Arsenal failed to make it two wins in a row, as Jese Rodriguez’s second half goal left them reeling.
The Gunners haven't started a Premier League season with back-to-back wins since 2009/2010, and they have to wait till next season to end that jinx.
The Stoke debutant, Jese- who is on loan from PSG, finished off a counter attack to give Stoke all three points. Arsenal dominated the match for large periods but failed to convert their chances, ultimately paying the price.
Hector Bellerin went down in the Stoke box under the challenge of Mame Diouf, and he thought he might have had a penalty, but his appeals were ignored by referee Andre Marinner.
Record signing, Alexandre Lacazette thought he had equalized for the Gunners in the 72nd minute, only for the effort to be harshly ruled out for offside.


From the start, Stoke put Arsenal under pressure, pressing high up the pitch. And it was no surprise as they had the first chance of the game, Jese escaped the attention of Mustafi to test Cech from close range but the goal keeper had it covered.

Arsenal settled into the game, and started moving the ball nicely, with slick passing between the likes of Lacazette, Welbeck and Bellerin. Welbeck could shoot tamely at the keeper after being set up by Oxlade Chamberlain with a dinked through ball.

Oxlade Chamberlain was at it again, this time dinking a great ball over the top to Bellerin, who was then brought down by the challenge of Mame Diouf but the referee gave a corner kick. Jese’s dangerous run into the box, created a chance for Choupo-Moting but the striker’s shot was straight at Cech.

There was a substitution for Stoke as Berahino came in for the injured Shaqiri. Arsenal had a great chance to go head when Oxlade chamberlain’s free kick was met by Ramsey, but Butland made a great save to deny him. Shawcross powered a header towards the Arsenal goal but it was well of target.

A mazy run by Mesut Ozil in the Stoke half ended up with a chance for Bellerin, but the Spaniard skewed it wide.

The first half ended with neither side taking the lead. It was clear that Arsenal lacked penetration and movement in the final third. Lacazette was often isolated in the Stoke 18 yard box, he needed to move better to escape the towering figures of Zouma and Shawcross.

The second half began in the fashion as the first half, with the Stoke front line pressing high up the pitch. Mustafi and Xhaka were forced into mistakes. And it was a misplaced pass from Xhaka that led to Jese opening his account for Stoke.

Having lost possession in midfield, Xhaka went out of position to win it back, Jese ran into the space he left, exchanged the ball with Berahino and sent a low drive past Petr Cech.

Arsenal and Ozil in particular, seemed to have woken up after going behind. It was his sliding through ball that set up Bellerin with a great chance but his shot was too close to Butland. Arsenal had further chances, but Ramsey and Welbeck both squandered them.

Stoke sat back and soaked up the pressure, with the notorious pair of Zouma and Diouf keeping Arsenal at bay. Cech had to be alert to prevent a Berahino’s header from going in, and he was relieved to see that Choupo-Moting could only hit the side netting.

Giroud came in for Kolasinac, and his first touch freed Welbeck who he held on to the ball far too long allowing Butland to close in and save. The Arsenal pressure kept building on, Giroud flicked a ball through to Lacazette whose finish was sublime but it didn’t count as the linesman had his flag up for offside. Video replays had to be zoomed to pixel levels to confirm the Lineman’s decision.

Arsene Wenger sent in Walcott and Iwobi, in place of Lacazette and Xhaka respectively, as a last ditch effort to get something out of the match. Mark Hughes was frustrated by the referee’s decision not to award a free kick to Stoke, after a crunching challenge by Mustafi on Peters.

The Arsenal dominance continued but the Stoke’s resolute defending denied them time and space in the final third. In injury time, Giroud had a chance to equalize but his header went agonizingly wide.
Arsene Wenger’s decision to play Monreal and Kolasinac as centre backs when he had Per Metersacker, Calum Chambers and Rob Holding was perplexing to say the least. I mean he had two left backs playing as centre halves, in a back three system.

Not only that, but he played Bellerin, a right back in left wing-back position. Clearly, he didn’t do them ( The back five) any favours right from start.

In the aftermath, Arsene Wenger lamented the lack of cohesion between the defence.
He said:
"You need always to improve the connections between the players, but I was not convinced by our central defence today."

Well Mr. Wenger, you shouldn’t expect any cohesion when you clearly play players out of their natural position. It was surprising and bizarre that Wenger, with all his experience can do such a thing and expect otherwise.

If he had played Holding or Metersacker, as one of the back three with Kolasinac playing as the left wing-back, Arsenal would have been more solid defensively, but more importantly they would have been able to build from the back more easily.

The experiment of Bellerin on the left didn’t work exactly as Arsene planned, he should know better not to try it again.

The midfield combination didn’t work well. Granit Xhaka had a poor performance, he made 87 of 102 passes today for an 85% completion rate, which is decent. But, considering he lost possession multiple times in his own half, and he was at fault for the concession of a goal, he struggled to keep up in the middle.

Ramsey’s obsession with making runs into box also didn’t help arsenal’s cause. It is good to make those kind of runs once in a while, but they have to be well timed.
Ramsey left a void in midfield which was left to be covered by Xhaka alone. It is not surprising that he had Ramsey had 0 key passes.   

The forwards showed little movement and combination play. This was evident when Giroud knocked a header down, and there was no arsenal player close enough to pounce on it.

I think Giroud should have started up front due to his physicality, or Welbeck should have been the front man with Lacazette playing off him. 
The officials did Arsenal no favours by denying them a penalty in the first half and Ruling Lacazette’s goal offside.

 I think the goal should have been given, because there was no way the linesman could have caught him offside with his own eyes given the fine margins.

Next for Arsenal is a tricky away game at Anfield, and unless Arsenal, and Wenger address their defensive frailties and inconsistencies in front of goal, it is hard to see them getting anything other than more of the same.