Stoke City 1 Arsenal 0
Jesse 47

Any trip to Stoke conjures up visions of a tough away day in harsh challenging conditions at the Britannia stadium and also maybe from the elements too. So when Arsenal saw this fixture was in August, and just the second game of the new Premier League season, Arsene Wenger’s men could have hoped for a similar performance to that of last season when they ran out comfortable 4-1 winners. This time however, the Potters were ready and Jesé was the Gunners’ sleigher, getting the only goal of the game soon after the break, in a controversial 90 minutes. Arsenal were denied at least three nailed on penalties and a strike from Alexandre Lacazette which was ruled out for offside. Some excellent saves from Jack Butland also helped the home side hold on as the Gunners although finished strongly, were nevertheless unable to get any joy on another tough Staffordshire outing.

” 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,” said Wenger

When Granit Xhaka made a mess of things in midfield, Stoke pounced. Jesé was instrumental in the build up, Berahino laid on the flair then put a return to the on loan Spaniard who finished with his left foot past an oncoming Petr Cech.

Wenger was scathing of his side’s defence, which still looks very vulnerable at the start of the another Premier League and that suggests more pain unless reinforcements can be found and fast.

” 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.”

Arsenal will argue – and with just cause that they should have levelled when Lacazette rifled in from Giroud’s flick on. As he celebrated, Lacazette looked on in surprise to see the assistant had raised his flag for an offside which was blatantly wrong even in slow motion.

The Gunners had three good shouts for penalties all turned down, Bellerin twice and Welbeck were stopped in their ascendency but the officials shied away from giving them even one of those.

Arsene Wenger was scathing in his post match press conference where he referred to his side not getting penalties and referred his inquisitor to the statistics from last season which made his point. But the manner in which Arsenal were sliced open for the only goal of the game and then unable to draw level following a sequence of positive play suggested that they need Alexis Sanchez more than ever. Wenger said his Chile striker should be for for next week end’s trip to Anfield, and that is a positive. Anything like the performance at the Britannia stadium however and Arsenal will find themselves even further off the Premier League pace.

” 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,” continued Wenger who’ll hope for a strong reaction when Arsenal travel to Liverpool next weekend.