That’s exactly the result we needed to make the top four, with City winning today it means that all eyes will be on Liverpool tomorrow as they take on West Ham. Stoke is normally a place where we struggle to do well, and I was cautious in the match preview, but that was a sublime performance. Here are the Arsenal player ratings for the match:
Petr Cech – 7
Didn’t have much to in the first half, there wasn’t even a save to make. However, Stoke ramped up the pressure in the second half, though he couldn’t really do much about Crouch’s goal via his hand. But apart from that he didn’t have much to do.
Rob Holding – 7.5
Looked comfortable at the back, he’s really starting to settle into the team, still can’t believe how little he cost us. Got to say I did enjoy it when he clattered the Stoke City player in the second half, though he did pick up a yellow for his troubles.
Shkodran Mustafi – 7.5
Played some surprisingly good balls forward, though that foul he made for the yellow in the first half was pretty dreadful.
Laurent Koscielny – 6.5
Looked strong as always in the first half, but started to lag in the second half which is understandable seeing as he faced a fitness test before the match. Hopefully, he’ll get some time to recover before the next one.
Hector Bellerin – 7.5
Got the assist for the first goal with a square ball into the box for an easy Giroud tap in. Looked comfortable in the right wing back position which also reassured us at the back and managed to get another assist to top it off.
Francis Coquelin – 6.5
Played well, I think we might have found another midfield partner for Xhaka. He is a reassuring presence to have in the team, although he might be a bit irrational at times.
Granit Xhaka – 7
Played some good balls forward and the linked the play well, think he’s definitely the best centre midfielder we have at the club, well apart from Santi.
Nacho Monreal – 7
Maybe he should have done better with the header in the first half, though he did well to get in that position in the first place. Worked well up and down that left-hand flank.
Mesut Ozil – 7.5
Didn’t do much in the first half but the run and finish for the second goal were great. He’s one of them players that looks like he’s having a bad game and then produces a bit of magic from nowhere.
Alexis Sanchez – 9.5
One of our best players today, he looked threatening whenever he got the ball. That ball through to Ozil for the second goal was great. Managed to get the third whilst injured and only signalling to get subbed off a few minutes before.
Olivier Giroud – 8.5
Easy finish for the goal but he didn’t do much bar that in the first half. Managed to sneak in a second goal from a similar position thanks to a great assist from Aaron Ramsey, but got taken off so he didn’t manage to finish his hat trick.
Aaron Ramey – 7
Danny Welbeck – 6
Theo Walcott – 6