Saka among four Arsenal cup flops joined by De Bruyne and Liverpool trio in worst XI

Saka among four Arsenal cup flops joined by De Bruyne and Liverpool trio in worst XI

Bukayo Saka was named Arsenal’s worst player in the FA Cup defeat to Man City, while Liverpool new boy Cody Gakpo joins him in the front line after another goalless, helpless and shotless display.

Here’s this weekend’s worst XI, selected from Premier League players involved in the FA Cup fourth round, according to WhoScored ratings…

David De Gea – 6.18
The Manchester United goalkeeper is likely to suffer for his inactivity in Saturday night’s win over Reading. He made a fine block to clear Tyrell Malacia just before the break and the goal he conceded, a header from a set-piece, was more of a defensive screw-up, though you could doubt De Gea may have come for the corner. He probably can but his defenders now know that their goalkeeper’s feet are nailed to his line.

Trent Alexander-Arnold – 6.51
Had a face like a slapped ass when he was hooked before the hour mark after getting the round by Kaoru Mitoma. Jurgen Klopp defended Alexander-Arnold, saying “he didn’t get the support” he needed, but the England international would have been hoping to impress after being left on the bench against Chelsea last week.

10 – Kaoru Mitoma has completed 10 dribbles against Liverpool in all competitions this season, the most of any player, with half of those coming directly against Trent Alexander-Arnold. Worn out.

— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) January 29, 2023

Adam Webster – 6.17
The Brighton centre-back has struggled for fitness and has played just 10 minutes since November 9 before starting against Liverpool. He looked rusty, especially with his positioning, before being replaced at half-time by Roberto De Zerbi.

Issa Diop – 5.98
Marco Silva recently urged Diop to have more confidence in himself, but a little more caution was needed when he was closed down by Jack Clarke in the early stages of Fulham’s draw with Sunderland. Diop tried to take on the Black Cats wing, lost possession and the Cottagers were behind.

Kieran Tierney – 5.82
The Arsenal left-back kept Riyad Mahrez on a leash but Tierney struggled forward. Lost possession 15 times in 66 minutes before being replaced by Oleksandar Zinchenko as the Gunners chased the game.

Fabio Vieira – 6.11
Similar to Tierney, Vieira did little wrong but suffered in comparison to the man he stood for, with Arsenal missing Martin Odegaard. Collected just one key pass in 90 minutes, with both dribbles failing and a volley missing wide as Arsenal looked for an equaliser.

Near Keita – 6.20
The Liverpool midfielder hounded Brighton for the hour Klopp allowed him, but the midfielder offered little in possession and gave it to Brighton 10 times before being replaced by Jordan Henderson.

Kevin De Bruyne – 6.20
It’s a toss-up between De Bruyne and Mahrez with both City forwards earning the same rating. The Belgian had more minutes – 75 compared to Mahrez’s 58 – to influence but failed to do so, with no key passes, accurate crosses or long passes finding a City team-mate. De Bruyne also lost all three of his duels on an off night.

Bukayo Saka – 5.63
Saka also had an off night at the Etihad, where he achieved a 100% pass rate – but there were only 10 in total. No key passing or accurate crosses and he lost possession almost as often (nine times). Saka was also second best in all but one of his eight duels.

Eddie Nketiah – 5.90
Perhaps Saka and Vieira’s struggles against City were a factor in Nketiah’s poor performance. The Arsenal centre-forward got into decent areas in the box but looked unsure of his touch. Aymeric Laporte’s tap-kick was disallowed, but his only effort was off target when he probably went wrong-footed to turn in Leandro Trossard’s cross.

Cody Gakpo – 6.36
It didn’t help that Gakpo came into a Liverpool side in the midst of a collective crisis at Anfield, but after his fifth consecutive start he is still without his first goal or assist. Against Brighton, who played through the middle even after Darwin Nunez came off the bench, Gakpo didn’t manage a shot on the Seagulls’ goal, nor a key pass or a cross.

Read more: Rank every Premier League manager by the success of their most expensive career signing

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *