Sep 22, 2013, 10:27 AM EDT
Mesut Ozil continued to shine for his new London club, grabbing all three assists on set-pieces as Arsenal thumped Stoke City at the Emirates 3-1 on Sunday.
The win is their seventh straight in all competitions, as all of a sudden the Gunners are now top of the table in the Barclays Premier League.
Arsenal pressed early, and Stoke did all they could not to break. The early defensive effort was not enough for the visitors though. Mesut Ozil crashed a free kick on goal which Asmir Begovic parried, but only in the path of Ramsey who touched home for the opener in under five minutes.
Jack Wilshire proved a physical presence in the midfield early on for Arsenal, although some of his challenges were less than advisable. Stoke slowly played themselves into the game, gaining a bit more of possession around the 20th minute mark.
It was the counter that earned Stoke their equalizer. An absolutely beautiful lofted ball from Steve Nzonzi up to Marouane Chamakh saw the Belgian clatter the left post of Szczesny’s goal, but American Geoff Cameron was there for the rebound, which he put on the opposite end of the net and no chance for the Polish keeper.
With Theo Walcott proving unfit just before the match for the Gunners, 18-year-old Serge Gnabry got his first Premier League start. The youngster was heavily involved, with Arsene Wenger choosing to build mostly from the right flank with Ramsey and Gnabry combining well.
Arsenal continued to be dangerous on set-pieces, coming close on a number of corners and free-kicks. That was exactly where they reestablished their lead from, as Ozil delivered a great corner in the 35th minute and Per Mertesacker – always a threat on those plays – headed home from long range. Laurent Koscienly actually had a chance to redirect the header to be sure it goes in. He missed, but the ball went past Begovic anyways.
The first chance of the second half fell to Arsenal, as Olivier Giroud almost scored his fifth goal of the young season. Gnabry did well to pick off a pass in the attacking half and lay off the ball to Giroud who took the 2-on-1 situation himself, firing a laser beam at the top right corner which Begovic did very well to save full-stretch.
The third Arsenal goal came again on a free kick in the 73rd minute, as Ozil delivered a long ball over the pack of players in the box to Bacary Sagna on the far side, who looped his header over Begovic into the far corner. It was a lovely header from the defender, not someone you’d normally back to score like you would a more aerial threat such as Mertesacker.
Stoke have had a decent start under Mark Hughes and didn’t look totally hapless, but in the end were outclassed by a team clicking on all cylinders. Hughes’ side remains on 7 points hovering around mid-table.
Arsenal – Ramsey 5′, Mertesacker 36′, Sagna 72′
Stoke – Cameron 26′
Arsenal – Szczesny; Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielney, Gibbs; Flamini, Ramsey; Wilshire, Ozil (Arteta, 80′), Gnabry; Giroud.
Stoke – Begovic; Cameron, Shawcross, Huth, Pieters (Palacios, 67′); Walters, Wilson, Nzonzi, Adam (Ireland, 59′), Arnautovic; Jones (Pennant, 75′).
May 6, 2015, 6:35 PM EDT
It’s a long, long way back for Bayern Munich in the Champions League, but they’re keeping the faith — at least they’re trying to.
May 6, 2015, 5:30 PM EDT
Messi’s magic leads the way as we were treated to a gem of a game at the Nou Camp. Here’s what we learned.
May 6, 2015, 5:05 PM EDT
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: Lionel Messi, the world’s best player, scored a truly unbelievable goal.
May 6, 2015, 4:45 PM EDT
Manuel Neuer was Herculean in the first half, but Lionel Messi was magical during the second 45. Barca have one foot in the final.
May 6, 2015, 3:59 PM EDT
Real lead for a third-straight year, but Bayern Munich, United are the big climbers.
May 6, 2015, 2:59 PM EDT
Chaos in Spain as soccer is officially suspended.
May 6, 2015, 2:19 PM EDT
Listen to the latest pod, right here:
May 6, 2015, 1:54 PM EDT
Robert Lewandowski will play despite facial injuries, but a host of other Bayern players are out as Pep Guardiola returns to the Nou Camp.
May 6, 2015, 12:53 PM EDT
Two training ground injuries to both Philadelphia goalkeepers in a matter of seconds has Rais Mbolhi the only man currently under contract who is fit to start.
May 6, 2015, 12:20 PM EDT
They’ll have their defender back, but they can’t have the match back, and that may be the most painful.
May 6, 2015, 11:40 AM EDT
The Galaxy have signed a young American midfielder to give them a spark.
May 6, 2015, 10:48 AM EDT
He could bring balance back to the Juventus midfield for the second leg.
May 6, 2015, 9:49 AM EDT
Oh dear. Ohhhhhh dear. We all know how this one ends. All over YouTube.
May 6, 2015, 9:26 AM EDT
“Dressed in black as always” Diego Simeone says all he wants to do is manage the teams he played for.
May 6, 2015, 8:22 AM EDT
Young Mateo got the surprise of a lifetime on what he though was another routine call with a doctor.
May 6, 2015, 7:50 AM EDT
Birmingham City confirmed Packwood’s early release from his contract to “possibly” join the Revolution, whatever that means.
May 5, 2015, 11:25 PM EDT
If you’d like your supporters group to be featured on future episodes of ‘I Was There’ simply send pictures/video to @NBCSportsSoccer or on NBC Sports Soccer on Facebook using the #IWasThere hashtag.
May 5, 2015, 10:46 PM EDT
Adam Jahn scored with his head while David Bingham made a big penalty stop to lead San Jose to all three points.
May 5, 2015, 9:43 PM EDT
Pep Guardiola faces his former club when Bayern Munich travels to Camp Nou to take on Barcelona in the first leg of their Champions League semifinal matchup.
May 5, 2015, 8:58 PM EDT
The struggling Tottenham striker seems to have more problems than just scoring goals.
- Three things we learned from Barcelona’s huge win vs. Bayern Munich 1
- Barcelona 3-0 Bayern Munich: Messi magic negates Neuer’s first-half heroics 0
- Spanish FA suspends all domestic games over government dispute 0
- Men In Blazers podcast: Chelsea champs, relegation probe, and Domhnall Gleeson 0
- Freak double injury suddenly puts Rais Mbolhi back in pole position to start for Philadelphia 1
- Luis Suarez surprises Uruguayan cancer patient with video call, brings him to tears 2