Player ratings: Watford 2-2 Arsenal

Arsenal blew a 2-0 half-time lead away to Watford to hang onto a point in a 2-2 draw at the side bottom of the Premier League.

A first half brace from striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang put us on our way to three points that would have moved us into the third place before a defensive howler let the hosts back into the game eight minutes into the second half.

David Luiz conceded a penalty in the final 10 minutes for Watford to grab a point in their first game under Quique Flores in his second spell in charge. A good save from Bernd Leno at the end denied the Hornets all three points.

Here are my player ratings from the game:

Bernd Leno 6 – The short goal kicks inside the penalty area weren’t working all game so the German has to take a lot of the blame for Watford’s first goal by putting Sokratis under needless pressure. Didn’t have much of a chance with Tom Cleverley’s first time strike and dived in the opposite direction to Roberto Pererya’s spot kick. Made a couple of decent stops including one to deny Watford a winner at the very end.

Ainsley Maitland-Niles 5 – Grabbed an assist when pushing forward but was lazy in getting back at times in the second half. Not naturally a defender but Ainsley Maitland-Niles should be working harder given his age and squad status.

Sokratis 4 – Conceded possession inside his own penalty area to start Watford’s fightback. We had been comfortable up until this moment.

David Luiz 4 – A lazy attempt of a challenge gave Watford their penalty from which they equalised. David Luiz has now conceded two in his first four games as an Arsenal player. Didn’t look like he wanted to defend at times.

Sead Kolasinac 5 – Setup the opening goal with a nice pass down the left wing. It was Sead Kolasinac’s wing from which Watford had plenty of space at the end of the game to create a third. Wasn’t the best defensively today. Unai Emery really has a lot of work on his hands.

Matteo Guendouzi 5 – Watford produced a staggering 31 shots on goal in this game so we have to look at the two holding midfielders. Matteo Guendouzi had some nice moments but was largely disappointing in trying to stop the hosts’ attacks.

Granit Xhaka 5 – Another poor defensive performance from the captain. Granit Xhaka was fine in possession but when we’ve conceded two goals and not won the game you have to point the blame to the players in the middle of the pitch who should have controlled the game from a 2-0 lead.

Dani Ceballos 5 – Was receiving the ball too keep as the Spanish playmaker created little. Dani Ceballos could have done with getting further forward. Was replaced by Joe Willock on the hour.

Nicolas Pepe 6 – Some more exciting and explosive touches from the club record signing but once again it wasn’t Nicolas Pepe’s day as he wasn’t involved in a goal. Had been expecting much better from the Ivorian but his time will eventually come.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang 9 – The only Arsenal player who can come away with his head held high after this game. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang produced two nice finishes in the first half before his supply was cut off after the break.

Mesut Ozil 6 – Played out on the left wing where he has gone missing in the past. Mesut Ozil had a fine first half and was an important player in our second goal which should have killed the game off. Went quiet like most of our attacking players after the break though.


Joe Willock (30 mins) 5 – Wasted an excellent opportunity to create a late chance for Aubameyang.

Lucas Torreira (23 mins) 6 – Energetic from the central midfielder who should have started.

Reiss Nelson (19 mins) 5 – The youngster didn’t do much as he saw little of the ball in attack.