EPL 2016/17, Stoke 1-4 Arsenal: 5 talking points
Arsenal emphatically dispatched of Stoke City 4-1. Here's what we extracted from the encounter.
In Saturday’s late kick-off, Stoke City welcomed a rampant Arsenal side to the Bet365 stadium. The Gunners went into the game still clinging on to the hope of Champions League qualification while Stoke had seemingly had nothing to play for. What followed was an extraordinary game of football.
After dominating possession in the first half, Arsenal’s pressure finally prevailed in the 41st minute as Hector Bellerin broke down the right and fed Olivier Giroud an easy tap-in. Mesut Ozil soon doubled proceedings 10 minutes after the break, after coolly disposing an eye of the needle through ball from Alexis Sanchez.
The game took an unexpected turn when Peter Crouch pulled a goal back for the home team in the 66th minute. However, a powerful drive from Alexis Sanchez and another Giroud tap-in finally put the game to bed.
The win takes Arsenal within one point of Liverpool with two games of the season left.
Here are the five biggest talking points from the game.
#5 Shaqiri is not fulfilling his potential
As a man that has started games for European giants like Bayern Munich and Inter Milan, Xhedran Shaqiri really hasn’t lived up to his £12m price tag. With miles of open space in front of him, Shaqiri refused to make use of the freedom. Nacho Monreal, in fact, spent most of his time on the other side of the pitch, so Shaqiri spent most of the game unmarked but he failed to have any impact on the game whatsoever.
In that time, the Swiss international failed at two take-ons, produced nice unsuccessful crosses and misplaced eight passes. All in all, Shaqiri failed to show his boss Mark Hughes why he should feel warranted for displaying much faith in him.