Arsenal finished the game 2-0, of what should have been an even better scoreline for the Gunners. Despite having 29 shots on goal, Arsenal scored only twice and hit the post the same number of times. But on the positive side, both the centre forwards Theo Walcott and Olivier Giroud scored for the North London club. So, let’s take a look at how the players fared:
Petr Cech – 7
The Arsenal Goalkeeper had not much to do today, with Arsenal being the team that was constantly troubling the opposition. A very solid performance from the Czech International when called upon; kept his calm throughout and was alert.
Hector Bellerin – 7.5
The Spaniard seems to be growing into his game. Has provided support in the attack, as well as defended responsibly by blocking multiple shots fired by Shaqiri. Also provided 4 chances going forward, one of which was a beautiful cross to Theo Walcott only for the Englishman to dink it above the post.
Gabriel – 7.5
Partnered well with Laurent Koscielny to cut out whatever little supply was being provided to Stoke City’s attack. Tackled well and put up a strong physical display by sticking it up Arnautovic’s in the second half.
Laurent Koscielny – 7.5
Was quick and solid like always. Came out of the defence and hammered a shot on goal from a good 30 yards, only to be saved by Butland. Would’ve been an amazing goal if that went in.
Nacho Monreal – 7.5
Defended well and provided width. A solid and consistence game for the left back. Once again, showed why Arsene Wenger prefers him over Kieran Gibbs.
Francis Coquelin – 7.5
Did what he always does well, tackled strong and broke down play when required. Kept his passing neat and simple. His tackle that eventually led to the goal was awesome. A good day on the field for the Frenchman.
Santi Cazorla – 8
Was always there to pick the ball up from deep in the midfield and carry it forward. Created 8 chances today alone. A pin point assist to Olivier Giroud for the second goal. Did take up chances to shoot, should’ve scored with that one shot that just curled away. Ooooooooh, Santi Cazorla!
Aaron Ramsey – 7
A silent day for the Welshman with just a 1 shot on goal. Didn’t make those beautiful runs behind the defence from the right flank, which he does pretty often. But did pass the ball around well.
Alexis Sanchez – 7.5
Improved his game compared to the last couple of outings. Unlucky to hit the post twice and not score. He’s such a beautiful threat for the defences. Always scared Stoke’s defence, especially when he cuts the ball in onto his right foot and looks to shoot.
Mesut Ozil – 7.5
He has already created 76 chances in 2015, and 7 in today’s game. What an assist to Theo Walcott, perfectly releasing his run and finding him. Should have scored when he was one on one with Butland; tried to put the ball accurately between Butland’s feet although some would argue he needed to shoot the ball hard and sound. But, well, that’s Mesut Ozil.
Theo Walcott – 7
Missed a couple of easy chances to score in the first ten minutes. But when he scored, he made a beautiful run behind the defence and coolly slotted it past the Goalkeeper. Dropped back a little to get involved in the game more often than he did this season. Has to improve on finishing if he has to be considered as a Centre forward for the years to come.
Olivier Giroud – 6
Missed an easy chance to score, almost a similar way like it happened in his International game. But did score well with that header. His celebration shows that he’s strong enough to go through all the difficult periods.
Came on in the last few minutes, first thing he did was to take the Captain’s Armband. He followed that with leading the team and keeping it together in the last few minutes. Such a happy sight to see the Captain.
Alex Oxlade Chamberlain
Hope he gets a good number of starts this season, than such late substitute appearances; as he offers a different dimension to the attack.