Stoke City choked Arsenal and snatched their first 3 points of the season from the sloppy Gunners at the Bet365 Stadium courtesy of a vital lone goal from winger Jese Rodriguez!
Rodriguez who just arrived from PSG on Wednesday was thrown into action today by Mark Hughes and he distinguished himself by finishing from a tight angle to win it for the determined Stokes.
The Gunners gradually began to claim control, pushing the hosts back. However, chances continued to be scarce with Stoke’s backline remaining strong. Wenger’s team found a way through down the left-hand channel, where Zouma and Diouf struggled to cope with attacks. Ramsey and Welbeck found space inside the area forcing Butland into action.
Arsenal’s dominance continued throughout the half, Ramsey side-footing the ball at Butland and Xhaka having a go from distance, but there was no breakthrough before half time.
The Gunners started the game well but lacked the curtain edge to put the ball in the net. Stokes goalkeeper Jack Butland frustrated Arsenal all through whilst making brilliant vital saves to keep his side in the game.
The Gunners piled all pressures on the hosts and at a point, Arsenal thought they had equalized when Alexandre Lacazette rifled in, only for the France striker to be wrongfully ruled offside.
Lacazette and Xhaka were substituted for Iwobi and Walcott but the changes didn’t have many impacts on the attacking play of Arsenal. Welbeck spurned a glorious chance to score after being fed by Giroud before Giroud himself came very close to finding the leveler in the closing stage.
Lacazette discharged an effective shot high into the net and Arsenal thought they had an equalizer, but he was called offside in what ended up being a tight call by the linesman.
Giroud had one final shot, glancing a header wide after Monreal penetrated a cross towards the Frenchman, but Stoke figured out how to hang on for each of the three points on account of Jese Rodriguez’s goal.