PLAYER RATINGS: Gunners Fail To Score As Resilient Stoke Take All Three Points

PLAYER RATINGS: Gunners Fail To Score As Resilient Stoke Take All Three Points
Aug 20, 2017

Arsenal Featured Premier League Stoke

Same old, Same old. This would have been the first thought in every Arsenal fan’s mind when Jesé coolly slotted past Petr Čech. It felt like as if it was written in the stars. Arsenal creating chances, not taking them and then conceding one. And that’s how the game ended, 1-0, as a solid Stoke side clinched all three points leaving Arsène Wenger a lot to ponder about.

Arsenal came into the game having beaten Leicester on the opening day, courtesy of a superb comeback. Stoke were coming back from a defeat at the hands of Everton and Mark Hughes was looking to bounce back in front of their home crowd. Britannia Stadium hasn’t been a happy hunting ground for most teams and especially, Arsenal, who had won just once in their last 6 meetings at the Britannia Stadium.

The game started with Stoke having early possession with Shaqiri, Jesé and Chupo Moting all looking lively. Gradually, Arsenal took over and started creating chances but Butland was up to it every time. The first half ended 0-0 with Arsenal dominating possession but not capitalising their chances. Although, it should be mentioned that Arsenal were denied a penalty when Diouf impeded Héctor Bellerín in the box. The second half started and Stoke

The second half started and Stoke were up within 2 minutes after as Berahino’s through ball was finished by the debutant, Jesé. Monreal was at fault over his indecisiveness to track Jesé. That was it for Stoke. They sat deep and were only looking to break forward on the counter. The game ended 1-0 after Gunners failed to score past a phenomenal Butland although a Lacazette disallowed due to scoring from an offside position.

STOKE CITY:

Jack Butland: 10 (MOTM)

WALL. A perfect performance from him; commanding presence and impeccable handling. Looked like a new signing after missing out almost an entire season in the last campaign.

Kurt Zouma: 9

Although Stoke’s back three was invincible today as a whole, if there was one defender who was maybe slightly better than the rest, it was Zouma. Huge presence at the back and was comfortable on the ball and made some solid tackles.

Geoff Cameron: 8

Collectively defended with the rest of the back 3 was solid. Only fault would be keeping a higher line than usual in the first half which made it easy for Arsenal to lob the balls over the top.

Ryan Shawcross: 8

Missed a chance in the first half from a free header but was solid defensively. Some issues in setting the defensive line but that was it.

Mame Biram Diouf: 8

Was played out of position but put in an outstanding shift from RWB. Attacked when required and defended when they needed him. All round performance.

Joe Allen: 7

Stoke didn’t have much of the ball but when they did have it, Allen used the ball wisely.

Darren Fletcher: 7

Same as Allen. Was Vocal throughout and organised the stoke midfield well.

Erik Pieters: 8

Worked really hard for the team and nullified Ozil and Oxlade Chamberlain’s threat efficiently.

Xherdan Shaqiri: 5

Was looking lively until he pulled up and was substituted by Berahino.

Jesé: 8

Looked a major attacking threat whenever going forward. Scored the only goal and was brought off to a thunderous reception.

Chupo Moting: 7

Held up the ball well as the lone striker but didn’t offer much. Missed a good chance in the first half after Jesé found him in the box but only managed a tame shot.

SUBSTITUTES:

Saido Berahino: 7

Came on early after Shaqiri’s injury and showed glimpses of quality that he had shown at West Brom. Assisted Jesé’s goal. Also, forced Čech into making a save from a bullet header.

Ramadan Sobhi: NA

Came on for Jesé. Didn’t show much as Stoke were busy defending the lead.

Bruno Martins Indi: NA

Came on for the injured Pieters in the dying moments.

ARSENAL:

Petr Čech: 7

Made some very good saves and guarded Arsenal’s shaky defence in a respectable manner.

Shkodran Mustafi: 5

Looked really shaky in the first half especially. Committed too early at times creating space at the back.

Nacho Monreal: 5

Played out of Position again and cost Arsenal the only goal by not tracking Jesé properly. Looked out of Position certainly.

Sead Kolašinac: 6

Looked like the only stable defender. Made tackles with intent and was rough just like it was required. Subbed off for Giroud.

Alex Oxlade Chamberlain: 5

Tried to do it by himself at times and was wasteful as a result of that. Poor game by his standards. Could be on the move with top clubs interested.

Héctor Bellerín: 6

Looked better than his performance against Leicester. Made some cheeky moves with Welbeck on the left side. Looks more content on the left. Should have had a Penalty.

Granit Xhaka: 4

Was really really poor. Gave the ball away cheaply a lot of times, including the misplaced pass the lead to the Counter attack for the goal. Looks a different Xhaka from the one fans saw in the Community Shield.

Aaron Ramsey: 7

Made his trademark runs throughout the game and forced a good save from Butland in the first half. Was a constant presence in the midfield but guilty of overdoing things at times.

Mesut Özil: 6

Was completely ineffective in the first half and looked unfit. Showed some flair in the second half but for no results. Looked frustrated by the end of 65 minutes.

Danny Welbeck: 7

Was Industrious and constantly stretched Stoke’s defence with his movement. Forced a save from Butland in the first half. Had a good heading opportunity which he embarrassingly shouldered.

Alexandre Lacazette: 6

Showed great passing in the first half. Received little or no service throughout the whole game. A great finish was disallowed as offside. Showed great movement only to his teammates to not find him.

SUBSTITUTES:

Olivier Giroud: 7

Had great impact from the little service that he got. The back-flick for Lacazette’s disallowed goal, the knock down only for no one to receive it. Brought Welbeck more into the game. Missed a header in the dying ends of the game.

Theo Walcott: NA

Ineffective.

Alex Iwobi: NA

Slotted into the midfield in place of Xhaka. Didn’t make any significant difference.

 

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