ARSENAL 3-1 STOKE CITY: FIVE TALKING POINTS FROM THE GAME
It is three straight win for Arsenal starting from the Bournemouth win to the victory over Stoke City, who could do nothing as Arsenal demonstrated their title credentials with a temporary leap to the top of the league.
Goals from Theo Walcott, Mesut Ozil and substitute Alex Iwobi was all Arsenal needed to come from one goal down to beat Stoke City 3-1 at the Emirates. Stoke might have taken the lead early in the game but the Gunners didn’t panic and it was Arsenal’s day as they kept pace with Chelsea in the title race.
Here are my five talking points from the convincing win over Stoke.
IS IWOBI BACK FOR GOOD?
The Nigerian attacker might have had an inconsistent run in the first team this season with Chamberlain seeming to be on the recovery following a superb showing against West Ham United. The midfield player had a mixed game against Basel as he lost the ball on occasions and was not convincing in helping out in defensive duties.
He got a goal of his own with a tap in across the face of goal, with Ozil to thank, as the German playmaker picked out Iwobi’s inviting run into the box. Iwobi came on for Chamberlain after the the Ox made an assist earlier on in the game. With 2 goals in space of 4 days it is still to be seen if Iwobi has won his confidence and place back in the team in the long run.
POETRY IN MOTION GOING FORWARD
Arsenal three front line attackers of Sanchez, Walcott and Oxlade-Chamberlain was magnificent in the game pulling the strings against a Stoke City side led by Charlie Adam. With the movement of the aforementioned trio going forward Arsenal were unpredictable with the ball and Stoke City could not deal with Arsenal’s pace when Walcott got on to the end of a cross for Arsenal’s equalizer.
Whenever the likes of Alexis (Sanchez), Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain leads the line in tandem with the creative talent of Mesut Ozil in midfield Arsenal’s attacking foray’s are difficult to deal with, and it was evident as Stoke struggled to contain Arsenal as they made their quality count in the game.
OZIL GAVE US A VAN PERSIE GOAL REMINDER
With Arsenal tied 1-1 at half time following a goal from Charlie Adam in the 26th minutes via a penalty and Theo Walcott’s precise finish towards the end of the first period Arsenal came into the second half to seize control of the game and was fortunate to take the lead through their bright star Mesut Ozil who received a looping pass from Oxlade-Chamberlain in midfield to nod over the onrushing Stoke City goalie, who was well off his line, as Ozil gave Arsenal the lead with smiles all around the Emirates Stadium.
It was a reminder of the former Arsenal superstar Robin Van Persie’s goal against Spain at the last World Cup in Brazil, were the Dutch side beat Spain 5-1 with Van Persie and Arjen Robben the architect of the La Roja defeat on the occasion. Daley Blind swung in a cross from the left back which Van Persie met with a looping header to beat Iker Casillas in goal and Ozil rdid exactly the same thing to give Arsenal a well-deserved 2-1 lead.
ARSENAL NEEDS ANOTHER TOP DEFENDER
Just as Arsenal are linked with the signing of Julian Draxler and other potential targets it does not still hide where Arsenal needs reinforcement the most. With Mustafi not partnering Koscielny against FC Basel despite the impressive 1-4 away win Arsenal’s defence looked feeble and unstable at some points under pressure.
The arrival of Shkodran Mustafi from Spanish side Valencia in the summer after much debate and speculation was a welcome development to the Arsenal Football Club as the Gunners aimed to tighten the holes at the back. With injury becoming Arsenal’s major barrier to the title more than the opposing teams it is left to see how the side’s defence will fare in Mustafi’s absence.
Long term or not Mustafi will be missed, as it was evident while the center back and his partner (Koscielny) was missing in our only defeat at home to Liverpool. With Koscielny important to the team and with a tendency for injury there is a need for Arsenal to strengthen the defence in the January transfer, as Chelsea’s key to the top of the table is their ability to keep clean sheets in games which Arsenal cannot really boast of lately as they have not kept a clean sheet even in their last four games, although we still keep winning.
BELLERIN SHOWS HIS IMPORTANCE
The Spanish full back made an impressive come back to action with a lively performance against Stoke. This is certainly a good news for Arsenal who have had to use Gabriel as a makeshift right-back with Debuchy injured and Jenkinson lacking in confidence. Every cloud has a silver lining, so they say, and when Arsenal’s new signing Mustafi was injured in the game and had to make way for the youthful Bellerin perhaps it was a blessing in disguise. Some people even thought the Spaniard was Man Of The Match!
Bellerin entered into the fray in the 25th minute and asserted himself well with decent link up with Theo Walcott which caused problems on the right. In the run of play the incisive full back made an audacious run from the right after being put through by Alexis Sanchez to provide a cross for Walcott’s goal and Arsenal’s equalizer coming at the perfect time for the Gunners.
Welcome back, brilliant Bellerin, Arsenal is good to go in the title race!