Arsenal suffered their first defeat of the season as Stoke City scraped through with a 1-0 win at the Bet365 stadium on Saturday evening.
Jese Rodriguez had a dream start to life in England, as the former Real Madrid star scored the only goal as the Potters continued their impressive run of good home games against the Gunners.
Arsenal started the game on a high note, dominating the early exchanges. They enjoyed lion’s share of possession and looked the most likely to score though Petr Cech was called upon to make an impressive save as early as the second minute.
In all sincerity, the Gunners performance in the fast half can best be described as a combination of brilliance and carelessness. Though they enjoyed most of the possession, there was an obvious lack of sharpness and the midfield was sloppy giving away possession in dangerous positions regularly.
Despite that, the North London club had the better of the chances but they failed to convert any of them with a close range effort from Welbeck being the closest, in what was otherwise a barren first half.
Ramsey’s effort to convert from an Oxlade Chamberlain’s free-kick was another excellent opportunity, but the Stoke keeper was up to the task.
There were some controversial calls too in the first half, as any other referee would have handed us at least a penalty kick as there were two calls – one, a handball that appeared accidental and the other, a not-too-nice challenge on Hector Bellerin.
After the break, nothing changed in the way the Gunners approached the game. The lackluster attitude was still evident in all the departments. Stoke new signing Jese opened the scoring just minutes after the restart thanks to some mediocre defending from the Emirates club.
In typical Arsenal style, we started pressing forward in search of an equalizer. The North London club created some good chances but with the Potters sitting deep it was just too hard for the Gunners to penetrate the defence and find the back of the net.
There was, however, one more controversial moment when Lacazette found the back of the net only to be flagged offside. Indeed, it was a debatable call as replays showed that he wasn’t actually offside.
The introduction of Alex Iwobi and Olivier Giroud did not provide the needed magic. The former had a great chance to level the scores in the final minute, but it was never to be as Arsenal’s Stoke City jinx seemed to have resumed with full force.