Arsenal picked up all three points against Sheffield United | Pool/Getty Images

A lacklustre Arsenal picked up their third league win of the season as they overcame Sheffield United 2-1 on Sunday in the Premier League.

The first half saw both sides fail to create any real chances, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang going closest with a speculative long-range effort, which Aaron Ramsdale was forced to tip over. Aubameyang once again went close after the break, after a lovely pass from Dani Ceballos.

The Gunners broke the deadlock on the hour, with Bukayo Saka rounding off a well-worked team move. It was one of the first times the hosts played quick, incisive passes and were rewarded as they broke down the Blades’ low block.

Arsenal doubled their lead just four minutes later through Nicolas Pepe, the substitute using his pace to drive into the area before cooly slotting the ball into the far corner. The Blades pulled one back with seven minutes remaining through an outstanding David McGoldrick strike – but the Gunners were able to hold on for the win.

Let’s get into some player ratings, shall we?

Gabriel, Enda Stevens
Arsenal had a few shaky moments defensively | Pool/Getty Images

Bernd Leno (GK) – 6/10 – Barely had anything to do all afternoon, but will be frustrated he was unable to come away with a clean sheet.

David Luiz (CB) – 4/10 – Didn’t exactly make the best start to the game. In fact, he could and perhaps should have been sent off after just five minutes after pulling Oliver Burke back as he tried to race through.

Gabriel (CB) – 5/10 – Made a few sloppy mistakes, giving the ball away needlessly. But didn’t have much to do defensively.

Kieran Tierney (CB) – 7/10 – In Mikel Arteta’s fluid setup, Tierney operated as the left centre-back, but was given the freedom to push forward and provide the width down the left when in possession. Played with real energy and a sense of urgency.

Bukayo Saka
Saka opened the scoring for Arsenal | Pool/Getty Images

Hector Bellerin (RWB) – 8/10 – Supported the attacks well, getting in behind to set up Saka for the opener and laying off for Pepe too. Was a constant outlet down the right.

Dani Ceballos (CM) – 6/10 – Tasked with breaking down the Sheffield United defence, Ceballos was unable to find much space in the middle of the park. With Elneny also often dropping back, Ceballos was overrun in the centre of the park.

Mohamed Elneny (CM) – 5/10 – Often dropped into the defence to receive the ball and build attacks, but often opted for the ‘safe’ pass, rather than looking to break the lines and get the attackers involved.

Bukayo Saka (LWB) – 8/10 – While Saka was deployed as the left wing-back on paper, he was allowed to drift in field as Tierney pushed forward. Popped up at the crucial moment to head home the opener to round off what has been an excellent week so far.

Eddie Nketiah, John Egan
Nketiah struggled to really get involved | Pool/Getty Images

Willian (RW) – 4/10 – Wasn’t involved…at all. Pepe, on the other hand, made a real difference with his pace and direct running. Arteta needs much more from the Brazilian next time out.

Eddie Nketiah (ST) – 4/10 – Given the chance to impress from the start ahead of Alexandre Lacazette, but was withdrawn after less than an hour. Was kept very quiet and left frustrated.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (LW) – 7/10 – Showed the necessary quality to break down the Blades defence, flicking the ball through for Bellerin for the opener. Wasn’t his best display, but was at the heart of everything positive Arsenal did going forward.

Nicolas Pepe
Pepe made a real difference | Clive Rose/Getty Images

Nicolas Pepe – 7/10

Granit Xhaka – N/A

Ainsley Maitland-Niles – N/A

Aaron Ramsdale
Ramsdale put in a solid display | Clive Rose/Getty Images

Aaron Ramsdale (GK) – 5/10 – Wasn’t tested all that often, but ended up picking the ball out of his net twice.

Chris Basham (CB) – 6/10 – Put in a solid performance to help keep Arsenal’s usually menacing left-side quiet during the contest.

John Egan (CB) – 6/10 – Marshalled the defence well, sticking tight to Nketiah and not allowing him to get into the game. But wasn’t able to deal with Aubameyang’s movement when he came more central.

Jack Robinson (CB) – 5/10 – Undone by two moments of quality down his side, but failed to press on in the way that Wilder likes his wide centre-backs to do.

FBL-ENG-PR-ARSENAL-SHEFFIELD UTD
Berge worked hard in midfielder for Sheffield United | CLIVE ROSE/Getty Images

George Baldock (RWB) – 6/10 – Was forced back as Arsenal looked to push forward down their left, but performed his duties well and closed off the spaces well. He also got the assist for the Blades’ goal.

John Lundstram (CM) – 6/10 – Wasn’t exactly a spectacular display by Lundstram, but it was a typically tireless performance. Worked hard to stop Ceballos and Elneny from dictating the game, overturning possession and looking to drive forward.

Sander Berge (CM) – 5/10 – Aubameyang wasn’t best pleased with a Berge challenge in the first half, but it epitomised his no-nonsense performance. Was calm on the ball as well and looked to bring his attackers into the game when possible.

Ben Osborn (CM) – 4/10 – Failed to really get forward and support the front two in any way, and was eventually hooked as Chris Wilder went in search of more creativity.

Endo Stevens (LWB) – 5/10 – A quiet afternoon for Stevens in attack, while both of Arsenal’s goals did come down his side.

Oliver Burke, David Luiz
Burke’s pace was a problem | Pool/Getty Images

Oliver Burke (ST) – 5/10 – His pace caused Arsenal‘s defence real problems, coming short before making darting runs in behind. But was withdrawn with less than an hour on the clock as his energy levels dropped.

David McGoldrick (ST) – 6/10 – You would be forgiven for thinking he wasn’t even playing for a large portion of the match, that’s how uninvolved he was in attack. But then came up with a moment of real quality to make it 2-1 inside the final ten minutes. Was typically hard-working.

Chris Wilder
Wilder’s substitutions didn’t really make much of a difference | Clive Rose/Getty Images

Oli McBurnie – 5/10

John Fleck – 5/10



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