Premier League
Arsenal2Stoke0

Arsenal 2-0 Stoke City

Theo Walcott
Theo Walcott's goal was Arsenal's first at home this season

Arsenal recorded their first home win of the season as goals from Theo Walcott and Olivier Giroud beat Stoke.

Walcott opened the scoring in the first half when he chased a long ball over the defence from Mesut Ozil before firing low beyond Jack Butland.

Substitute Giroud sealed victory late on with a header.

Stoke, who have not won at Arsenal since 1981, rarely looked like scoring, Joselu going closest with a shot at Petr Cech.

Arsenal are third in the Premier League but defeat for Stoke - their second of the season - means they are bottom after five games.

Reaction to this match and the rest of Saturday's action

Read how Arsenal beat Stoke

Firepower found?

Theo Walcott

Arsenal's attacking strength, or perhaps lack of, has come under scrutiny during the early stages of the season, with Arsene Wenger's side having managed just three goals in their four league games prior to the visit of Stoke.

It has been at Emirates Stadium in particular where they have struggled, failing to score in a 2-0 defeat by West Ham and a goalless draw with Liverpool.

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Arsene Wenger praises 'outstanding' Gunners

Wenger is keeping his faith in Walcott and Giroud to score the goals this season but, despite both netting, there were still some areas of concern as the pair spurned good opportunities to seal a victory by a bigger margin.

Walcott shot wide early on when he should have scored, and later directed a weak effort straight at Butland. Giroud, meanwhile, missed a near open goal before heading in the decisive second.

In the end, Arsenal had 29 shots on goal, 12 of those on target, and their general wastefulness in the final third could be of greater concern against more attack-minded sides.

'I still have doubts over Walcott up front'

Former England midfielder Jermaine Jenas on Final Score: "It was a good finish from Theo Walcott for the goal but I still have doubts about him playing as a striker.

"He missed two big opportunities before that. For one of them, from six yards out he couldn't get his feet right and smashed the ball over the bar.

"I just think he'd get just as many goals as he does playing on the right wing."

Average positions
Stoke (right) struggled to make it into Arsenal territory enough to threaten, as shown by this average position graphic. Arsenal (left) dominated and were able to get bodies forward more frequently

Stoke struggling to adapt?

Stoke, who finished ninth last season, had not won at Arsenal in 34 years, making Emirates Stadium a far from ideal venue for them to try to record their first win of the season.

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Stoke were too passive - Mark Hughes

Having developed a reputation for being a physical side in previous years, Mark Hughes is trying to re-invent the Potters and brought in technically gifted players such as Xherdan Shaqiri and Ibrahim Afellay in the summer.

Afellay was suspended for Saturday's game but Shaqiri had little opportunity to show what he is capable of, with Stoke rarely venturing out of their own half.

The Potters have yet to get going this season, having now lost three and drawn two of their five games so far, and a more direct approach might be necessary to start getting the wins they need.

Man of the match - Jack Butland

Jack Butland
Jack Butland made 10 saves to frustrate Arsenal for large periods of the match

What the managers said

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger: "In the first half our movement was outstanding and we created a lot. In the second half our pace dropped maybe a little bit in our passing, but we continuously created chances and overall it was a strong performance.

"My only regret is that there is too big a difference between the number of chances we made and the number of goals we scored but that will come."

Stoke manager Mark Hughes: "We wanted to make it difficult for Arsenal and get good numbers of bodies around the ball and try to condense play because we know they are very good in wide areas where they look to overload you and look for one-twos around your box.

"Unfortunately our defensive play was a bit too passive in terms of getting out to affect what Arsenal were trying to do, especially in the first half."

The stats you need to know

  • Theo Walcott scored for a ninth successive Premier League season.
  • Olivier Giroud scored only his second goal in his last 12 Premier League appearances.
  • Mesut Ozil has created 76 goalscoring chances in the Premier League in 2015, more than any other player.
  • Stoke's total of two points from five games is their worst ever start in the Premier League.

Who's up next?

Arsenal's attention switches to the Champions League as they travel to Croatia to play Dinamo Zagreb on Wednesday. Stoke, meanwhile, host Leicester in the Premier League next Saturday.

Line-ups

Arsenal

  • 33Cech
  • 24Bellerín
  • 5Gabriel
  • 6Koscielny
  • 18Monreal
  • 19Cazorla
  • 34Coquelin
  • 16Ramsey
  • 11ÖzilBooked at 38minsSubstituted forOxlade-Chamberlainat 84'minutes
  • 17SánchezSubstituted forArtetaat 84'minutes
  • 14WalcottSubstituted forGiroudat 75'minutes

Substitutes

  • 2Debuchy
  • 3Gibbs
  • 8Arteta
  • 12Giroud
  • 13Ospina
  • 15Oxlade-Chamberlain
  • 28Campbell

Stoke

  • 1Butland
  • 2BardsleyBooked at 81mins
  • 20Cameron
  • 5Muniesa
  • 3Pieters
  • 15Van Ginkel
  • 6Whelan
  • 22Shaqiri
  • 18DioufSubstituted forBojanat 75'minutes
  • 10Arnautovic
  • 11JoseluSubstituted forIrelandat 57'minutes

Substitutes

  • 7Ireland
  • 12Wilson
  • 21Sidwell
  • 24Given
  • 25Crouch
  • 26Wollscheid
  • 27Bojan
Referee:
Jonathan Moss
Attendance:
59,963

Match Stats

Home TeamArsenalAway TeamStoke
Possession
Home68%
Away32%
Shots
Home29
Away8
Shots on Target
Home12
Away3
Corners
Home13
Away1
Fouls
Home6
Away13

Live Text

Match ends, Arsenal 2, Stoke City 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Arsenal 2, Stoke City 0.

Corner, Stoke City. Conceded by Mikel Arteta.

Foul by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal).

Marco Van Ginkel (Stoke City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Jack Butland.

Attempt saved. Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal) header from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Santiago Cazorla with a cross.

Santiago Cazorla (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Erik Pieters (Stoke City).

Attempt missed. Bojan (Stoke City) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Marko Arnautovic.

Goal!

Goal! Arsenal 2, Stoke City 0. Olivier Giroud (Arsenal) header from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Santiago Cazorla with a cross following a set piece situation.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Phil Bardsley (Stoke City).

Substitution

Substitution, Arsenal. Mikel Arteta replaces Alexis Sánchez.

Substitution

Substitution, Arsenal. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain replaces Mesut Özil.

Offside, Arsenal. Laurent Koscielny tries a through ball, but Mesut Özil is caught offside.

Foul by Nacho Monreal (Arsenal).

Xherdan Shaqiri (Stoke City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Booking

Phil Bardsley (Stoke City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Alexis Sánchez (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Phil Bardsley (Stoke City).

Attempt missed. Santiago Cazorla (Arsenal) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Francis Coquelin.

Attempt missed. Olivier Giroud (Arsenal) left footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the right.

Attempt blocked. Alexis Sánchez (Arsenal) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Santiago Cazorla.

Substitution

Substitution, Arsenal. Olivier Giroud replaces Theo Walcott.

Substitution

Substitution, Stoke City. Bojan replaces Mame Biram Diouf.

Attempt saved. Theo Walcott (Arsenal) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Attempt blocked. Santiago Cazorla (Arsenal) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Mesut Özil.

Attempt blocked. Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Mesut Özil.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Marko Arnautovic (Stoke City) because of an injury.

Attempt missed. Marco Van Ginkel (Stoke City) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Xherdan Shaqiri.

Attempt saved. Theo Walcott (Arsenal) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Héctor Bellerín with a through ball.

Attempt blocked. Alexis Sánchez (Arsenal) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Santiago Cazorla.

Attempt saved. Mesut Özil (Arsenal) left footed shot from a difficult angle on the left is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Santiago Cazorla with a through ball.

Attempt missed. Alexis Sánchez (Arsenal) right footed shot from the right side of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Laurent Koscielny following a corner.

Attempt blocked. Santiago Cazorla (Arsenal) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Mesut Özil.

Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Glenn Whelan.

Attempt saved. Theo Walcott (Arsenal) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Héctor Bellerín with a cross.

Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Man City55001101115
2Man Utd531163310
3Arsenal531153210
4Crystal Palace53028629
5Everton52218538
6Leicester42208538
7Swansea52217528
8Norwich521289-17
9Liverpool521236-37
10West Ham42029636
11Southampton51315506
12Watford513134-16
13West Brom512236-35
14Aston Villa411245-14
15Bournemouth511369-34
16Chelsea5113712-54
17Tottenham403134-13
18Newcastle402225-32
19Sunderland4022610-42
20Stoke502337-42
View full Premier League table

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