Arsenal battled out a goalless draw at the Britannia against Stoke. It was the second successive match in which the Gunners couldn’t find the back of the net. The positive thing was that Arsenal didn’t concede any goals against the Potters as the Gunners have a bad record against Stoke when they play away, never managing to keep a clean sheet.
Arsenal did look solid at the back, not allowing Stoke to dominate in any possible way. Here are the player ratings from the match:
Mannone 6.5- Got a rare start, in fact his first Premier League appearance in three years. Didn’t have much to do but when called up, did perfectly well to keep a clean sheet.
Jenkinson 5.5- Had an average defensive game but a poor attacking game with rarely overlapping and putting in his lovely crosses when they were required the most.
Mertesacker 7- Stood strong and kept the likes of Crouch and Walters quiet. Was good in the air and used his height perfectly well. Had one of his best games in an Arsenal shirt.
Vermaelen 7.5- Was solid throughout the game, making important interceptions and like Mertesacker was exceptional in the air.
Gibbs 7- The English left back had a brilliant game down the left hand side, keeping Pennant quiet. Was brilliant with his tackles and runs down the left flank.
Arteta 8- Played a defensive role once again after the departure of Song to Barcelona. Was disciplined throughout and dictated the midfield. Deservedly the man of the match.
Diaby 6- Had an inconsistent game with some good moments and some frustrating. Could have won Arsenal the match if he had not took his chance in a hurry. Was always ahead of Peter Crouch to head the ball whenever the ball was booted upfield. Did good in his defensive duties.
Cazorla 7.5- Once again had an exceptional performance, being at the heart of every Arsenal move. His strikes got the best out of the Stoke keeper and there are signs that he will soon get his first Arsenal goal. Faded in the second half and was substituted after he picked up a knock during the match.
Gervinho 6- Played down the unusual right hand side where he had to be the provider. He took on a defender, then the second and when he had to pass, he was too selfish and pretty. Uh tried to take on the whole team on his own. Was good in some parts of the match though.
Podolski 7- Had a better game down the left hand side than last week as a centre forward. Created more and made those darting runs down the middle of the defence giving the Stoke defenders all sorts of problems.
Giroud 7- The tall Frenchman made his full debut and had a good game comparatively to last week. Did his defensive duties well and almost scored a spectacular from 40 yards to open his account. Whether he should have passed it to Ramsey or not still remains a topic of discussion.
Arsenal played well as a whole team but were frustrating again in front of goal. Now we will have to wait and see if the Gunners score their first goal of the campaign against Liverpool or not and get the three points.