LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 15: Gervinho of Arsenal and Maya Yoshida of Southhampton fight for the ball during the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and Southampton at Emirates Stadium on September 15, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
When a team wins a match 6-1 against Premier League opposition, it usually means that there will be any number of players who could be selected as man of the match, but today, from amongst many worthy candidates, we've decided to select Gervinho, who scored two goals and was dangerous coming down the right hand side for the 77 minutes he was on the pitch.
The two knocks against Gervinho have always been 1) that he has a tendency to dribble with his head down into cul-de-sacs and then lose possession, and 2) that when presented with golden opportunities to bury the ball, he instead will shank it wide or over or whiff.
I think we can safely say that he took care of problem #2 today, and that problem #1 isn't much of an issue against teams who will leave space in their defense such as Southampton did today. For his first goal today, Arsenal's third, he spun away from his defender into open space as Mikel Arteta saw the same thing and lofted a serenely weighted pass into his path. From there it was simply a matter of picking his spot and hitting it, and he absolutely smashed a low hard daisy cutter past Kelvin Davis' shin at the near post. As far as finishes go, it was about as clinical as one could be in that position.
His second goal was more a case of mopping up after supreme work from Aaron Ramsey, who displayed many MotM qualities during his cameo. Ramsey simply worked his defender and pushed a shot off the far post, but Gervinho was alert and following up on the opportunity, and prodded home the rebound. He completed two successful dribbles in the match and also completed 88% of his passes according to whoscored.com, which, together with the two goals, represents basically what one'd want from an ideal forward in Arsenal's system.
So, congratulations, Gervinho. If you see this, and you come to the states, we'll buy you something awesomely American to eat.
Who do you feel was today's Man of the Match?