Southampton progressed through to the fifth round of the FA Cup after beating holders Arsenal 1-0 at St Mary’s on Saturday afternoon.
The only goal of the game came courtesy of Gabriel’s first-half own-goal, although Kyle Walker-Peters did his best to claim it as his own.
It was not just his assist that marked him out as the best player on the pitch against Mikel Arteta’s side, however, as he produced another superb all-round display.
As per SofaScore, the 23-year-old would earn a 7.9 match rating for his display, which was the highest of any player on the pitch. James Ward-Prowse, who earned the man-of-the-match award on the BT Sport coverage of the game, would only earn a 7.5 by comparison.
During the 90 minutes, £23,000-a-week gem Walker-Peters would make four tackles, which was the most of any player from both sides on the pitch. This is also more than the 2.8 tackles per game he averages in the Premier League this season, emphasising that he was even better than his usual reliable self in the FA Cup on Saturday.
The former Spurs man would also make two interceptions, which is more than his average of 1.5 in the Premier League, whilst his direct opponent Gabriel Martinelli would earn a disappointing 6.3 match rating, which suggests that Walker-Peters had the better of him throughout the game at St Mary’s.
Southampton’s style of play means that Walker-Peters can push high up the pitch, with his energy and defensive ability meaning he can get back quickly to defend if required, and Saturday’s game against Arsenal was another example of how Ralph Hasenhuttl is starting to benefit from utilising the right-back as a key attacking threat.
The defender has registered one assist in the Premier League this season but added to his season tally against Arsenal today, whilst his attacking threat was perhaps best emphasised when his mazy run led to Southampton’s penalty in the win against Brighton earlier this season.
Hopefully, for Saints fans, the right-back will continue to produce performances such as the one against Arsenal throughout the season as he continues to impress following his permanent signing in the summer.