Stoke vs Arsenal
Barclay’s Premier League
Kick off: March 01, 2014 3.00 PM BST
A draw would have been a poor result today, but a loss was unthinkable. That’s what we’ve witnessed however, a poor performance by us, by the ref, and just generally a very poor game. Here are the player ratings:
Wojciech Szczesny | 7.25: Had very little to do, but what he did he did well. Made a good save from Whelan, unfortunate to concede from the spot.
Bacary Sagna | 7.5: Put in a great shift both offensively and defensively, putting a number of decent balls into the box, and working hard at the back.
Per Mertesacker | 7.5: Wasn’t as dominant aerially, and found Crouch particularly difficult to deal with, but was solid for the most part. Remained calm under pressure and made some vital tackles and interceptions.
Laurent Koscielny | 7.5: Was brilliant in the first half, despite also finding Crouch a bit of a handful. Was very unlucky to concede a penalty in the second half, the ball striking him from less than a foot away.
Keiran Gibbs | 7.0: Struggled at times against bigger stronger players, but used his pace to recover. Looked decent going forward on occasion, but his deliveries and final balls were poor today.
Mikel Arteta | 7.25: Once Arsenal got their passing game going, Mikel was vital in keeping things ticking over. His passing was crisp and accurate, and he was a real anchor in midfield.
Jack Wilshere | 6.5: Not one of Jack’s better games, he seemed sluggish at times, and made very few overlapping runs. Should have been subbed earlier in the second half.
Santi Cazorla | 7.0: One of Arsenal’s better players going forward, but still didn’t offer enough. A few shots from distance, but nothing that troubled the Stoke keeper.
Lukas Podolski | 5.0: Was really poor for the majority of the game, he went missing regularly, and only served to lessen our presence in the midfield. He had one good chance in the first half, and wasted it blasting it wide.
Tomas Rosicky | 6.75: Was a little more physical than a lot of the Arsenal forward players, but his passing was a little off. He was putting the effort in, but was responsible for a number of attacks breaking down.
Olivier Giroud | 6.5: Really struggled against the physical nature of Stoke’s game. As he doesn’t make runs in behind, Giroud’s hold up play is the focal point of his game, and he really wasn’t able to utilize it today. Was very unlucky not to get more free kicks, several Stoke players going in studs up, stamping on, and generally manhandling the Frenchman.
Mesut Özil | 6.0: Brought on at the usual 70 minute mark, didn’t have much of an impact on the game. Had one decent shot which flashed wide, but didn’t change the game much.
Alex Oxlade Chamberlain | 7.5: (MotM) Arsenal’s best attacking player by far, despite only being on the pitch for 15 minutes. Stretched the Stoke defence, put decent balls into the box, and created a couple of decent chances for his team mates. The Ox was one of the only players that looked to be giving it 100%, and gets my MotM purely because until he came on there was no desire in the team whatsoever.
Yaya Sanogo | 6.0: Thrown on at the end of the game to try and force things, couldn’t really do too much. Was given the best Arsenal chance of the game in injury time after good work from Chamberlain, but blasted it over from 8 yards out.