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Arsenal got back to winning ways after back-to-back defeats, but not in the most convincing of fashions as they narrowly edged out Queens Park Rangers 1-0 at the Emirates. Mikel Arteta scored the only goal of the game in the 84th minute as he scrambled the ball home from a yard out. QPR had just been reduced to ten-men after Stephen Mâ€™Bia got rightly sent off fro lashing out at Thomas Vermaelen, but Mark Hughesâ€™ side still managed to wreak havoc in the dying minutes as they twice came very close to snatching an equalizer. Their failure to find the way to goal keeps them rooted to the bottom of the table while Arsenal temporarily move up to 4th place. (Full Match Report)
Vito Mannone: 6/10
The keeper had little to do for most of the game, but when he was called into action he rose to occasion, as highlighted by his fine block to keep out Jamie Mackie in added time and the late save from a free-kick.
Bacary Sagna: 7/10
The defender was returning from a long injury layoff but showed very few signs of it as he raced up and down the right flank, even making sweeping moves across the backline to help out his centre-backs on occasions. His late block was crucial, and the Frenchman showed the value of an attacking right-back.
Thomas Vermaelen: 6/10
The Belgian had a quiet afternoon considering QPR played only one man up front, but with Junior Hoilett making the rare run down the middle he had to be alert.
Per Mertesacker: 7/10
Mertesacker has become Wengerâ€™s most trustworthy defender and he had Bobby Zamora in his pocket more often than not.
Andre Santos: 5/10
A slight improvement from the defender following the shocker against Schalke, although QPRâ€™s best attacks all came down his side.
Mikel Arteta: 7/10
Arteta popped up with a vital goal at a time when Arsenal were desperate and the Spaniard will care little that there was a hint of offside over his effort.
Jack Wilshere: 7/10
A welcome sight for all Arsenal fans as Wilshere strutted around in the red jersey and for the hour or so that he was on, Arsenal depended on him to provide the impetus as they looked very one-paced.
Aaron Ramsey: 5/10
Ramsey has enjoyed little success when moved to a wide position and he proved that once again as he struggled to put in a decent cross all afternoon. A lot of his passes were either sideways or backwards, and he has to lift his game to avoid becoming another Denilson. That being said, he did see a header bounce off the crossbar and had a late strike kept out by Cesar.
Santi Cazorla: 5/10
An unusually hushed performance from Cazorla, who also missed a glorious opportunity in the 2nd half when he fired well over with a clear goal in sight.
Lukas Podolski: 5/10
Podolski was an anonymous presence on the left-wing, rarely delivering a cross from the wing or linking up with his fellow attackers.
Olivier Giroud: 6/10
Another underwhelming outing for Giroud as he struggled to get into dangerous positions, although he got a header in the build-up to the goal and had a stinging shot in the first half kept out by Cesar.
Theo Walcott: 6/10
The wingerâ€™s future remains unclear but he did at least manage to increase the tempo of Arsenalâ€™s game after replacing Wilshere.
The latest wide player to go off injured for Arsenal, Gervino had to be stretchered off 12 minutes after coming on for Podolski.
Andrei Arshavin: 7/10
A rare appearance for the Russian as he was thrown on for Gervinho and he immediately made an impact by playing in the cross that led to Artetaâ€™s goal.
Julio Cesar: 8/10
After a suspect 1st half Cesar came into his own in the 2nd, making countless saves to keep QPR in the game. His one-handed reflex save to keep out a deflected shot will go down as one of the stops of the season.
Jose Bosingwa: 5/10
The ex-Chelsea man wasnâ€™t given a run around by Podolski and Santos, but on the offensive end he disappointed more often than not by delivering poor crosses.
Stephen M'Bia: 3/10
The Frenchman had a fairly good outing until his moment of madness with ten minutes to go when he lashed out at Vermaelen with his legs. His dismissal forced the manager to move Mackie into the right-back role, which allowed Arshavin to cross for the winner.
Ryan Nelsen: 7/10
A brilliant defensive performance from the veteran who made countless interceptions and blocks, reading the game like a charm and often making the right decision.
Armand Traore: 7/10
The left-back didnâ€™t receive a whole lot of love from his former club, spending the day making ponderous runs on the left flank before being taken off as a precautionary measure after picking up a knock. But he was a solid presence defensively, making the right decisions in tight situations.
Shaun Wright-Phillips: 5/10
A typical afternoon for the winger who came into the side due to park Ji-Sungâ€™s absence as he made penetrative runs down the wings but disappointed with his delivery.
Samba Diakite: 7/10
He was vital to QPR keeping their shape for most of the game and popped everywhere in his usual all-action style. He shielded the back-four from Arsenal's midfielders and also made surging runs across the park.
Esteban Granero: 7/10
The Spaniard was guilty of a bad miss late in the game as he fired wide after running into space. Like his partner Diakite, Granero was a huge presence in midfield and except for a short spell at the start of the 2nd half when he went into too many rash tackles he had a solid outing.
Junior Hoilett: 5/10
The Canadianâ€™s penchant to run aimlessly with the ball was on show once again as he saw a lot of the ball without really going anywhere.
Adel Taarabt: 6/10
More often than not the creative spark for Rangers, Taarabt tried his best to feed his team-mates, cutting in-field and playing 'Hollywood' passes.
Bobby Zamora: 4/10
The striker enjoys a fairly good record against the Gunners but this wasnâ€™t to be his day as he kept under wraps by Mertesacker.
Djibril Cisse: 4/10
He had over 20 minutes to make his mark on proceedings after replacing Zamora but he was equally inefficient.
Nedum Onuoha: 4/10
Traoreâ€™s replacement late in the game, Onouha had to deal with the equally fresh legs of Theo Walcott but managed to come out on top.
Jamie Mackie: 5/10
Mackie cannot be blamed for the goal as he was moved out-of-position and he showed his actual qualities at the other end when he slalomed his way past a bunch of defenders, only to be denied a dramatic injury-time goal by Mannone.
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