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Stoke City 1-0 Arsenal: 5 Talking Points, Premier League 2017/18

Rohith Nair
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11.45K   //    20 Aug 2017, 01:20 IST

Stoke City 1-0 Arsenal highlights
Another season, another early loss for Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger

As Mesut Ozil trudged off the pitch shaking his head, that old familiar feeling crept up on Arsenal fans watching on. The same errors reared their heads at the lair of the Gunners' least favourite away fixture in the Premier League - Stoke City.

The Potters put Arsene Wenger's side to the sword and won their first points of the season with a 1-0 win - thanks to a Jese Rodriguez goal two minutes into the second half. It's only the second game of the season but the manner in which Arsenal lost the game will leave fans irate with the manager and the squad.

Here are the major talking points from the game.

1) Hector Bellerin and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's swapped roles

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain right wing back Arsenal
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain played as a right wing-back for Arsenal

When the lineups were announced, everyone expected Arsenal to line up in their now-standard 3-4-2-1 formation with Bellerin on the right and Oxlade-Chamberlain on the left. Even when Arsenal tweeted the lineups an hour before kickoff, Bellerin was on the right.

However, when the game kicked off, Oxlade-Chamberlain started out on the right and that was where he played the entire game while Bellerin moved to the left. It brought out the best in Oxlade-Chamberlain (with the limited time he had on the ball) but Bellerin clearly struggled after a brief spell of good football in the first half.

The Spaniard did get into the final third on a couple of occasions with some neat one-twos but couldn't make the best of it as Stoke stood resolute in the box. As the game wore on, his contributions became few and far between - neither here nor there in attack and defence.

After Arsenal switched to a back four, Oxlade-Chamberlain was wasted as a right-back and on the odd occasions that he did manage to beat his marker and put in a cross into the box, those opportunities were wasted.

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