Match Report: Arsenal Vs Stoke City

After another weekend of English Premier League matches Arsenal suddenly find themselves sitting on the top of the table with 12 points from four wins and a loss. Their fourth win of the new season came at the Emirates on Sunday afternoon as they handed Stoke City a 3-1 defeat. Tottenham also has 12 points after their 1-0 win in Cardiff, but the Gunners have a better goal difference at plus five compared to Spurs’ plus four.
Welsh midfielder Aaron Ramsey kept his hot streak alive with his seventh goal of the season in eight matches while defenders Per Mertesacker and Bacary Sagna headed in the other two. American international Geoff Cameron replied for Stoke with his first goal for the club.
The home side got off to another quick start when Ramsey banged in the rebound of a 20-yard Mesut Ozil free kick in the fifth minute. Stoke goalkeeper Asmir Begovic managed to get his hand on Ozil’s shot, but he palmed it back out into play and right to the foot of Ramsey, who calmly slotted it home.
The lead lasted about 20 minutes as Cameron drew Stoke level in the 26th minute when he slammed the ball into the net from the edge of the 18-yard box. Marko Arnautovic broke down the left wing and drove a volley off of the goalpost with the rebounding bouncing back to Cameron. Arsenal keeper Wojciech Szczesny was out of position and Cameron had the empty net to shoot at, putting the ball into the bottom right corner.
Mertesacker put the Gunners back in the lead in the 36th minute he flicked Ozil’s corner kick past Begovic with his head from close range. The teams left the pitch at halftime with Arsenal holding onto their one-goal advantage. The game was essentially put out of reach in the 72nd minute when Sagna lobbed a looping header over the outstretched arm of Begovic after meeting a free kick from Ozil.
It was an impressive home debut for the German international Ozil as he helped set up all three of the Gunners goals and manager Arsene Wenger said his new signing is fitting in as well as expected with the squad. “Like the team, Ozil gave a lot on Wednesday night in the Champions League victory, but he showed his class today and he worked hard as well.”
Theo Walcott was injured in the warm up as he pulled an abdominal muscle and young German Serge Gnabry took his place in the starting 11. Also Danish Nicklas Bendtner made it as far as the substitute’s bench today, but he wasn’t used. Spanish midfielder Mikel Arteta saw action for the first time this season when he replaced Ozil after 81 minutes.
Arsenal has now won seven matches in a row now including three in the Champions League, two of which came in the qualifying series against Fenerbahce and the other against Marseille in the group stage. They’ll try to make it eight on the trio when they meet in a Capital One Cup game at on
Arsenal Player Ratings-Sun. Sept. 22
Arsenal 3-1 Stoke City–Premier League Match 5
Wojciech Szczesny-7
Another good game from the keeper. He can’t really be blamed on Cameron’s goal.
Bacary Sagna 6.5
A steady match by Sagna and he chipped in with a rare goal to sew the game up.
Kieran Gibbs-7
Gibbs was solid, but not spectacular and did his job well with just one or two mental mistakes.
Per Mertesacker-6.5
He might have been able to prevent Stoke’s goal with a quicker reaction, but made up for it with the winning goal.
Laurent Koscielny-6.5
Didn’t play bad, but some of his passes were off the mark.
Mathieu Flamini-8
This was easily Flamini’s best game since returning to the Gunners and he was the man of the match with his fine effort in the midfield.
Aaron Ramsey-7.5
Another great showing by Ramsey and another goal from him. His confidence is soaring and he’s become one of the best players in the league this season.
Mesut Ozil-7.5
Ozil had a hand in all three of Arsenal’s goals and was excellent on set plays. He was taken off after 81 minutes and replaced by Mikel Arteta.
Serge Gnabry-6
Understandably nervous after being named a surprise starter when Walcott injured himself in the warm up. He didn’t look out of place and settled down as the game went on. He was taken off after 73 minutes and replaced by Ryo Miyaichi.
Jack Wilshere-6.5
Played well, but was on the end of some physical play by Stoke. He wore down a little in the second half and was taken off after73 minutes and replaced by Nacho Monreal.
Olivier Giroud-6.5
Giroud worked hard and had a fine effort on target saved by Begovic.
Nacho Monreal 6
Came on after 73 minutes for Wilshere and had another good sub outing.
Ryo Miyaichi- 6
Came on after 73 minutes for Gnarby and looked steady.
Mikel Arteta-6
Came on after 81 minutes for Ozil for his season debut and fit right in.