As usual Arsenal had a tough battle at the Britannia Stadium, and Stoke raised their game and fought for ever ball for the whole 90 minutes. Mark Hughes always has his teams prepared to die for the cause and last night was no exception.
Even Arsene Wenger praised our opponents after the game, but also thought that the Gunners matched them for desire. “We did well to battle.” Le prof said. “They made the game physical, they were up for it, the players were up for it and they were up for a direct game. We had to have a physical response and show solidarity, fighting spirit and togetherness.
“We lacked a bit of creativity to force a way through and on top of that we missed good chances. They were fighting from the first to the last minute. We wanted to win the game but looking at our history here it is a positive result. Looking at the results of the other teams that played at the top, it is a positive result. But overall, we missed two points today.
“I think Stoke was dangerous as well. I think Stoke played very well today in the air but we had clear-cut chances with Giroud and Campbell. Maybe there was a dangerous situation when Theo Walcott could have got a penalty or a free-kick on the edge of the box. Stoke have remarkable defensive discipline and they played very well.
“[They] always [have a good game] when Arsenal come to Stoke. I must say I cannot fault my team for their attitude, it was spot on the way my team responded to the challenge. I used to be a bit more creative but overall it was a solid performance.”
Considering that Arsenal were missing Ozil, Sanchez, Cazorla and Coquelin, we were hardly going to be as creative as usual, but Wenger was happy that the Gunners dealt with the thrat from the physical Stoke side. “We had all the ingredients of a team that is ready for a fight and respond. The pitch was not easy as well but we lacked the final ball on the counter attack but we did fight and we have to give credit to the team.”
All in all I think that both managers will think it was a fair result. It’s just a shame that some dirty-mouthed Stoke fans had to show their team up….