A great Jesé Rodríguez entrance goal, an excellent Jack Butland show, and Alexandre Lacazette strike controversially freeze out for offside gave Stoke City an earned win on an evening which appeared to be another unsatisfying Premier League campaign for Arsenal.
The outcome allowed Mark Hughes to get a pop at Stoke Naysayers who thought the team’s primary approach is to spoil. “We have been criticized a bit, some of it unfair,” the manager said. “We’ll take valid criticism, but when we get things going, we’ll always be a feature in this league.”
Both teams had a wobbly opening show. Stoke ended up 1-0 on Everton and Arsenal came from behind to take hold of a late 4-3 win over their game with Leicester City held at the Emirates Stadium. This was the Potters’ first home-based outing and so an opening performance at an improved Bet365 Stadium which claims a new south-east quadrant, rising capacity to over 30,000.
During a wild, lively atmosphere, the game started in bracing, end-to-end flair that carried on until half time. Darren Fletcher flashed the events with a run and through pass to Rodríguez, whose shot was overpowered by Petr Cech. Following Arsenal ranged forward through Héctor Bellerín. The wing-back rushed into Stoke’s zone and timed Kurt Zouma block was vital to take out the danger.
When Granit Xhaka’s corner overdrawn and fell to Welbeck, who missed, Aaron Ramsey acquired in down the left-hand channel. His tried shot bowled to Butland. However, the area was attesting to be popular for Arsenal. Following a detailed Alex Chamberlain through pass found Butland and Welbeck were to be observant to keep at bay the challenge.
Hughes made two vicissitudes after the loss at Goodison Park, the new signings Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting and Rodríguez coming in for Bojan Krkic and Saido Berahino. This strategy was cut short after 25 minutes, though. Berahino replaced Xherdan Shaqiri after he took a knock in rejigger that hard-pressed Choupo to the right. Wenger also decided on two alterations, as Mohamed Elneny replaced with Ramsey and Shkodran Mustafi replace Rob Holding.
Additionally to the leg injury, Ramsey suffered after a Ryan Shawcross challenge in 2010, Rodríguez also dealt with his injury in Kolasinac, Arsenal’s summer handover that came from Schalke. The Spaniard, from Paris Saint-Germain who arrived at Stoke earlier in the week, had his increase at Real Madrid stopped by a Kolasinac block that initiated a forward cruciate slit in the Champions League for the last-16 game, March 2014.
Rodríguez was one of the Stoke’s strong players at the approach of halftime. He would be disappointed with less effort that stroke Cech but readiness and dedication to carry on to win over Arsenal posed the visitor's difficult questions. Earlier, before the kick-off, Geoff Cameron said that Stoke aim was to get in Arsenal’s faces which they did by taking the game to them. Joe Allen contrived a bleach along the right side, Rodríguez acquired a free kick from Xhaka, and Mame Biram set off on a barreling run that led him into Arsenal territory before being stopped.
Arsenal’s best opportunity reached just ahead of the half-hour. Chamberlain swayed over a free kick, and Ramsey had to break clear and shove the ball at Butland, who jammed.
Two minutes after half time Stoke fans were plying Arsenal with hecklings of “Who are you?” when Rodríguez scored, this resulted from a smooth and simple move leading Xhaka’s allowance of possession. Where Arsene Wenger called it a “stupid mistake” which came from the midfielder after Berahino procured the ball he passed to Rodríguez, who slid behind a sleeping Mustafi, who then initiated to beat Cech.
Against Olivier Giroud was a match winner, the French striker scoring with 5 min to go when he came on as a sub. Again, he was Wenger’s go-to choice here, however an hour in the game he upheld the same XI.
However in Butland, Arsenal met a firm goalkeeper, who at first punched away Chamberlain cross, then saved Bellerín shot, and Stoke’s upheld hazard was demonstrated when Cech shattered away Berahino’s header.
Wenger replaced Giroud for Kolasinac on sixty-sixth minutes. This nearly secured a prompt bonus as a one-two to Welbeck which again was vital for Butland to be bold. Following Ramsey, virtually disappeared after the half-time, destitute into the area yet his run bore nothing.
The result was no so pleasing to Arsene Wenger who criticized for biasedness of some of the referee decision. He was furious on Lacazette denial of an equalizer despite the replay showing that his foot was in an offside position. He said ”I just watched it and it’s not offside at all. Even his foot was no foul, but we have to swallow that. We should have scored, and it’s just another detail that didn’t go our way. I believe we lost three big points today. In football when you don’t win games you should win you can only look at yourself.”
He was also upset that they were not given a penalty where he said that there are tendencies of them being denied penalties, he said “I can get the numbers, you will see. Look at the statistics: we had the highest penalties against us at home by a mile and the lowest for us.”
Indicating a triumphant Hughes despite the fact that Wenger once more regretted the careless defensive that allowed Leicester 3 goals. The Frenchman said, “It was frustrating getting caught cold for the goal. Defensively there is no excuse. We gave them a cheap goal.”
Therefore, through Lacazette’s strike drew off, Arsenal chalked a blank. And regardless of 36 matches left, Arsenal’s encounter of safeguarding that they are unaffected challengers might seem difficult. However, the league is still fresh and am sure they have a plan to prove us wrong.