Arsenal – Stoke 3-1: Theo, Özil and Iwobi cancell out Lee’s opener

By Walter Broeckx
Again a lot of changes compared to our last match in the CL. But no changes compared to our last PL match. So we started with the same team that won at West Ham United.

A change on the bench though as Bellerin took place on the bench after being out for more than a month.

Team at the start: Cech, Gabriel, Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal, Coquelin, Xhaka, Walcott, Ozil, Oxlade-Chamberlain,Alexis

On the beach: Ospina, Bellerin, Gibbs, Elneny, Iwobi, Lucas, Giroud

Stoke with an aerly corner that was headed away and was followed with an volley from far that was slightly tipped over by Cech according to the ref. Then Arsenal with a chance but first the cross didn’t find an Arsenal player and then a bit later a shot was blocked by a Stoke defender. Alexis then putting pressure on the keeper but the ball ran out for a goal kick. Mustafi sending Walcott away but the keeper could save his goal bound effort and Stoke cleared for a corner. A lot of confusion in the Stoke penalty area after the corner but Stoke can clear in the end. Monreal then needing treatment after an hit on the thigh but still 0-0 after 15 minutes.

Stoke now playing the all behind the ball game and the ref blowing his whistle almost each time a Stoke player going down. As you can imagine not the other way round of course. Allan at the end of a Stoke attack but his shot went well wide. Mustafi then going down with what looked hamstring injury. Bellerin came on after 24 minutes and Gabriel moved to the middle. Alexis setting up Özil who was just offside. Mason then pointing to the penalty spot in favour of Stoke when nobody really knew why. Allen ran against the arm of Xhaka who played the ball…. a real Mason decision… As predicted in our preview. Arsenal are getting almost a penalty against them each match. Adam converted the Mason gift. 0-1 after 30 minutes.

Bellerin with a cut inside but a defender could clear just before Özil would be in with a shot. Cech with a headed clearance on a long ball from Stoke at the other end. It looked offside to me but the assistant let it go. Arnautovic almost going through but a block from the Arsenal defender Monreal prevents more danger. Arsenal at the other with Alexis playing the ball excellent to Bellerin whose low cross is pushed over the goal line by Walcott. GOAL!!!! 1-1 after 42 minutes.

The Ox stopped on a counter but no card of course. This is Mason. Alexis then with a shot but over. Bellerin again with a low cross but The Ox can’t keep his effort down. Wasn’t that easy to be honest. The Stoke keeper wasting a least a minute each time he had to take a goal kick. Mason didn’t mind. A 1-1 score after 45 minutes thanks to Mr. Mason.

Bellerin going for own glory with a failed shot when a cross was more likely. Mason wasting even more time when he is talking to the Stoke keeper for time wasting. Just show him a card ref. Pieters from Stoke also wasting time after making a not given foul on Bellerin by pushing him in the back. 3 minutes of playing time of whom 2 have been wasted so far. But the Ox then picking out Özil with a lofted pass over the defenders and Özil with a well taken header puts the ball over the keeper. GOAL!!! 2-1 to the Arsenal After 49 minutes. What a lovely cushioned header that was.

Mason then running in the way for the second time in this half. Alexis with a cross to The Ox but his header went wide. Xhaka with a shot from distance but the ball hobbled wide. The Ox then with a shot after a lovely control and a not given foul on him but the keeper could save his effort. Mason then stopping an Arsenal attack when Arsenal won the ball after a dropped ball and would have been away…. This is against the laws of the game. The ref has no right how a dropped ball should be performed. Still 2-1 after 60 minutes.

Alexis almost with a chance but the ball was blocked and then the ball fell for the keeper. Mason again trying to get a bit of influence on how the match is going…Little fouls in favour of Stoke, blatant on in favour of Arsenal not given. After 68 minutes The Ox came off and Iwobi came on.
Crouch came on when Stoke had a corner and forced a save from Cech who had to go down quickly. An attack on the left flank starting by Iwobi who gave it to Alexis who was fouled just outside the penalty area but Iwobi had followed perfectly and was on his way to goal and curled it in at the far post. GOAL!!!! 3-1 to the Arsenal after 75 minutes. Credit where credit should be given: excellent advantage given by the ref.

After 76 minutes Giroud came on for Alexis. Coquelin intercepting his umpteenth ball in midfield and Walcott almost away but the keeper first on the ball. Walcott with a failed cross to Giroud but the latter managed to get a corner out of nothing. Walcott then with a wonderful solo run but the keeper could save the low shot.

Arsenal now more trying to play the time off the clock. After all next Tuesday is another match. Mason again the interfering when Stoke take a quick free kick but make an error and have it retaken. Walcott almost away but he couldn’t get past the last defender. Bellerin with a cross to Giroud but he was just off balance and missed his header.

Arsenal win 3-1 from Stoke and Mason was one of the main talking points. Always a bad sign for a ref.

Arsenal are now top of the league but Chelsea could take that spot back if they win tomorrow.

80 Replies to “Arsenal – Stoke 3-1: Theo, Özil and Iwobi cancell out Lee’s opener”

  1. That was one bent pgMOB representative.
    No point in anyone attempting to deny it, we saw the match!

    Fortunately the Arsenal are too good for Riley. They always have been.

  2. Arsenal 3 Mason 1 & some midget who headed Xhaka’s elbow for a penalty. His face swelled up because he didn’t realise how hard Granit is!!!! ? ? ?

  3. Yup he was down for ages and clearly was carrying an injury after that awful elbow to the head.

    The injury was so bad there was a lot of injury time at the end of that half as AFC pressed? Wasn’t there? Or are you trying to tell me that the tilting official was shameless?

    Or was it the dropped balls (twice! Not once. Twice!) or that friendly chat with Grant (before AFC scored their second) that gave away the hopelessly transparent performance from Riley’s crow? Certainly, Mason is no Dickie Bird. Far far from it.

  4. we lost Mustafi. Hope Holding is fine. Our attack doing great. A penalty against us is too common. Walter if u could please analyse all for us including the score just before it is given. Thanks.

  5. Excellent win against the PGMO bandit in black and Stoke RFC.

    Overall we played well despite the disruption of an early injury and we were a much better team than the PGMO/RFCteam – at times we played some delightful football.

    The penalty incident was made to look much worse by playacting from the RFC and writhing from Allen – one would have thought he had been harpooned in the ass! But, surely never a penalty.

    (Just watching Sky Sports as I type – doing their best to blacken Xhaka – a hint to the PGMO bandits for the next match?)

    Well done the team & manager.

  6. Good win from the team. It’s great to see different players chipping in for the goals. Theo enjoy that new coffee machine.

  7. WOO HOO , HOO ! Well played boys , and that too against a totally bent ref . Is there an honest official in the PIGMOB ? Was there a collectively gasp of horror when Allen ran into the elbow ? Am sure almost everyone was stupefied . Except those who are stupidfied to begin with!
    Just glad that our squad is good and resilient enough to rotate and change , especially when sudden injuries arise .And bullshit abound .
    Up the Gunners !

  8. Arsenal are:

    -top of the league (34 points),

    -the most prolific side in the league (36 goals),

    -unbeaten for 14 games, the longest streak in the league this season.

    Mesut Özil is one goal away from matching his goal-scoring record in a single Premier League season (6). It was a magnificent header.

    Theo Walcott has already reached 10 goals in all competitions and will get a coffee-machine from his significant other. Well done, Theo!

    Alex Iwobi has scored two goals this week which should do wonders for his confidence. Given what happened to him against PSG, he has shown some mental strength, especially for a youngster.

    Petr Čech has failed to save a penalty for seventh time as an Arsenal goalkeeper and for 12th time since 2011-12 when he made his last penalty save. Still, he made a major contribution today by saving Crouch’s header at 2:1.

    And, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain… He created a goal for Özil as his final product has been excellent this season. Six goals in all competitions, important assists and sharpness that made us all excited back in 2011-12.

    Unfortunately, Mustafi’s injury probably means he will miss at least next two games, two tricky trips to Everton and Man City respectively, and I would be positively surprised if he returns before 2017.

  9. As always, you guys are trying to make controversy where there is none. When Xhaka tries to play the ball, fails to touch the ball, and then bundles over Allen, it’s a foul. It’s stupid that a foul which has no impact on a goalscoring chance results in a penalty instead of a free kick, but the rule is the rule, and the referee got it right. Arsenal got the three points that they deserved today, but Xhaka’s challenge was pretty reckless given that Allen was going away from goal, and he really needed to actually get to the ball if he wanted the decision to go his way.

    Trying to look at things without the obvious bias mght make people take your complaints more seriously. If that was Alexis going down under the same challenge from Charlie Adam, you’d be calling it a surprising, justified pen.

  10. Well done the boys, some mental strength shown despite a mid week game in Europe, and the thing in black.
    The more this team threaten, the more we will see such refereeing. Mason is a weak ref who knows well the cost of being perceived to be lenient on Arsenal.
    Think that is four pens against us, without our boys getting one., tho stand to be corrected on the Hull game….par for the course, and as we know
    It is likely to get worse. After Hull, we have conceded the dodgiest of pens to Sunderland, Tottenham and today.
    But it is easy for refs to do us, it is met with media silence, and joy from at least part of our so called fanbase.
    Compare and contrast the refereeing we get to what we will see in the Divers Derby tomorrow.
    I have only admiration for our players, knowing refs will punish them at any opportunity.
    But ultimately, top of the league for at least a while, no mean feat.

  11. Where are all the Guardiola fan club? He’s the best coach & and all that bollocks about why didn’t we get him? Thank God for our board & Wenger.

    Pep’s goalkeeper choice is a hoot as are his results so far.

  12. Oliver allowing all in wrestling in the Leicester penalty area. Dean might have given 3 pens to City for less.

  13. Walter – I agree with the drop ball, as a referee myself, I know there is no right to dictate how the drop ball is played. If the players decide to give the ball to the other team, that is their decision, not the referees.
    It has been annoying me for several years now, that referees try to do this, but have never seen them pull the play back before.

    Great result for us, despite Mason

  14. Good we have gooners who can look at it without bias like Scuba.
    Now Scuba what do we do with ‘uber Gooners’ like Howard Webb

  15. Scuba, you might point at all the similar penalties we have gotten the last 3 months.

  16. Wonder which game Mr A Taylor is being saved for?
    Strangely, one of the better refereeing performances I have seen recently involving Arsenal was from Mike Dean in the Middlesboro game….he allowed a bit too much time wasting, but in general, didn’t look to bad , to me at least.
    Most teams get ref shockers away, we seem to get worse at home

  17. Vardy’s third against City makes him world class. Can Alexis follow him? Great seeing Iwobi score again. Nice piece in the Guardian about him this week.

  18. Scuba

    You’re absolutely correct. The rule is the rule and an elbow is an elbow. Heaven knows why Xhaka raised his arm but he did and ended up nailing Allen. Not much question about it.

    And yes, totally deserved 3 points in the bag and TotT for now. No signs of choking even after an indifferent start.

  19. In my earlier post, forgot to mention the suspect pen we conceded against Bournemouth as well.
    Four pens given to us early season, five conceded since then. And I am sure many more of the latter to come

  20. dieter
    Truth be told Xhaka didn’t have to raise his arm very high (with Allen being so short), but apparently Howard Webb thought it was a no penalty. I’ve got a lot of time for Webb and always respect his opinions, so could revise my own opinion after seeing it again a few more times.

  21. Damn, so someone should explain the rules to Howard Webb. No wonder he messed up so many times in his career as he clearly doesn’t know the rules like Scuba and Dieter.

  22. Now, now Walter. Sarcasm doesn’t become you. This is after all an opinion blog isn’t it? We don’t all have to agree on any one issue.
    Or do we? Is that what you’re inferring?

  23. Walcott’s goal.

    This goal apparently was his 10th for Arsenal this season, and 100th in league play. And apparently his wife said that if he got to 10 goals by Christmas, she would get him a new coffee maker.

    This occasion also provides some knowledge of the medja. Just how many of them comprehend English. At least one member if the medja, is reporting the Walcott has _WON_ a coffee make for scoring 10 goals before Christmas.

    Put up your hands. If any of you receive a present from a direct relative for accomplishing a task, raise your hand if you refer to this as _WINNING_ that present?

    How many hands are raised?

    Another blurb from the interviews:

    > It means our substitutes have now scored six goals between them this season, more than any other Premier League side.

  24. Charlie Adam did a stamp on Alexis hams just before the Iwobi goal and was let off scot free. Any justifications on this too?

  25. Just watching the blogoshpere, it just is interesting to see the difference in treatment between Arsenal and other clubs, for example City$$$

    We’re top of the league, we score 3 goals per game, we’ve lost just 1, we’re first of our group in the CL.

    City$$$, well you all know the situation

    Do I find critical pieces about their galactic world class coach ?!! Nope. Nada. Zilch
    A few references where he says that a coach needs time etc etc, which is in total contradiction with what was promised.

    At the same time, AW get criticised for all sorts of BS.

    And be sure that if and when we lose one game, they’ll come howling again.

    Anyway, we’re top of the league, we score, we’ve got probably the best bench in the league and this is fun.

  26. More from the interviews:

    On Mustafi’s injury. It sounds (reads) to me, as if the mdja were trying to put words in Wenger’s mouth. Again. In any event, it sounds like if we are lucky, we may have him back for the first game of 2017. But, it is really a little early for an accurate dignosis, so this could be updated with slightly different prognosis.


    Gabriel seemed to have a good game, and we have Holding, Jenkinson and others. Mertesacker returned to training I believe.

    No need to imagine Wenger needing to rush out and spend 100 million in the upcoming transfer period. But, I think the medja are already over 100 million before this injury happened.


  27. And I think that stands at three highly suspect pens against us in our last three home league games…….can any other team match that?

  28. Gord
    We’re Ok, we’ve got adequate cover for the defensive positions. Just can’t afford to lose any more players though.

  29. Oh, has anyone seen a photo of Adam’s stamp on Alexis before Iwobi’s goal? God, I hate that toothless thug.

  30. Josif,
    Just seen it on game of the day, sky showed a similar stamp from Adam in 2014, showing this was deliberate. He made a choke hold on Sanchez again last year, what does he have to do to get punished?? The FA must throw the book at this thug.

  31. Adams really is a disgusting player. He and Stoke are made for each other. Watching stuff like that just makes me so angry; it was completely unnecessary and he has clearly done it with the sole intention of causing a serious injury. What a complete and utter cunt. And people wonder why Arsenal usually rack up a lot of injuries..

  32. What’s worse is; he actually chose to take his eye off of play, literally just to try and stamp on and injure Sanchez. If the first thought that came into his mind when he saw a player go to ground, wasn’t to instantly try and stamp on their leg, he very well may have gotten to Iwobi and stopped him from scoring. What a disgusting cunt and complete embarrassment to English football. Something like that deserves more than a simple 3 match ban. I cannot believe that a “player” like that has lasted so long in the PL.

  33. The ref was so transparent today, well more than usual, he seemed intent on causing an “upset” or maybe he’s just wanting to create excitement in the game eh? Ah well, our class managed to out play them.

    We played well today. They worked and moved well together and new ideas were created and tried. This is what fans like to see, truly.

  34. Mason played advantage (so the foul was recognised) & Iwobi went on to score, but that’s no reason why Adam wasn’t booked before the restart. I think that probably it can’t be dealt with by the panel because Mason had already acknowledged the offence.

  35. I’ve re-watched the hi-lites and the stamp happened so quickly after the initial foul that it’s difficult to know if Mason saw it or not. If he says he didn’t then there’s a good case for a review.

  36. I had another look at the stamp. It looked as if Adams slowed up slightly as he targeted Sanchez rather than the ball – in doing do he lost some forward momentum and was easily outdistanced by Iwobi who followed through and scored.

    If there had been no stamp on Sanchez would Adams have been able to play the ball before Iwobi? Probably not – but he may well have been in a better position to (do what Stoke RFC do and) try to foul Iwobi!!

  37. Sorry Walter, I thought this was supposed to be objective analysis. Previoous bad decisions really shouldn’t matter, as we should supposedly be asking for refs to get it right, instead of trying to provide make-up calls.

    Hopefully the ref review is better than the match review.

  38. Love the result, it’s always good to beat Stoke. I have seen the slow motion replays of the penalty incident and it really looks like Xhaka knew what he was doing. Adams is a thug and has been for some time. When we were 3-1 up with minutes to go, I would have brought on a sub, who we don’t mind losing for 3 matches, to cripple Adams with a word in his ear that he will never act like that playing us again.

  39. Scuba, I recommend watching the penalty incident again, because clearly you missed it, particularly when you said Xhaka missed the ball and bundled him over. Here are the words from another former professional referee Howard Webb:

    Webb said: “Harsh, Xhaka actually makes contact with the ball, there’s some follow-through momentum.

    “If he throws his arm at Joe Allen that’s a separate action, that’s worth a penalty but you can’t say that’s intentional.

    “It’s a coming together, there is some contact, for me I think it’s a harsh call and he’s really unlucky.”

    And Webb rarely ever takes Arsenal’s side.

  40. Adam actually took a short stutter step and trod on Alexis. Was it an attempt to avoid him or an attempt to stamp on him? Given his background…

  41. As for Xhaka…IMO, it could have gone either way. Hands were up but it looked like the guy ran into him. But he sure made a delicious meal of it.

  42. Great performance, great result…especially after falling behind.

    Every neutral says it’s no penalty…and I do believe it wasn’t. However, I didn’t like Xhaka’s play in the contentious situation one bit. Was he truly aware he was inside the box? If he was that was very careless of him. Knowing English refs have different interpretations to Arsenal’s actions, especially when it comes to awarding penalties, the Swiss should have been more decent while making such contact.

  43. Scuba, ah that’s right. A live written match report on an Arsenal website that is objective. LOL. If you want to read “objective” then read the newspapers…. LOL, double LOL, trice LOL. I mean about the newspapers being objective.

    If you want objective analysis then read the referee reviews. In my match report I was furious about the Bournemouth penalty but in the referee review when having all the angles available we gave the penalty decision as correct.

    Bottom line: this is not analysis. Even though I have been on TV in Belgium to be a pundit, this is a passionate match report from an Arsenal supporter.

  44. Mind you Scuba I am waiting (but not holding my breath) for the moment we get such penalties in our favour like the Bournemouth and Stoke ones…. LOL Just the thought of Arsenal getting such a soft penalty…

  45. Re my 7.57pm comment. “apparently Webb thought it was a no penalty”. I was quoting another commenter on this. (my own fault for believing what I read on UA) It turns out that he said it was a penalty after all. Thought I should clear that up before my usual trolls crawl out.
    I’ve seen the incident a good few times now and it fulfils enough of the criteria for a penalty. My own reservations were if it was a deliberate act by Xhaka, and it obviously was not intentional…..just unlucky.

  46. If only …..

    Three fans were bemoaning the sorry state of their football team.
    “I blame the manager,” said the first fan. “If only he had signed better players, we’d be a great team.”
    “I blame the players,” said the 
second fan. “If only they made more of 
an effort, we’d score some points.”
    “I blame my parents,” said the third. “If only I’d been born in ……..(fill in the blanks with your choice ), 
I’d be supporting a decent team.”

  47. Hi Brickfields

    Would it be possible to repeat the story of the Farmer, who owned a Lake surrounded by trees, with the Naked Women and the Crocodile please ?

  48. If CA hadn’t stamped on Alexis he’d have got to the ball ahead of Iwobi.

    That’s what Mason was expecting to happen its why he played advantage for that third goal but Adam was intent on his hacking (outlawed C1850) and so Iwobi was in the clear.

    A risible cheat. Plain and simple.

    Let’s hope that Alexis is ok. Remember he got injured last season when an opponent used two hands to push him into a pit (not called as a foul btw!): pgMOB Rules Football (okay?), it’s football, just not association football as you know it.

  49. It says a lot about Talksport that two of their regular stand in pundits are Charlie Adams and Joe Barton.

  50. Anyone with half a brain could clearly see that the advantage was played for the trip on Alexis; not the stamp after he had gone to ground.

    Another strange moment was a bit earlier in the match, where advantage was played to Arsenal for a foul that was right outside of the Stoke box. Arsenal lost the ball literally half a second after advantage was played, yet the referee didn’t call play back. I have seen fouls been called back for up to 6 seconds after advantage was played (against Arsenal) yet Mason couldn’t even afford us half a second? What an absolutely pitiful performance from the referee. Worst I’ve seen in a while.

  51. Joey Barton back on the goggle box and talkshite after his betting shenanigans. There’s a surprise.

    Why would they be close to someone involved in dodgy betting. I can’t think of any reasons why they’d undermine their credibility and reputation in order to maintain such toxic reflationships, can anyone else? 😉

    When Steve Coogan created alan partridge was it an act of satire or prophecy?

  52. adam is despicable
    but it’s actually in our favor that the ref didn’t stop the play to show a card, and i wish there would be no retrospective ban as stoke plays liverpool and chelsea soon

  53. otoh if adam gets dismissed in one of those games and the other team can take an advantage of that it would be not that nice

  54. @Leon…with regards to what Howard Webb said…all the other web sites are saying that he thought it was not a penalty.

    “It’s a coming together, there is some contact, for me I think it’s a harsh call and he’s really unlucky.”

  55. GGG
    “If he throws his arm at Joe Allen that’a a separate action, that’s worth a penalty but you can’t say that’s intentional”
    I don’t think it was deliberate (probably a bit careless) but his arm was put into Joe Allen’s face.
    Opinion seems divided on this one though doesn’t it? Even good old Arseblog isn’t convinced.
    I’ve been reading some ludicrous claims here along the lines of a deliberate attempt by a pro footballer to cause self inflicted facial injury by ramming his head into an opponent’s elbow.

  56. The question of intent or not is irrelevant, at least that is what Walter always tells us. It is the outcome which decides whether it is a foul or not. On that basis it was a foul and therefore a penalty.
    Lets be honest, if it had been a similar offence against one of our players at the other end we would have been furious if we hadn’t got a penalty. We cannot have it both ways.

  57. It was a penalty. 100%. If someone elbowed Xhaka and we hadnt gotten it, I’d be furious. Adam’s stamp is deliberate though and I hope he gets banned retrospectively. Its thuggish and he knows exactly what he is doing.

  58. We’ve benefitted from a couple of recent penalty incidents: Mustafi v West Hame & Sanchez v PSG, but we got a bad call against Swansea. I’m happy enough with the way it’s breaking this season especially when considering those early season penalties we were justifiably awarded.

  59. @ BennE -11/12/2016 at 8:46 am – Sorry just saw your request . Was having problems with my connection. So without further ado ….

    An elderly man in Texas had owned a large farm for several years. He had a beautiful large pond at the back of the property next to the road, and he’d fixed it up real nice with picnic tables, horseshoe pits, and he’d planted some nice flowers and fruit trees next to the pond.

    One evening the old farmer decided to go down to the pond to look it over, as he hadn’t been down there for a while. He grabbed a five-gallon bucket to bring back some fruit. As he neared the pond, he heard splashing and female voices shouting and laughing with glee.

    As he came closer he saw that 5 young women had parked their car at the side of the road, climbed the fence and were skinny-dipping in his pond. He made the women aware of his presence and they all went hurriedly splashing to the deep end. One of the women shouted to him, “We’re naked and we’re not coming out until you leave!”

    The old man frowned and yelled back, “I didn’t come down here to watch you ladies swim naked or make you get out of the pond.” Holding the bucket up he said, “I’m just here to feed the alligator.”

    Moral of the story: Old men can still think fast.
    ( Oh yes we do!)

  60. Brickfields

    Thank you very much, because i’ve always thought of myself as the Alligator, enjoying myself with 5 forbidden fruit in the Pond.

    Continue with the humour it’s truly good for the Soul.

  61. Thanks . Here is a very useful piece of advice . Heed it well.

    ‘Whenever an intelligent man makes any important decision , he closes his eyes, thinks a lot , listens to his heart , uses his head and finally ……..
    does what his wife says !’

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