Arsenal versus Birmingham City – Player ratings: Carling Cup Final (Part 3)
Robin van Persie
Arsenal’s only striker on the night was threatening in the first half as he netted their first goal of the match to cancel out Nikola Zigic’s opening strike. However, as fantastic as the goal may have been, Robin injured himself in its execution and thus remained a subdued figure for the rest of the match. His injury was assessed in the half time break but after he failed to make a considerable impact on the proceedings in the second half at Wembley Stadium, Arsene Wenger withdrew his target man and introduced Nicklas Bendtner. Rating: 7.5/10
Perhaps Arsenal’s most disappointing player in the final third of the field, Rosicky looked like a footballer punching above his weight even against an average outfit such as Birmingham City. It was particularly painful to watch the Czech Republic international destroy little what Nasri and Wilshire were creating in the central midfield area with his wayward passes and his inability to find the back of the net. In the second half of the match, Rosicky had a wonderful chance to give his team the lead before Obafemi Martins’ goal but the midfielder was only able to find Ben Foster’s feet in the Birmingham goal. Admittedly, the injury prone offensive midfielder has been limited to a substitute’s role in previous weeks for the Gunners but it might be precisely because of his performance on the night that Tomasz will be on the bench when Arsenal plays next in the English Premier League. Rating: 5/10
Arsene Wenger took off Robin Van Persie and brought on Bendtner in an attempt to force a shift in the match towards Arsenal’s side. However, the Danish striker was unable to produce any heroics as he only had a single chance on target which was spectacularly thwarted by Ben Foster. It can be said that it was a case of too little too late by the Arsenal manager as Nicklas was thrown into the fray in the 70th minute of the match but Martins, on the opposite end, showed that one can have a considerable impact on the game if they have the willingness. Rating: 6/10
After coming on for Arshavin in the 77th minute of the match, Chamakh couldn’t have put a foot wrong as the Russian was already quite woeful during his time on the Wembley pitch. However, rather than providing some pace and physical presence to the Arsenal attack, Chamakh shied away from the task at hand as his only notable moment came in the 83rd minute when he blitzed past Carr to play in Rosicky inside the Birmingham City half. Generally, the Moroccan forward did little to change the course of the tie in the 13 minutes he spent on the field. Rating: 6/10
In the next edition of this player-rating series, we shall take a look at Birmingham City’s defense and their spectacular performance at the Wembley stadium on Sunday night in the Carling Cup final.
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