Mikel Arteta said Declan Rice “dominated the game” during Arsenal’s 1-0 win over Crystal Palace on Monday Night Football, while Jamie Carragher described the £105m midfielder’s performance as “outstanding”.
Rice has made a positive impression following his club-record move from West Ham last month and produced a player-of-the-match display in the Gunners’ narrow victory at Selhurst Park.
After starting on the left of a midfield diamond against Nottingham Forest last weekend, the 24-year-old began in a single pivot for Arsenal’s trip across London and was key as his side defended with 10 players for the final 30 minutes to secure three points and a hard-fought clean sheet.
Speaking to Sky Sports about Rice’s performance after the game, Arsenal boss Arteta said: “I thought he was fantastic. He really dominated the game.”
Arteta added: “He bossed the midfield and dominated the game. He was very influential, both attacking and defending. Today he played a different position to last week because of what we expected from Palace and what we needed today, and I think he was really good.”
Last season, Arsenal faltered in the final stretch as they were caught and passed by Man City, but Gary Neville believes Rice may prove a crucial difference this term following his summer acquisition.