Arsenal 3-1 Stoke City: Gunners' player ratings as they move top

Arsenal 3-1 Stoke City: Gunners' player ratings as they move top

After the Gunners overcame a resolute Stoke side, Wenger's team currently sit top of the league before Chelsea host West Brom on Sunday.

daniel-oriyasin
Daniel Oriyasin

Arsenal came from behind in order to pick up the three points they needed to go top of the Premier League on Saturday. An impressive Stoke City side, who had won their last two games, came to London looking to end the Gunners' 100% record over them at the Emirates.

Goals from Theo Walcott, Mesut Özil and Alex Iwobi helped overturn the deficit after a Charlie Adam penalty gave the visitors the lead midway through the first half.

Goalkeeper and defence

Petr Cech - 6 - Cech had precious little to do for the majority of the game. He looked a little shaky trying to deal with a few balls that were lofted high but wasn't bothered too much. Awkwardly headered backwards and was lucky Koscielny spared his blushes from the oncoming Marko Arnautovic and he also spilled a cross before completely misplacing a pass to his full-back; putting the ball out for a throw.

That being said he made a great stop from Peter Crouch's towering header at the back post from a corner when the game was still at 2-1.

Gabriel - 6 - The Brazilian was beginning to look more and more comfortable with the task of pushing forward as a full-back as time went on. It's quite clear however that he doesn't have the attacking instincts or qualities of first choice: Hector Bellerin. He was moved into the heart of the defence after Mustafi's injury and wasn't left with too much to do. He made a vital block against Mame Biram Diouf in the 65th minute.

Shkrodan Mustafi - 7 - He was only on the pitch for 25 minutes but Mustafi's technical quality shone through here. Mustafi was helpful when Arsenal were in possession and his keen eye for a pass was evident when he threaded a ball through on the right-sided channel to Theo Walcott for a goal scoring opportunity. An assured performance was curtailed by reports of a hamstring issue: a worrying proposition for Arsenal fans.

Laurent Koscielny - 6 - The Arsenal skipper was certainly made to earn his paycheck on Saturday when he was tasked with keeping track of the enigmatic Marko Arnautovic - particularly in the first half. He was given a tough time early on but became more assured as the game progressed, As usual, the Frenchman was very assured with the ball at his feet.

Nacho Monreal - 6 - Yet another calm, composed and relaxing performance by the Spaniard. He just spreads an air of reliability around the back four and rarely, if ever, has a bad day at the office. Long gone are the days of Arsenal fans asking if he can be replaced by a bowl of nachos on Arsenal's social media Q&As. A 6 might seem a little harsh but the full-back wasn't given much to do.

Holding midfield

Francis Coquelin - 6 - The Frenchman battled hard and showcased his ability to win the ball in midfield - a vital cog in Arsenal's counter attacking machine. Despite his role as a midfield enforcer; Coquelin still tries to be involved in the more playmaking maestro role and loves to play an extravagant pass or try to play his way out of trouble. He made a few nice passes but misplaced several too.

Granit Xhaka - 7 - Giving away a first-half penalty to a Stoke side that weren't creating a lot when the game was dead locked is all that is holding Xhaka back from a higher rating. He played extremely well and is adjusting perfectly to be the team's deep playmaker in Santi Cazorla's absence. His passing range is immaculate and he helped get the ball forward towards Sanchez, Ozil and Chamberlain in a much quicker and neater way than any of Ramsey, Elneny or Coquelin are showing that they can do at present.

Attacking four

Theo Walcott - 7 - Theo really impressed against Stoke. Some of his performances last season feel like a lifetime ago. Ten goals for the season already, perhaps he will be getting that coffee maker after all. The forward is getting involved in play much more; playing one-twos and drifting infield.

With Sanchez playing somewhat of a false nine there is space for Walcott - with his devastating pace and equally impressive movement - to exploit. The goal is the perfect example of this with him nipping in at the near post with a wonderful flick.

Mesut Ozil - 8 - As per usual the German playmaker was fantastic in possession: picking out some marvelous passes between the lines in a way that seemingly only he can. He was linking up with Alexis Sanchez wonderfully. One instance in the first half particularly jumps out as he dummied the ball and, as if they were thinking with the same brain, Alexis returned the ball inch perfectly only to be called offside. His header was magnificent and just oozed class. Time seemed to stand still as the ball looped over Lee Grant.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain - 8 - The winger started somewhat anonymously in the first half but would show flashed of his brilliance. Some neat touches seemed to be the extent of what we'd get, especially after he missed a great chance on the brink of half time. Kicking off the second half though; Chamberlain looked another player.

An incredible lofted ball for Ozil to put Arsenal 2-1 up was a marvelous bit of play from the Ox. His confidence seemed to skyrocket from his success and he began to beat his man with ease and showing his outrageous talent. More consistent form like this and the left-wing berth will be his.

Alexis Sanchez - 9 - Another bright performance for the Chilean in what has been an incredible season for him. He was lively from the start harrying the Stoke defence to no end and was almost rewarded in the first half where Grant barely scampered to get the ball clear.

With his form so good Alexis was keen to play the final ball in some instances where it wasn't on but he was a vital part to all three goals. Great performance where he showcased his talent without needing to get on the scoresheet himself or pick up any assists.

Substitutes

Hector Bellerin - 8 - The returning Spaniard looked really good on his return to first team action. He looked a bit rusty at first and shanked a few crosses out of play but he got better with every minute on the pitch. Provided some incredibly dangerous balls into the box; particularly through low driven crosses. Got an assist for Walcott's goal and have Arsenal another dimension going forward.

Alex Iwobi - 7 - Another player from the youth team that made his mark on the game was Alex Iwobi. Looking revitalised after his goal midweek; Iwobi's tally for the season was doubled with a wonderful Henry-esque finish before the end of the game. Iwobi offered something different to Chamberlain and was important as Arsenal looked to hold onto the ball to kill the game.

Olivier Giroud - N/A - The Frenchman showcased his good attitude and workrate in this cameo pressing from the front and almost being able to convert a cross from Bellerin deep into stoppage time.

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