Smith Rowe, Niles and Balogun 9, Willock 8: rating Gunners in Dundalk win

Smith Rowe, Niles and Balogun 9, Willock 8: rating Gunners in Dundalk win

The Croydon De Bruyne has finally overcome all of his injury niggles and was handed a start - and boy we are happy he did.

The Englishman put in a very industrious performance, his movement was not limited to the left-hand side where he nominally played and his quick passes with Niles/Willock/Nketiah were a joy to watch. Got the assist for Elneny's screamer.

Ains is like a Swiss Army knife. His interpretation of the hybrid wingback/central midfielder role is underrated - although in a 3-4-3 Tierney and Saka are still worthy competitors.

Niles looks exceptionally dangerous closer to the opposition goal with the quick give-and-go's and the penetration he provides. Could have scored himself with a decent long-range effort. Deserves more chances in the Premier League - same is true for Smith Rowe.

He was on the pitch for less than half an hour but it was more than enough to make a really good impression. Brought on with the scoreline at 2-1, he sealed the game.

Balogun showed strength to assist Joe Willock and brilliant timing and technique to guide his effort past Rodgers. A complete performance for a targetman - he is the go-to man if we need the type in the league.

Heavily involved in linking defence and attack, some nice touches in and around the box and a goal to his name, however scrappy the finish turned out to be in the end.

With Joe we've here before, though. Can he translate this form into Premier League matches? He was given chances recently and failed to impress. If it comes right down to it, the youngster would probably benefit from a loan in the Championship or the like.

Other Gunners

Runarsson - 4, Chambers - 6, Mustafi - 5, Mari - 5, Elneny - 7, Pepe - 6, Nketiah - 7, Ceballos, Azeez and Cotterell - N/A