Arsenal 2-0 Stoke City – MATCH REPORT
Theo Walcott and Olivier Giroud scored the goals as a dominant Arsenal swept aside Stoke City at the Emirates Stadium.
The Gunners went into the game searching for their first home win and first home goal of the season, and Arsene Wenger’s side exploded out of the blocks – no doubt taking confidence from their unbeaten home record against the Potters.
Walcott – preferred to Giroud in attack – went close twice early on, hitting the post after great work from Sanchez before heading over when unmarked just six yards out.
Stoke seemed to grow in confidence after that opening salvo, but the Potters have not won at the Emirates in seven Premier League attempts and struggled to create clear-cut chances throughout.
It looked set to be another frustrating afternoon for the Gunners as the first half wore on, but Walcott made it third time lucky in the 31st-minute. The excellent Francis Coquelin won possession in the middle of the park and immediately played a ball over the top for the lightning-quick front-man to run on to, and Walcott showed impressive strength to hold off the covering Marc Muniesa and slot his shot past the onrushing Jack Butland.
Arsenal dominated from that moment on, carving Stoke open time and again.
A lively Walcott was replaced by Giroud for the final 15 minutes, and the Frenchman made amends for a shocking miss with virtually his first touch by heading home the second goal late on to secure the three points.