Coming off of the international break, Wenger opted for a rotated squad this time around. The game looked destined for a bland 0-0 draw until Ozil won a penalty in the 74th minute. From there, the game tipped in Arsenal’s favour heavily, and they punished Stoke 2 more times for an undeserved 3-0 win. Here’s how the boys did…
David Ospina – 5.5
Made two fairly routine saves to conserve the clean sheet. Besides that, however, the vertically-challenged Ospina was nearly between by Shaqiri’s corner. He also had poor distribution all game unsurprisingly.
Hector Bellerin – 5.5
Was challenged on his side of that field at times, allowing one too many crosses into the box. Offensively, he was fairly anonymous considering he never has a true winger to play with on his side.
Shkodran Mustafi – 7.5
Another solid performance from Mustafi. His passing, along with most of the team, in the first half was uncharacteristically shaky, but he cleaned it up after the break. 4 tackles, 3 clearances, and 3 interceptions is a good stat line.
Calum Chambers – 7.5
Shaky first half passing like this fellow centreback but redeemed himself with a great defensive performance in place of Koscielny. He won the ball back 8 times which was the highest mark on the team alongside Elneny. If he could execute his aerial duels better (won 4 out of 10), he’d be superb.
Nacho Monreal – 6
A very mixed game for the Spaniard. While he won an astonishing 8 aerial duels and had some good shots at goal, his passing didn’t improve in the second half, resulting in him losing possession more than any other Gunner.
Mohamed Elneny – 7
As stated above, he won the ball back 8 times (5 in the defensive third, 3 in the midfield third). His passing was solid all game, but he didn’t cause as much trouble for Stoke defensively as he did in his previous game or two.
Aaron Ramsey – 7
He hit the bar early on and had two key passes that should’ve resulted in better shots on goal. His late runs troubled Stoke especially in the later stages of the game.
Mesut Ozil – 7
Was fairly anonymous in the first half, but so was most of our attack. He ended up with 6 key passes (3 from set-pieces, 3 from open play), all of which couldn’t result in a good shot on goal. His long through-ball to Aubameyang in the 70th minute was delectable.
Jack Wilshere – 6
Wilshere always seems to work hard, cause trouble in the midfield, but then offer not much else. He won the ball back several times, made 2 key passes, and completed 4 dribbles, but has nothing to show for it once again.
Danny Welbeck – 5
Another anonymous performance from the Englishman. He had two great opportunities (both supplied by Ramsey) on goal but spoiled them both. Any form he had at the beginning of the season is gone. Perhaps we’ll see Lacazette in this position soon?
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – 8
Easily could’ve had a hattrick had he put away Ozil’s through ball or kept the second penalty for himself. He’s quickly adapted to the Gunners style of play offering more off the ball runs and better positioning.
Alexandre Lacazette – 7
Was great to see him come in with plenty of time left. He didn’t look rusty at all. He drew 3 fouls including the second penalty that he put away with ease. He completed 2 dribbles, made a key pass, and had a good chance at goal that was blocked.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan – 6
Mkhitaryan also came on and caused trouble for a tired Stoke defence. While he wasn’t quite as dangerous as Lacazette, he did get a key pass and nearly scored from a sliding shot right in front of Butland.
Granit Xhaka – 6
Didn’t have too much to do in the 15 minutes that he was on. But he added some good support to the midfield making a key pass and winning the ball back 3 times.