Player Ratings: MLS All-Stars 1-2 Arsenal

With a number of first-team players rejoining the Arsenal squad for the first game of their US tour, who stood out the most against an MLS All-Star side full of recognisable names in San Jose?


Petr CECH (c): 7

The legendary goalkeeper returned to the Arsenal goal and looked solid throughout, with his most notable moment being a low save down to his right from Giovanni dos Santos’ strike. He’ll have been disappointed to concede to his old friend Didier Drogba but was at no personal fault for the goal.

Mathieu DEBUCHY: 5

After a surprisingly sharp display against RC Lens last week Mathieu Debuchy was unable to replicate such a display here as he was troubled by David Villa consistently in the first half. It feels like it’s only a matter of time before the Frenchman finds himself another club now.


With Laurent Koscielny still on holiday, Gabriel struck down by illness and Per Mertesacker injured, new signing Rob Holding was given a chance to impress on his debut here and boy did he take it. The 20-year-old looked at ease at the heart of the Gunners defence and made a number of well-timed tackles and interceptions before coming close with a header in the second half. It’s early days but as far as first impressions goes, the former Bolton man couldn’t have hoped for much better.

Krystian BIELIK: 7

Whilst Holding will likely claim many of the plaudits, credit must also go to his defensive partner who looked just as assured during his second appearance in pre-season. Despite Drogba scoring right on the edge of half-time, Bielik mostly did a good job against his illustrious opponent and was not afraid to match the Ivorian physical through the opening 45 minutes.

Kieran GIBBS: 6

Not the best day at the office for the Englishman but hardly the worst either. He’ll be going into the new season hoping to reclaim the left-back spot he lost to Monreal some time ago but will need to show more defensive awareness if he’s going to be able to do that.

Francis COQUELIN: 6

To the surprise of nobody Francis Coquelin made a couple of borderline-unsafe tackles in the first half as the main aggressor in Arsenal’s midfield. He picked up a knee injury five minutes before half-time that will have Gunners fans concerned, even if he played on until half-time.

Mohamad ELNENY: 7

Another quietly assured performance from the Egyptian who reminded some people what he brings to the Arsenal midfield tonight. He put in a calm, composed display before forcing a great save out of Blake in the All-Stars goal with a sweetly struck long range strike.


After putting in a lively second-half display against Lens that culminated in a gorgeously weighted chip to earn his side a draw, Oxlade-Chamberlain continued his good form in pre-season with another exciting performance here. His running and desire to beat his man made him a consistent threat down Arsenal’s right flank.


Playing in the role usually occupied by a certain Mesut Ozil, Jack Wilshere made a solid if unspectacular return to the Arsenal midfield tonight that included some tidy passes and intelligent movement. At this stage of the season though the focus will be on getting the Englishman up to full fitness before the Premier League gets underway.


The Costa Rican looked massively off-the-pace in a cameo display against Lens but he made up for it here, forcing Arsenal’s early goal by chasing down a long ball that caused the All-Star defence to fluff their lines and concede a penalty. He scored from the spot with conviction and consistently worried the opposition defence with some good footwork and quick running.


Another bad day at the office for Theo Walcott as he again looked low on confidence and indecisive in the key moments. His pace caused the All-Star defence some worries but whenever he did receive the ball he was unable to create anything of note, with his game being summed up by the decision to take lame shot that did not trouble the goalkeeper rather than passing to Campbell on his left who was in tons of space.



Hector BELLERIN (on 45): 6

The lightning-quick Spaniard returned from holiday to retake his position on the right of Arsenal’s defence and immediately looked at home in a reserved but decent display.

Calum CHAMBERS (on 45): 6

After making a mistake that lead to a Lens goal last week, Chambers avoided such embarrassment here with a reasonable display that saw him rarely troubled.

Nacho MONREAL (on 45): 6

Monreal proved again here why his attacking prowess is valued so highly by his manager as his overlapping run and subsequent pass laid the ball on a plate for Chuba Akpom to score the winner.

Granit XHAKA (on 45): 7

Arsenal fans will be delighted with their initial glimpse of their new £30m man, with the Swiss midfielder demonstrating his great passing range and accuracy from set-pieces. His shot from long-distance also called their opposition goalkeeper into action during a quiet spell in the second half.

Alex IWOBI (on 45): 5

The young Nigerian struggled to make any impact here as the link-up play that characterises his game was sadly missing.

Emiliano MARTINEZ (on 68): N/A

Little to do as Arsenal pressed for a winner in the second half.

Gedion ZELALEM (on 68): N/A

The only American in Arsenal’s squad put in a tidy display without really impressing. Likely to go out on loan again soon.

Chris WILLOCK (on 68): N/A

Willock’s reputation as one of the most exciting prospects on Arsenal’s books will have been done no harm here, with his reverse pass to Monreal for the winning goal a highlight in a bright display.

Jeff REINE-ADELAIDE (on 68): N/A

The man affectionately known as The Jeff was confirmed to be moving up to the Arsenal first-team squad for next season and was quietly impressive again here tonight as he demonstrated a few of the skills in his repertoire.

Chuba AKPOM (on 68): N/A

A middling display from Akpom was boosted by the a late winner that saw him (somewhat inexplicably) named the game’s MVP. He couldn’t miss from where he was but his movement was commendable nonetheless.

Callum Perritt

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