All four players put in superb shifts for the Gunners during their north London Derby clash against Spurs at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday (October 1). Thanks to their efforts, Mikel Arteta’s side picked up a 3-1 victory to remain top of the Premier League table with 21 points from eight matches.
Shearer picked Arsenal defenders White and Saliba, as well as their midfielders Partey and Xhaka in his ‘Team of the Week’. He said the following about White (as quoted by the Premier League’s official website):
“Excellent at both ends of the pitch.”
The English top flight’s all-time top-scorer with 260 goals added the below about Saliba:
“Superb at the back and nullified Spurs.”
Shearer went on to state:
“[On Partey] Struck a brilliant goal and was a dominant figure in the middle. [On Xhaka] Scored and again proved very impressive in his different role.”
How did Saliba, White, Partey and Xhaka fare for Arsenal against Spurs?
Saliba has been the toast of Arsenal fans since returning to the club this summer.
Having become their first-choice centre-back, he was expected to put in a solid performance against Tottenham. The Frenchman did just that, winning two tackles and making three clearances, while misplacing just three of his 70 pass attempts.
With Gabriel Magalhaes and Saliba forming a well-balanced centre-back pairing, White has been deployed as a right-back so far this season by Arsenal. The Englishman had performed admirably leading up to the game against Spurs, which was expected to be his biggest test.
He came out with flying colors, allowing little space for Son Heung-min and Ivan Perisic to operate in. White ended the match with three tackles, three clearances, three successful ground duels and two key passes. He also gave the assist for Partey’s opening goal.
The Ghanaian, meanwhile, ran the show from defensive midfield. Apart from his splendid strike to give Arsenal the lead, Partey completed a staggering 95% of his passes and laid out a game-high four key passes. He also made three interceptions and a tackle in a superb all-round display.
His midfield partner, Xhaka, once again demonstrated just how good he can be when on song, as he has been for most of this season. The Switzerland international scored his side’s third goal with a sweeping finish shortly after Spurs went down to 10 men.
He also recorded a key pass and three accurate long balls while completing 87% of his attempted passes.
[all stats via Sofascore]