Match Analysis: Stoke City 0-0 Arsenal

Santi Cazorla
© PA Photos
Sports Mole brings you analysis from Arsenal's 0-0 draw with Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium.

Stoke City and Arsenal played out a 0-0 draw at the Britannia Stadium this afternoon.

The Gunners dominated the encounter in terms of possession and attempts on goal, but they were unable to breach Asmir Begovic's net.

The result means that both clubs have drawn their opening two matches of the Premier League season.

Taking all of that into consideration, Sports Mole has analysed the key events.

Match Statistics:

Stoke:
Shots: 7
On target: 4
Possession: 41%
Corners: 0
Fouls: 9

Arsenal:
Shots: 16
On target: 6
Possession: 59%
Corners: 11
Fouls: 9

Was the result fair?

Arsenal will argue that they deserved to win this match and the statistics would back them up with that. However, they had very few clear-cut chances, while the Stoke rearguard rarely looked troubled. All in all, a point was the fairest outcome.

Stoke's performance

Tony Pulis will be pleased with the way that his side defended against the Gunners. He may not be so happy with how they went about attacking their visitors though. At times their passing was lacklustre, which left Peter Crouch and Jonathan Walters isolated.

Arsenal's performance

It would be fair to say that this was Arsenal's best performance at the Britannia Stadium in the Premier League era. They won the majority of the aerial battles and created the better chances. However, the likes of Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud were wasteful in good positions.

Sports Mole's man of the match

Per Mertesacker has received a large amount of criticism since joining Arsenal last summer. Today though he was strong and marshalled his fellow defenders extremely well. The German also won some key headers inside the Arsenal penalty area, particularly in the closing stages.

Biggest gaffe

Walters burst through with four minutes left and just had Vito Mannone to beat in the Arsenal goal. If he hit the ball with his left foot, surely he would have scored. However, for some reason he tried to wrap his right foot around the ball and Mannone gathered easily.

Referee's performance

Lee Mason could have awarded a penalty when Arsenal defender Kieran Gibbs brought down Jermaine Pennant. In fairness to Mason, the pundits have been unable to make their minds up having seen the incident numerous times since. Apart from that, the man with the whistle had a steady game.

What next?

Stoke: The Potters have drawn their first two matches of the season. Next up is a trip to Wigan Athletic - a match they should be looking to get a positive result from.

Arsenal: Two games and no goals tells you all you need to know about Arsenal's season so far. Podolski and Giroud need to start finding the net, and soon! Next Sunday they travel to Liverpool.

Lukas Podolski
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