Thursday, 14 November, 2019

Arsenal 3-0 Stoke City: Five things we learned

Paul Lambert GETTYPaul Lambert's Stoke City are in danger of relegation
Shannon Reynolds | 03 April, 2018, 12:59

Once again there were thousands of empty seats at the Emirates, which was only about two-thirds full for the match - continuing a recent trend in the Premier League, where Arsenal are languishing in sixth place and have no realistic chance of making the top four.

Ramadan Sobhi had the first chance in the 14th minute when he was set up by Joe Allen, but he could not beat David Ospina who was in goal for Arsenal.

The Gunners will have to play better in the first leg against CSKA Moscow on Thursday in Europe.

Few players came out of this game with much credit but, after a modest start to his Arsenal career following his big-money move from Borussia Dortmund, Aubameyang provided the decisive contributions. But do Arsenal actually have what it takes to go on and win the Europa League?

With one eye on Thursday's Europa League quarter-finals, Arsene Wenger made several changes to his side that won against 3-0 against Watford.

On the slow start, Wilshere added: 'Sometimes it's like that after an global break, it takes 45 minutes to blow the cobwebs off.

Lacazette then wrapped things up at the end with a second penalty, scoring for the first time in the Premier League since early December, leaving Stoke three points adrift of safety.

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Stoke s preparations had seen Ibrahim Afellay jettisoned by manager Paul Lambert for not trying in training, but Eric Pieters was restored to the starting line-up after being fined for going clubbing before the previous match.

That let Stoke push them back deep into their own half, and Swiss striker Xherdan Shaqiri gave the Gunners a scare in the fourth minute when he collected the ball outside the area on the right, only to curl his shot inches outside the far post.

Pawson awarded the 75th-minute penalty after Bruno Martins Indi challenged Mesut Özil, but replays showed that the Dutch defender had played the ball.

"I touched the ball, I think he (Ozil) made a foul on me", he told Stoke's official website. It was a key moment, the ref, I don't know what he was seeing or hearing or what angle he was.

"Fans aren't turning up thinking they're going to see exciting football".

"I just spoke to Craig and asked what he saw", Lambert said.

Stoke continued to take the game to the hosts, who were giving away possession cheaply. "It was a game changer", he said.

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