Arsenal v Stoke
Barclay’s Premier League
Kick off: January 11, 2015 13.30 PM BST
A fantastic outing for the Gunners from beginning to end with Alexis Sánchez producing yet another world-class performance. The only downside to our victory is Mathieu Debuchy’s injury caused by the proverbial Stoke-sque idiotic behaviour – this time the villain was Marko Arnautović. Hopefully Debuchy hasn’t pick up a serious injury but looks like a dislocation.
Here are the player ratings.
David Ospina | 7.5: The Colombian seized his opportunity given and kept a clean sheet for the second time in a row. The visitors weren’t too dangerous today but Ospina showed safe hands – aside from one mistake – and stopped the visitors when Crouch and Ireland tested him.
Mathieu Debuchy | N/A: Due to the aforementioned idiotic push from Marko Arnautović that went without a booking, Debuchy’s participation in the game was over after eleven minutes. Hopefully he’ll be back soon even his fall to the turf looked very ugly. A dislocated shoulder has been confirmed but we have to wait for further tests to discover the extent of the injury.
Laurent Koscielny | 8.5: The Frenchman scored an early opener and was solid at the back. His goal is the first Arsenal have scored within the opening ten minutes in the league this season.
Per Mertesacker | 7.75: The German made a few clearances but one of his unsafe passes put Chamberlain under pressure and into trouble but luckily we were not punished by Crouch. Aside from that, he was excellent.
Nacho Monreal | 7.5: Was hurt by Crouch but returned fighting. Was dangerous going forward on a couple occasions but didn’t produce anything concrete.
Francis Coquelin | 7.75: The Frenchman gave another promising performance, kept the battling spirit throughout the whole game and – aside from one poor pass that nearly offered a chance for the visitors – did well.
Tomas Rosicky| 7.75: The Czech came close to scoring the opener but Begović made a brilliant save to deny him. He combined well with Alexis for the Chilean’s first goal of the game. It’s always great to have him in the team as he guarantees a solid performance for 90 minutes.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain | 7.75: The Englishman earned a free-kick after which Alexis scored our third goal. He made some great moves down the right flank as well and was unlucky with his shot going just over the bar. His final pass let him down in at least one promising situation though.
Santi Cazorla | 7.75: Santi didn’t end on the score-sheet but he came close after a wonderful one-two with Chamberlain. The Spaniard has kept the same level of form for over a month and that’s great.
Alexis Sánchez | 10.0: (MotM) What is there left to say about the Chilean? He crossed for Koscielny’s goal, started the move and scored a clever goal after a fine combination with Rosicky. He also scored a goal from a free-kick in the second half as well. His work-rate was incredible again and he should have grabbed at least one more assist had Theo Walcott or Mesut Özil scored from the chances he created.
Olivier Giroud | 7.0: Didn’t score nor pick an assist but gave shape to our attack and forced Begović to make an impressive save. Had a difficult battle with Shawcross.
Hector Bellerin | 7.0: It’s safe to say that the young Spaniard prefers going forward rather than sitting at the back. Wasn’t troubled by the opponents though.
Theo Walcott | 6.0: Still looks rusty and it seems that my personal fear and prediction that we won’t see the best of Theo before 2015-16 might be fulfilled. He still lacks sharpness as the old Theo would have scored from the chance Alexis created for him. Then again, it’s promising to see two of them making such an exciting connection already.
Mesut Özil | 7.0: The German made a lovely hook-pass for Monreal and found himself in a chance to score our fourth goal of the game but opted for a shot with his weaker foot rather than switching the ball to his left and passing the ball for on-coming team-mates. Exciting to have him back though!