Premier League 2016/17: Arsenal 3-1 Stoke City - Player Ratings
Arsenal came from behind to clinch an important victory over Stoke City at the Emirates Stadium and momentarily occupy top spot in the Premier League. A penalty for Stoke for a high elbow on Joe Allen by Granit Xhaka was tidily converted by Charlie Adam to give Mark Hughes’ side the lead.
Theo Walcott finished off a great team move late in the first half to draw Arsenal level, before goals from Mesut Ozil and substitute Alex Iwobi in the second half completed the fightback.
We rate every player’s performance from the game and assign them a rating on a scale from 1-10:
Petr Cech – 6.5/10
It was an uncertain game for the Arsenal keeper, mistiming a header from outside the box in the first half and giving his defenders a moment of panic when he tried to play the ball out under pressure from onrushing Stoke forwards. He did make a few good saves to deny Marc Muniesa and Xherdan Shaqiri from long range.
Gabriel Paulista – 7/10
He didn’t have a great first quarter of the game at right-back, failing to utilise the space on the wing which Bellerin later did after coming on. At centre-back, he looked more like himself, showing solidity in clearing away balls from set-pieces and keeping in touch with the runs of Allen and Arnautovic.
Shkodran Mustafi – 6/10
A hamstring injury early in the game forced the German defender off.
Laurent Koscielny – 7/10
The skipper made minimal errors during the game, leading his defence to another commanding performance at the back.
Nacho Monreal – 7/10
The left-back shut down Diouf for most of the game and occasionally paired up with Oxlade-Chamberlain to give Arsenal some attacking impetus from the left byline.
Francis Coquelin – 7/10
Coquelin was quietly effective in front of the Arsenal back four, committing to important tackles and was often witnessed advancing forward to help heap pressure on Stoke.
Granit Xhaka – 7/10
The Swiss midfielder was punished for a high elbow on Joe Allen which led to the penalty. Apart from that, he moved the ball around in midfield and helped the Gunners patiently to up the tempo as the game progressed.
Theo Walcott – 7.5/10
He scored his 100th goal for Arsenal with a good toe finish ahead of Martins Indi to equalise. His pace helped him channel into space in front of Eric Pieters on a few occasions and left wing back and receive balls from Bellerin from the wide areas.
Mesut Ozil – 7.5/10
Ozil, as usual, used his vision to pick out advancing Arsenal attackers with ease. He duly took advantage of Erik Pieters’ brief absence from the pitch and Imbula – playing as cover-up at left-back – playing him onside to put Arsenal 2-1 up.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – 7.5/10
The winger used his pace and fleet-footedness to dribble past opposition shirts on multiple occasions. He often attracted men towards him to leave some space for Arsenal to launch attacks.
Alexis Sanchez – 7.5/10
Sanchez’s work-rate was commendable, closing down defenders as well as goalkeeper and not giving them a moment of peace.
Hector Bellerin – 7.5/10
Bellerin had an outstanding comeback from injury, using the space provided by Eric Pieters to dash down the flank and provide quality low balls into the box – for Walcott’s equaliser, in particular. It reflected exactly what Arsenal were missing in the opening 20-odd minutes, when Gabriel operated at right-back.
Alex Iwobi – 7.5/10
The young Nigerian continues his rise into prominence in an Arsenal shirt. He had the presence of mind to play on after a foul on Alexis Sanchez, skipping past Adam and slotting past Grant to wrap up the points for the hosts. His fresh legs stretched the Potters defence in the closing stages and ensured Arsenal were in total command till the final whistle.
Olivier Giroud – 6.5/10
He came on for the final 12 minutes to provide Arsenal with a focal point in attack and give a tiring Stoke back-three some more work to do in the air.