A slight role reversal sees Arsenal come out 3-1 winners at the Emirates. With a hattrick of assists for Mesut Özil. Here are the player ratings:
Wojciech Szczesny | 7.5: Made some important saves, and was out quickly when needed. Seemed like communication was good with his back four today.
Bacary Sagna | 7.5: Put in an excellent shift with the inexperienced Gnabry in front of him, and chipped in with a goal.
Laurent Koscielny | 7.5: Some good athletic defending, and good communication and stepping up for the most part.
Per Mertesacker | 7.5: Made some excellent interceptions and kept Stoke’s strong aggressive players at bay. Good goal from an Özil corner.
Kieran Gibbs | 7.0: Was caught out of position a couple of times, but got the balance between attacking and defending right mostly.
Mathieu Flamini | 8.0: Excellent game, covered all along the back four, making a huge amount of excellent interceptions. Slowed play down occasionally but put in a great defensive shift and was very vocal.
Aaron Ramsey | 7.0: After scoring the opening goal he seemed to go a bit quiet, which is very unusual for the Welshaman. Didn’t play particularly badly but aside from the goal, he didn’t stand out.
Mesut Özil | 8.0: A Hat trick of assists for the German today, all 3 from set pieces. Certainly wasn’t the best we are likely to see from him, but already starting to gel well with the squad.
Jack Wilshere | 7.5: Worryingly, took a huge amount of knocks from an aggressive Stoke side, but got straight back up mostly, and gave as good as he got getting stuck in on a number of occasions. His driving runs opened up play a couple of times although his link up play with Giroud wasn’t quite there today.
Serge Gnabry | 6.5: Called up at the last moment for the absent Walcott, Gnabry looked completely out of his depth in the first half. Seemed to lack confidence, was being pushed around easily by the Stoke defenders and was dispossessed on a number of occasions. Came out for the second half a completely different player, looking a lot more confident, taking players on and linking up well with his team mates before being subsitituted. Deserved a higher rating for his second half performance but his understandably nervous start let him down.
Olivier Giroud | 7.0: Not his best performance in front of goal, missing a number of chances and making the wrong decision several times, but his hold up play was vital for us today. He was the only forward player who was really capable of holding his own against Stoke and battled well against Huth and Shawcross. He took the ball down well a few times but his lay offs were somewhat lacking.
Ryo Miyaichi | 6.0: The young Japanese player still looks to be struggling to acclimatise to the rigours of the Premier League. Really wasn’t able to make much of an attacking impact for most of his 20 minutes on the pitch and could be seen being castrated by the Captain for neglecting his defensive abilities. Had one moment where his tenacity almost led to a goal, but was dispossessed far too easily most of the time.
Nacho Monreal | 6.5: Offered a little less going forward after being subbed on for Wilshere, but shored us up defensively. Nothing special from the Spaniard but nothing wrong with his performance.
Mikel Arteta | 7.0: Even with only 10 minutes on the pitch his presence was noticeable. He played with confidence and calmed the whole team down, harassing well and playing the ball out from deep.