Arsenal player ratings: Sublime Saliba silences Haaland as Havertz looks far from natural fit in new position | The Sun

WILLIAM SALIBA proved he could be Arsenal's most important player this season after keeping Erling Haaland quiet in the Community Shield.

But it was Aaron Ramsdale who won the game for the Gunners after he saved two penalties in the shoot-out.

Arsenal had luck to thank for their last-minute equaliser but gave a good account of themselves and could have made things more comfortable if Kai Havertz had his shooting boots on.

The £65million signing was selected up-front in the absence of Gabriel Jesus and was the least impressive of Arsenal's three debutants.

Jurrien Timber showed some clever touches and good defensive nouse, while Declan Rice looks like he will be able to fulfill the box-to-box role performed so well by Granit Xhaka.

There is room for improvement for both teams and with more clinical finishing the Gunners should be able to dispatch Nottingham Forest next week.


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Here is how SunSport's Martin Blackburn rated the Arsenal display.

Aaron Ramsdale – 7

A couple of slips but smart saves to deny John Stones, Rodri and Phil Foden as City turned up the heat.

Had no chance with the opener and saved two penalties from Kevin De Bruyne and Rodri to win the game.

Ben White – 7

Created a couple of decent chances for Havertz and Bukayo Saka and also did a decent job keeping Jack Grealish quiet down his wing.

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William Saliba – 8

Showed why he was such a big miss last season by doing a great job keeping Haaland quiet. Won his battle as the Norwegian drew a blank and was subbed.

Gabriel – 7

Helped Saliba keep Haaland in check but also did a job on Julian Alvarez – ensuring City chances were kept to a minimum.

Jurrien Timber – 7

Asked to play at left-back and looked assured up against Bernardo Silva and Kyle Walker. Crucial block to deny Cole Palmer.

Declan Rice – 6

Neat and tidy and grew into the game as it went on against team he could have joined. Blazed a second half chances miles over.

Thomas Partey – 6

Early yellow card for pulling back Alvarez. Worked hard and ended with his head bandaged after nasty clash with Walker.

Martin Odegaard – 6

Some classy touches from the Norwegian to try to open up City but could not find that bit of magic.

Bukayo Saka – 7

Occasional threat as he curled shot wide after jinking past Akanji – plus a decent tee up for Havertz effort.

Gabriel Martinelli – 5

Saw effort blocked by the chest of Stones but did not get much change out of Walker and was subbed late on.

Kai Havertz – 5

Two low first half shots saved by the legs of Ortega suggests he is not a natural fit down the middle. Booked for foul on Stones.


Leandro Trossard (for Martinelli, 75 mins) – 7

Forced the equaliser with the help of a big deflection.

Kieran Tierney (for Timber, 76 mins) – 5

Turned by Palmer for the opening goal.

Eddie Nketiah (for Rice, 81 mins) – 5

More natural down the middle than Havertz

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Fabio Vieira (for Havertz, 87 mins) – 5

Thrown on to help search for the equaliser.

Emile Smith Rowe (for Gabriel, 87 mins) – 6

A couple of promising moments.

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