Arsenal limped to a 3-0 win over Stoke City, but there was little to be impressed by after a eye-gouging display.
The first-half was certainly one to forget with a lot of frustrating mistakes from both sides, and very little to get exciting about.
In fact the biggest talking point has come from Mohamed Elneny getting himself booked for a late challenge on Joe Allen, and you would have to hope that this will certainly be a game of two (very different) halves!
At half-time I would already be looking to make changes, possibly with the thought of throwing Mkhitaryan on, but of course we knew Wenger would hold out for another 20 minutes at least…
The second-half started much like the entirety of the first-half with very little happening at either end of the pitch, but a run from Danny Welbeck on minute 53 showed that there is room to get in behind, albeit with that attack fizzling out for a goal kick.
A counter-attack saw us look rather potent shortly after, and we then enjoyed a little run of fluidity in midfield, leading to a run of pressure in attack. Danny Welbeck has been heavily involved in much of our forward movement, but unfortunately seems to be missing out on his shooting boots, and I would certainly have kept him on the pitch, but Wenger has other ideas. On comes Alexandre Lacazette with 30 minutes to play.
Our untimely change (which I can’t say I agreed with) brought a run of pressure on our very own defence, and we ended up being saved by the goalpost with just over 20 minutes to play, and this game is getting very nervy, although I still had that feeling we would scrape through the match with all three points…
Thanks to a little help from the referee we gained the lead. Mesut Ozil goes down inside the penalty area and is immediately granted a penalty. On closer inspection the defender clearly gets the ball, cleanly long before clattering into Ozil who has planted his foot into the ground, and you have to think that VAR would ruled that one out…
Thankfully that goal changed the game, and although Stoke tried to come at us, the game was now in our favour. Aubameyang added another goal to his growing tally of home goals, before Alexandre Lacazette earned himself a penalty.
The Frenchman slotted away calmly to the goalkeepers left to put us three goals clear, and that was that.
On the whole a very disappointing performance, and that scoreline has overflattered us, but onto Thursday we go.
Did Arsenal deserve a comfortable win? Was the result a foregone conclusion? Would either or both of those penalties have been ruled out by VAR?