Stoke City 1-0 Arsenal

1 of 7

Wenger - Why I selected that back three at Stoke

Shkodran Mustafi’s reintroduction to Premier League football was one of two changes Arsene Wenger made for Saturday’s game at Stoke City.

The World Cup winner replaced Rob Holding in an unorthodox back three alongside Nacho Monreal and Sead Kolasinac, as we slipped to a 1-0 defeat at Bet365 Stadium.

Our defence came under criticism after the match, but Wenger says the trio should not be singled out for our performance.

“We conceded three last week so I changed a bit because Mustafi came back and Holding had lost a little bit of confidence,” he said.  

“In pre-season, centrally, we did quite well. When you lose a game, you lose a game, but we didn’t lose against Stoke only because of bad defending on the ball.

“When you have the number of chances we had away from home and you don’t score, you can always complain about the offence and defence.

“We’ve lost one game so I can understand [negativity], but overall I believe that there were a lot of positives in the game. We created many chances, we had great domination, but unfortunately we dropped three points.”

The Breakdown

Analysis: What went wrong against Stoke?

We slipped to our first Premier League defeat of the season at Stoke on Saturday, as Jese’s goal just after half-time proved the difference between the two teams.

In the latest episode of The Breakdown, Adrian Clarke analyses the game at the bet365 Stadium and also examines:

  • The multiple errors that led to Stoke's goal
  • How we failed to take our chances in the final third
  • Alexandre Lacazette's disallowed goal
  • Aaron Ramsey's influential display in midfield

Click the 'Play' button above to watch the latest episode of 'The Breakdown' and the check out the following:


Match video: Stoke City v Arsenal

We slipped to a 1-0 defeat at Stoke City on Saturday evening.

Jese Rodriguez scored the winner 90 seconds after half-time to ensure all three Premier League points remained in Staffordshire.

Press ‘Play’ to watch our 12-minute match clip above, or our bitesize round-up below:

You can also watch full match replay by clicking on the links below:


'You don't get away with defending like that'

Arsene Wenger was left to rue a costly defensive mistake against Stoke City, which resulted in the only goal of the game.

We enjoyed nearly 80 per cent possession at Bet365 Stadium on Saturday, but were undone by Jese's strike shortly after the restart.

Speaking after the game, the manager was critical of the team's defensive lapse, bemoaned our lack of sharpness in front of goal, and gave his thoughts on Hector Bellerin playing at left wing back.

on missing an end product…
We are very frustrated because we lost a game that we should have won and that's terrible to swallow. We had plenty of chances and on top of that, not only did we not finish, but we gave them an easy goal to score, just after half time. We knew at half-time it was very important to keep our defensive focus in this kind of game, (then) we came out and didn't defend properly. That's where we are not forgivable today. At the end of the day I believe when you are not concentrating on the way you want to play, you pay for it at that level. At the end of the day we had 80 per cent possession and we lost the game, away from home.

on a lack of cohesion up front…
Yes, I think sometimes our final ball was not good. Our focus to give the ball was not right and overall we should have done much better in our finishing.

on Alexandre Lacazette's disallowed goal…
It was a goal, it's as simple as that.

on maintaining positivity…
It is vital to not only see the negative side of it and to respond very quickly in the next game. But in the Premier League you do not get away with defending like we did on the goal. We have to realise as well, that if we want to transform the energy we put into the game as well like that, you have to defend properly, every single minute.

on playing Hector Bellerin on the left…
He can play there, I play him or Chamberlain there, and Chamberlin on the right looks good as well. Both of them are more right-sided players, I agree, and depending on the game I choose sometimes right and sometimes left.

Post-Match Report

Stoke City 1-0 Arsenal - how it happened

Alexandre Lacazette appeals the decision

We suffered our first defeat of the season as Stoke debutant Jese scored the only goal of the game, right at the start of the second half.

Our first away game of the campaign was at the same venue as the last away game of last season, but we were unable to repeat May's victory, despite dominating the second half.

 Stoke City took the lead when their new Spanish winger Jese scored 90 seconds after the restart, tucking home Saido Berahino's through ball inside the area.

Jese scores against us at Bet365 Stadium

We enjoyed more than 80 per cent of possession from that point on, but were unable to find a way past Jack Butland.

Alexandre Lacazette did have the ball in the net with 20 minutes to go, only to be flagged offside when replays suggested he was level.

Alexandre Lacazette appeals the decision

The first half was lively too, if unspectacular, with Danny Welbeck having our best chance. He latched onto a floated Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain pass inside the area, and connected well with his volley, but Jack Butland parried the effort away for a corner.

Stoke's more measured approach was in contrast to their usual blood and thunder style, and Jese was looking lively on the left flank, frequently running at the Arsenal back three. One of those mazy runs ended in an excellent chance for Maxim Choup-Moting, but he fluffed his effort straight at Petr Cech.

Ryan Shawcross then headed over when completely unmarked, and at the other end Aaron Ramsey eluded his marker to meet Oxlade-Chamberlain's free-kick at the far post, but again Butland made the save.

Jack Butland denies Aaron Ramsey

We were caught cold at the start of the second half with Jese's strike, but continued to make chances of our own in the second period.

Hector Bellerin, Welbeck and Ramsey all had shots saved, while Giroud headed wide late on.



After the euphoria of the last-minute win over Leicester, we came back down to Earth, suffering our fifth Premier League defeat away to Stoke.

The result left the Premier League table looking like this at full-time:

Premier League table after Stoke (a)



We travel to Anfield next Sunday evening, looking to kick-start our away campaign. Arsène Wenger has suggested Alexis Sanchez may be ready to return in that game, and his inventiveness and attacking spark would certainly have been welcome at Stoke.


21 - Danny Welbeck volleys Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's lofted pass straight at Jack Butland.

30 - Aaron Ramsey ghosts in behind the Stoke defence to meet Oxlade-Chamberlain's deep free-kick, but Butland saves.

50 - Hector Bellerin bursts into the box, his shot lacks power, and Danny Welbeck's attempt on the rebound is bundled away

59 - Welbeck is alone in the area, and Mesut Ozil's cross is inch perfect, but Welbeck's header loops over the bar.

61 - Ramsey's left-footed shot in the stretch is easily held by Butland after good work from Shkodran Mustafi.

67 - Oliver Giroud flicks the ball through to Welbeck, who advances on goal but is crowded out by a combination of Stoke defenders and goalkeeper.

70 - Alexandre Lacazette's touch lets him down when he is teed up eight yards from goal by Oxlade-Chamberlain.

73 - Lacazette buries this chance, but is controversially flagged offside.

90 - Giroud's header goes just wide, after getting on the end of a deep left-wing cross.


‘We’re 100 per cent guilty… we must swallow that’

Arsene Wenger

Seventy-seven per cent possession, six shots on target, one big penalty shout and one disallowed goal - but ultimately no points from Saturday's Premier League clash with Stoke City.

It is a tough defeat to take but, as Arsene Wenger told the media in his post-match press conference, one which we can only blame ourselves for.

on the game…
It’s the kind of the night where you are angry because not only did we not score with the number of chances we had, we made stupid mistakes centrally. First by losing the ball and then afterwards we didn’t defend properly for the goal. On top of that, I think we were unlucky with some of the referee’s decisions because we scored a regular goal.

on whether Lacazette’s goal should have stood…
One hundred per cent. I’ve just watched it and it’s not offside at all.

on whether his foot was actually offside…
Even his foot was not offside. We have to swallow that and we should have scored despite that. I think it’s just another detail that didn’t go our way. I believe that we lost three big points today. Other teams might take points here that we have dropped today. In football, when you don’t win, you can only look at yourself.

on our defending…
Last week we conceded two goals on corners. They only had three shots on goal, so I don’t feel that we defended that badly. On set-pieces, yes. Today I would say that we can look at ourselves and we are 100 per cent guilty on the goal we conceded.


Wenger discusses transfers, Ozil and Alexis


We lost our first game of the 2017/18 season against Stoke City on Saturday evening.

After the match, Arsene Wenger was asked about the final stage of the summer transfer window, Mesut Ozil’s performance and Alexis’ availability for next week’s game. 

on the transfer window…
I expect to sell players first. That’s all. I expect some players to go because we have too many players and it’s not manageable. Many clubs are in this situation which is why the transfer market is quiet. We have 33 players at the moment, and that’s too many players.

on whether he will bring any in if players do leave…
I am not in transfer mode after a game like that. We are more disappointed at the moment rather than thinking about buying players straight away tonight.

on Mesut Ozil’s performance…
I think he did fight. It’s difficult to single anybody out. We had many, many chances and personally I don’t think he deserves [criticism].

on Alexis…
If all goes well through the week, he should be available to be selected for the next game, yes.