Player Ratings: Kolasinac influential as Arsenal come from behind vs. Swansea

Sead Kolasinac saved Arsenal from another damning defeat by scoring one goal and setting up the second as the Gunners rallied to beat Swansea   2-1 in the Premier League on Saturday.

Arsenal trailed from Sam Clucas’ 22nd-minute opener, but Kolasinac fired home an equaliser in the 51st and then fed Aaron Ramsey for the winner seven minutes later.

The win maintained Arsenal’s perfect home record this season but may have come at a cost as Kolasinac limped off with 12 minutes left.


Another game, another comeback for the Gunners. After having their mentality questioned after their loss at Watford, Arsenal have fought back from a goal down in each of their last three games.

That shows a certain amount of character — even though all three were games in which they shouldn’t have trailed in the first place. This was certainly not Arsenal at their best, but they have now won 13 straight home matches in all competitions. That’s a record that bodes well for the rest of the season.


The cheap goals just keep pouring in. Swansea’s opener came completely against the run of play with their first chance in the game, but it hardly felt surprising. Until Arsenal’s defence manages to cut out sloppy mistakes and mental errors they will always remain vulnerable to the type of goals Clucas scored here.

Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)

GK Petr Cech, 6 — Beaten too easily from a tight angle for Swansea’s goal, but partly made amends with a good save to deny Jordan Ayew just before the break. Also quick off his line to avert any danger on several occasions as the visitors repeatedly launched long balls up the field toward Tammy Abraham.

DF Laurent Koscielny, 5 — Made an uncharacteristic mistake in the build up to Swansea’s goal as he failed to clear a fairly routine ball. Recovered well after that but we’re used to seeing the France international performing at a higher level.

DF Per Mertesacker, 6 — Nearly gave away a second goal when he dithered on the ball and was dispossessed in his own area just before the break. But dealt well with Tammy Abraham in a couple of one-on-one situations and was well positioned to break up other attacks. Makes the team more dangerous on set pieces in the opponent’s box.

DF Nacho Monreal, 6 — Mr. Consistency had another solid game in which he hardly put a foot wrong. Had little to do defensively, though, and rarely tried to get involved in the attack. Finished the game at left wing-back after Kolasinac was taken off.

MF Hector Bellerin, 4 — Switched off completely for Swansea’s goal and wasn’t his usual self going forward. The few times he managed to make raids down the right flank, the accuracy of his crossing let him down. Still nearly scored when his lunging effort from Ramsey’s cross hit the bar at 2-1.

MF Granit Xhaka, 5 — Helped create Arsenal’s second goal with a perfect ball over the top to pick out Kolasinac. Those types of passes have been Xhaka’s biggest impact on Arsenal, but he had been erratic until then with a number of errant balls. Never imposed his will on the game and probably did little to silence calls that Jack Wilshere should start in his place.

MF Aaron Ramsey, 6 — Struggled to find any sort of rhythm in the first half, but came alive after the break. Made several good runs into the box before his goal, and played with much more confidence after scoring. Still seems to lack a bit of sharpness.

MF Sead Kolasinac, 8 — Turned the game around for Arsenal, hammering home the equaliser with a great strike and then setting up Ramsey for the second. The Bosnian was brought in to toughen up Arsenal’s defence, but his impact on the attack has been remarkable as he forms a formidable duo with Alexis Sanchez down the left flank. Seemed to limp slightly as he came off, and Arsenal had better hope it’s not a serious problem.

FW Mesut Ozil, 7 — Not quite the same Ozil as we saw at Everton as this performance contained more industry than inspiration. But his link-up with Alexandre Lacazette led to Arsenal’s equaliser and his understanding with the France striker seems to be growing with every game.

FW Alexis Sanchez, 7 — Great start saw him create three good chances in the opening eight minutes, but he drifted in and out of the game after that. Still stung Lukasz Fabianski’s palm after cutting in from the left in the first half and remained dangerous after the break.

FW Alexandre Lacazette, 6 — Good movement in and around the box, but had little to no service to work with. Even the best finishers can’t score without the ball at their feet. Tried to create his own opportunity in the second half, but didn’t really test Fabianski with a low shot from outside the box.

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