Arsenal ratings against Chelsea: Mari and Gunners defence AWFUL and bullied by Lukaku as Saka shows glimpses of class

ARSENAL were comfortably swatted aside by London rivals Chelsea as they limply succumbed to a 2-0 defeat in front of a packed Emirates Stadium.

The Gunners showed little improvement from the loss to Brentford nine days earlier as first half strikes from Romelu Lukaku and Reece James all but ended the match as a contest.

A couple of players stuck out as the main issues for Mikel Arteta during what turned out to be another torturous afternoon for the Spaniard.

Here, SunSport's Dylan Terry delivers his individual player ratings for Arsenal.

Bernd Leno – 6

Could not have done anything about the two goals as his defence were exposed time and time again. Made a superb save late on from a Lukaku header.

Cedric Soares – 6

Offered more protection in defensive situations than Kieran Tierney did on the other side.

Failed to receive much help from Nicolas Pepe when it came to tracking back. Did his best to curtail Marcos Alonso and Kai Havertz even if he was not always successful.

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Rob Holding – 5

Both he and Pablo Mari were taught a lesson by Lukaku when it comes to the physicality of the Premier League.

It was a baptism of fire for Holding given it's his first game of the season, but he was still sluggish, even if Mari did him no favours.

He was frequently susceptible to being beaten in the air in the same way Ben White struggled against Brentford. Received a yellow card for his troubles.

Pablo Mari – 3

Clearly not capable of handling someone of the calibre of Lukaku. Allowed the Chelsea striker to wander through and tap in from close range inside the first quarter of an hour.

Alongside a second central defensive partner in as many games following the omission of White, Mari failed to show any kind of chemistry with Holding. To cap things off, he was also booked. Had an absolute nightmare.

Kieran Tierney – 5

Looked lively early on as Arsenal clearly targeted the right-hand side of Chelsea's defence.

But was caught out for Chelsea's opener as he got drawn inside and allowed James acres of space to pick out Lukaku. The visitors enjoyed tremendous joy down the left as the second goal also came from a similar position.

Albert Sambi Lokonga – 6

Had a quiet game but his passing and positioning were more accomplished than the far more experienced Granit Xhaka alongside him.

A very difficult match for him to look good in, especially when Mason Mount was drifting all over the place in the second half. Booked for hauling down Lukaku.

Granit Xhaka – 5

Always looked more than a yard behind the pace of the game, demonstrated in Chelsea's second goal when he could not make up the ground to block off Lukaku's dummy.

Was chasing shadows when the Blues had the ball. Then when Arsenal won it back Xhaka frequently struggled to carry his side away from danger.

Bukayo Saka – 6

Looked the most likely to create something for Arteta's men but his final touch or pass often let him down.

Still looks like the most exciting player at the club, even if his teammates are not giving him much chance to show it. Tested Edouard Mendy with a venomous long range effort.

Emile Smith Rowe – 6

The game passed him by in the early stages as he looked totally out of his depth up against Mateo Kovacic and Jorginho.

Was robbed in possession a couple of times but eventually grew into the contest with some lung-busting drives into the Chelsea box. Like the rest of the Gunners team though, he lacked an end product.

Gabriel Martinelli – 5

Barely had a kick in the first half as the Gunners seemed to be desperately missing a focal point. Definitely flourishes more as a wide forward as opposed to the No9 position he tried to fill here.

Nicolas Pepe – 4

Continues to drift through big games without affecting them in any meaningful way.

Arsenal would have hoped when Pepe arrived at the club for £72million that these were the sort of games he could star in. Instead, you'd have been forgiven for not realising he was on the pitch.


Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (for Saka 61) – 6

The game had gone when he stepped onto the field. It simply seemed like an opportunity to give him some minutes and get him up to speed. A couple of flick-ons were his most valuable contributions.

Nuno Tavares (for Tierney 66) – 6

Probably wasn't expecting to be called upon but Arsenal needed fresh legs down their left. Coped fairly well with the marauding James.

Folarin Balogun (for Martinelli 79) – N/A

Had very few touches of the ball. Did not have enough time to make any meaningful impact.


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