Sunday 21 January 2018

Aiden McGeady shows signs of his genius: Player ratings from Arsenal's FA Cup win over Preston

Joe Miles

Olivier Giroud scrambled a late winner as Arsenal came from behind to survive an FA Cup scare with a 2-1 win at Championship Preston.

The Gunners were fortunate not to trail by more than Callum Robinson's early strike at half-time after being run ragged by the fired-up hosts at Deepdale.

Aaron Ramsey equalised soon after the restart and Arsene Wenger's side, much improved in the second half, snatched victory when Giroud claimed his fourth goal in four games in the 89th minute.

The result meant Wenger maintained his proud record of having never lost a third-round tie, but not without a huge sigh of relief.

Who impressed as Wenger's men edged past their unfortunate opponents? Take a look at the gallery above to see how we rated the players.

Do you agree with our ratings? Who was your man of the match? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

Chris Maxwell – 6 out of 10

Made a handful of important saves in the latter stages of the game, but did concede two.

Marnick Vermijl – 5 out of 10

Showed his ability going forward, but tended to get caught out of position on occasions.

Tom Clarke – 6 out of 10

Relentlessly battled throughout and would never back down from a challenge, but at times his temper was getting the better of him.

Paul Huntington – 6 out of 10

He made a number of crucial challenges at the back to break down the Arsenal forwards, but was outclassed at the back, at times.

Greg Cunningham – 6 out of 10

It was a mediocre display from Cunningham today, who just looked outclassed by the Arsenal players at times.

Paul Gallagher – 6 out of 10

Was a threat in the air, both in the defensive and attacking third. Created a number of chances too.

Ben Pearson – 7 out of 10

Particularly in the first half, he controlled the pace of the whole game, latched onto every loose ball and used possession tremendously.

Daniel Johnson – 5 out of 10

It was an average display from Johnson, who wasted possession at times and his decision making was questionable.

Aiden McGeady – 7 out of 10

Was Preston’s best player in my opinion today – he created the first goal with a moment of magic and continued to impress throughout.

Jordan Hugill – 7 out of 10

The youngster battled persistently and deserved a goal to cap off his impressive performance.

Callum Robinson – 7 out of 10

Robinson showed his ability with an unquestionable work-rate, constant pressure to hunt possession and he got a well-deserved goal for his efforts.

David Ospina – 5 out of 10

Made a couple of crucial saves, but aside from the goal it was a relatively quiet day at the office for Ospina.

Ainsley Maitland-Niles – 6 out of 10

Despite being caught out of position in the early stages of the game, he found his feet and worked well defensively and going forward.

Gabriel – 5 out of 10

His positioning was questionable and he was struggling to keep up with the Arsenal defensive line.

Shkodran Mustafi – 6 out of 10

Made a crucial stop on the goal-line to stop Preston doubling their tally and carried a presence on the pitch today.

Nacho Monreal – 6 out of 10

Looked sloppy at the start of the first half, but improved as the game progressed. Made a number of important interceptions.

Aaron Ramsey – 7 out of 10

Managed to find his feet in the second half, as his goal ignited Arsenal’s comeback in the second half.

Granit Xhaka – 5 out of 10

He failed to influence the game today to the level that he is capable of. Showed glimpses of brilliance, but it was not enough.

Lucas Perez – 6 out of 10

Battled constantly throughout and deserves praise for his role in Giroud’s winning goal.

Alex Iwobi – 6 out of 10

A miserably mediocre performance which witnessed him regularly being wasteful in possession.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – 5 out of 10

Made a habit of giving away possession and making the wrong decisions.

Olivier Giroud – 7 out of 10

Was isolated in the first half, but regained a powerful presence in the latter stages and scored the winner – as per usual.

Additional reporting by PA

Independent News Service

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