Arsenal vs Stoke City – Five Key Talking Points

Published 09/12/2015, 1:19 PM EDT


It is Arsenal who are victorious yet again at home against Stoke City, continuing their undefeated record against the Potters with a 2-0 win. This was their first win at home in the Premier League as they look to build a credible title charge this season.

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Arsenal’s striker department has come under a lot of criticism but Walcott did them a favour by opening their account which was surprisingly their first goal at the Emirates this season. A host of chances followed but the firm presence of Jack Butland denied the North-London outfit every attempt they had at goal.

Olivier Giroud finally proved the critics wrong by grabbing a late goal as Arsenal ran out winners in an exciting encounter.

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Here are the five key talking points from the game at the Emirates.

Walcott makes it 1-0 for the Gunners

With every passing match-day we all come to realize that all said and done, Arsenal are woeful when it comes to delivering the end product. The game ended 2-0 with both the goals being scored by strikers but the game could have easily featured a scoreline of 5-0. Theo Walcott was great when it came to stretching the defence and running behind the back four, but missed a few sitters. The Gunners couldn’t simply take advantage of a porous Stoke defence which has been pretty much the most talked about facet of their recent performances.

Paulista has been turning some heads lately

Every season after the transfer window closes, the Pundits and Tactical Experts give their opinion on the shortcomings in the squad ahead of a long and torrid season, and every time Arsenal were said to have a ‘title winning’ backline which was the case this time too. But injury to Per Mertesacker meant that Gabriel Paulista would get his chance for weeks to come and he did well to compensate the big Germans absence. He has been a vital part of the Gunners back-four and has delivered every time he has been asked to play. A dynamic style of play meant that Koscielny had the space to take a few risks which was exactly the case in this game. The Gunners faithful would not be surprised to see the young Brazilian along with Koscielny week-in, week-out given his performances.

Jack Butland has been in sensational form this season

The best player on the pitch today and the best player for Stoke for the fifth consecutive game was Jack Butland. Many thought that Begovic’s loss would be too much to cope up with for the Potters, as no one expected Butland to step-up and produce some of the most amazing goalkeeping performances that the Premier League has witnessed in recent seasons. The young Englishman gives his all in every match and was the man of the match in today’s encounter against Arsenal. Single-handedly, he saved Stoke from a humbling at the hands of the Gunners making saves left, right and centre. If not for Butland, Stoke would not have even those 2 points in their kitty.

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Giroud’s header makes it two for Arsenal

Ever since Mark Hughes took over the reigns at the the Britannia Stadium, he has broken club records, helping the club reach new heights and bringing in a new identity to Stoke City’s gameplay. Stoke are no more a physical team that would grind out results to survive in the Premier League. Creative players like Marko Arnautovic, Bojan Krkic have given Stoke a new dimension in their game and the addition of Shaqiri was said to Galvanize their side but what transpired was a dismal string of performances and lack of creativity. The side are drifting back to their original physical style of play but are unable to grind out results as teams like Arsenal overload their team’s defence time and time again. The team would benefit if the players went back to the basics and found out what has been affecting their performances lately.

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The Premier League is known to be the most competitive league in the world. But this season is shaping out to be full of surprises as almost every match-week the predictions made by experts stand for nothing. The current champions Chelsea have amassed only 4 points from 5 matches whereas teams like Leicester City are playing amazing football. Even though Manchester City seem to be running away with the title, one cannot predict what might happen to their excellent form over the next couple of fixtures. This season proves exactly why the Premier League is the most unpredictable League there is in world football. More surprises are in store every match-week.

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Dhruv George

12012 articles

Dhruv George is a senior Formula One and NASCAR analyst for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.

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