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'Man of the match for me': Matt Upson says Arsenal had a 'rock' who outshone Xhaka against Spurs
Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images

'Man of the match for me': Matt Upson says Arsenal had a 'rock' who outshone Xhaka against Spurs

Former Arsenal and England defender, Matthew Upson, was full of praise for Thomas Partey against Tottenham yesterday.

Partey made a surprise start for the Gunners after missing the international games. And the Ghanaian duly repaid Mikel Arteta’s faith. As well as scoring a stunning opener, Partey played well all game and dominated the Spurs midfield of Hojbjerg and Bentancur.

Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

And speaking to Stadium Astro yesterday, Upson believed Partey was Arsenal’s man of the match in the end.

“He was man of the match for me. I thought he was excellent. In terms of obviously the goal contribution, but the simplicity as well. We spoke about him being that rock, that anchor the midfield and allowing Xhaka and Odegaard to drift, knowing they’ve got Partey behind them,” Upson said.

“Today he was excellent. Had involvement in a lot of goals in terms of passing in the build up. For me that’s a man of the match performance for a midfield player.”

Partey has shown how key he can be for Arsenal on a number of occasions prior. With Granit Xhaka now playing further forward, the Ghana star is more integral than ever in being the glue in the middle for the Gunners.

TBR’s View: Partey Crucial For Arsenal

There is argument to be made that Thomas Partey is Arsenal’s most important player. The role he has in the middle is so vital that you feel the Gunners would crumble with him not playing.

He was exceptional against Spurs and he showed just why he was so sought after when Arsenal bought him.

The trick for Partey now is staying fit. Injuries and fitness have proved a problem for the midfielder and if he can stay fit, then there is every chance Arsenal push Man City close.

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