Referee Neil Swarbrick played his part in allowing the game to ebb and flow and in my eyes he didn't put a foot wrong. A strong performance by the Premier Leagues senior official and amazingly it's the first time this season I've been able to praise a match official. 8 out of 10.
The match itself was full of passion, grit and determination from both teams. A neutral, I'm sure would have been glued to the action.
The match report can be found here while the match stats are here.
Pep has quite rightly chosen Willy over Claudio Bravo as his number one keeper. He was on his toes and looked sharp throughout the game. A good save from Arter and a block from Ibe in the dying embers proves he has to remain ahead of Coco the Clown in the pecking order.
Ryan Fraser kept Bacary working hard throughout. A solid all round performance.
Rarely put a foot wrong. He looked comfortable on the ball and never looked flustered. Cool Hand Luke is our John.
Did his job without making a fuss by keeping it simple at the back. Forced Artur Boruc into a save towards the end with a stinging shot on target. This lad must have one of the hardest shots in the game.
Played way out of position but as a versatile player nothing phases him. Switched back to central midfield for the last 20 minutes.
Did ok but did nothing scintillating as we know he can. He completed a couple of good passes but he didn't stand out like he normally does.
It certainly wasn't his best performance but it wasn't his worst either. Sadly we didn't see his trademark blockbuster runs through midfield, which was a shame.
What can I say about Merlin that hasn't already been said? Sublime passing, trickery and skill on the ball. Popped the ball around with ease and even got the home supporters on their feet and applauding at times. The man is a magician.
Cracking reaction to score and flowed like a petal on the wind when taking on AFCB's defenders. This lad is on the verge of becoming something special.
Pity he lasted just 15 minutes but a knock to his ankle was enough to see him hobble off. Looked sharp and up for it.
By his recent standards Leroy had an average game, especially during the first 20 minutes. Eventually he picked up the pace and began to dribble past one or two. Pity his thunderous strike hit the bar.
Took him a little while to get into the game having replaced Jesus on 15. Ultimately forced the second goal by putting Tyrone Mings under pressure. I don't know...he`s a legend in my eyes but I have a sneaky feeling he'll be off in the summer.
Came on with 20 minutes remaining. Did nothing outstanding but did what he was asked to do.