquired a stranglehold of midfield by half-time, though this quickly, and dramatically, diminished in the second half.

  • Sylvain Marveaux
    22
    4
    2.50

    Sylvain Marveaux

    Capitalised on some terrible Arsenal defending to sink his side's second equaliser. Enjoyed a brief purple patch as Newcastle threatened to ruin Arsenal's day, but that soon came and went.

  • Cheikh Tiote
    6
    12
    2.50

    Cheikh Tiote

    After missing the humdinger against Manchester United, his energy could have been key in the middle against a rested Arsenal. Started brightly but became totally over-ran and ultimately redundant as Arsenal flexed their muscles in the second half.

  • Papiss Cissé
    7
    11
    2.00

    Papiss Cissé

    Looked totally isolated out wide, registering barely any impact in game full of incident.

  • Demba Ba
    57
    2
    3.50

    Demba Ba

    Made a handful of himself as Newcastle struggled to get to grips early on though quickly became the focal point of his side. Fortunate to see his free kick go in off the back of Wilshere's head, but scored a tidy second and gave Koscielny the run-around until his team lost the plot.

  • Gabriel Obertan
    27
    4
    3.00

    Gabriel Obertan

    Quiet first half in which he struggled to get the better of Sagna, though that reversed in the second, with the winger beating his compatriot all too easily to square for Marveaux's leveller.

Substitutions

  • Shane Ferguson
    4
    7

    Shane Ferguson

    His team were being subjected to a brutalising by the time he entered the fray.

  • James Tavernier
    4
    8

    James Tavernier

    Given the shortest of run-arounds.

  • Shola Ameobi
    10
    5
    3.00

    Shola Ameobi

    Came on as a last throw of the dice, but Giroud's quick-fire double soon ended any hopes the visiting team had.

Results
 
Player Ratings
Tournament
Position
Ranking
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Luis Suárez Luis Suárez
Striker
Liverpool
29 0
Daniel Sturridge Daniel Sturridge
Striker
Liverpool
20 0
Yaya Touré Yaya Touré
Midfielder
Man City
18 6
Wayne Rooney Wayne Rooney
Striker
Man United
15 2
Sergio Agüero Sergio Agüero
Striker
Man City
15 0