Petr Cech 6.5 – The veteran keeper had precious little to do as Stoke presented him with almost no threat. If Koscielny and Gabriel continue to polish their fine understanding, life will be even easier for the Chelsea-turned-Arsenal legend.

Nacho Monreal 7 – Stoke chose not to target Monreal, freeing him up from the responsibility of staying back too often. As usual, he provided width and attempted a number of crosses and passes into the box from the left hand side.

Gabriel 7.5 – The Brazilian stood in well for Per Mertesacker, showing what Arsenal had been hoping Thomas Vermaelen would be alongside Koscielny. Should not be dropped until he gives Wenger a reason to do so.

Laurent Koscielny 8.5 – Unlucky not to be on the scoresheet late on in the game as Butland summoned the spirit of prime Buffon. Made sure Diouf and the rest of the Stoke attack had almost no chances to test Cech. Top notch performance.

Hector Bellerin 7.5 – In the same situation as Gabriel as he continues to prove too good to drop. Mathieu Debuchy may not like it but Belle put on a display that, once again, belied his tender years.

Francis Coquelin 8 – Made a key stop to allow Mesut Özil the chance to start the attack that led to Arsenal’s first goal of the game and generally proved difficult to get by with five tackles to his name. Also had two shots just for the banter.

walott coquelin

Santi Cazorla 8.5 – If someone’s going to be dropped to accommodate Theo Walcott, Olivier Giroud, Karim Benzema or whoever, it sure as hell won’t be Cazorla. The Spanish magician distributed possession superbly and got a deserved assist with a perfectly placed set piece delivery onto Giroud’s gorgeous forehead.

Aaron Ramsey  6.5 – Grew into the game later on in the second half but still struggled to make an impact from the right wing.

Mesut Özil 7.5 – Found Theo Walcott with a world class lob for Arsenal’s first goal and helped control the tempo as he usually does.

Alexis Sanchez 6.5 – Alexis, Alexis, Alexis. He seemed to find a player blocking his path at every turn and still appears to be exhausted from a grueling 2014/15 campaign. Hopefully a goal lifts his spirits and puts him back on track.

Theo Walcott 7 – Took his goal well after making a fine run to get in behind the Stoke back four. However, he never truly threatened after that as he failed to pounce on space or make timely runs into the box as a true center forward might have.

giroud stoke

Olivier Giroud N/A – Came on late and found the back of the net with a well placed header. Missed a glorious sitter just before that but will be buzzing to equal Own Goal’s tally this season.

Mikel Arteta N/A – Subbed in late in keeping with his role as the late ship-steady-maestro.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – Replaced Mesut Özil but failed to make an impact with just ten minutes to go.




Mahmoud Jaber

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