Ex-Real Madrid star Jese Rodriguez struck the only goal of the game as Stoke City stunned the Community Shield winners Arsenal at the newly extended Bet365stadium on Saturday. The goal came just 90 seconds after the break as Arsene Wenger was left to rue his possession and missed chances with the full-time score reading 1-0.
On loan from Paris Saint Germain, it didn’t take too long for the 24 year old to open his account for new club Stoke and win the hearts of his new fans as he slotted the ball past on-rushing goal-keeper Petr Cech after playing a one-two with team-mate Saido Berahino.
Arsenal looked dominant for most of the game but failed to beat Stoke keeper Jack Butland who drew some superb saves during the course of the game. However, the man for the occasion was two time Champions League winner with Real Madrid Jese, as he ram the Arsenal rear-guard riot and his goal also proved to be decisive.
Jese was played through on goal in the third minute of the game but was initially kept out by Cech through an acute angle when he was played on-side by Fletcher.
Butland was called into action on 27 minutes as Aaron Ramsey ghosted in at the far post from Alex Oxlade Chamberlain, who picked out the Welshman perfectly on the side foot volley but the Stoke keeper made him presence felt.
On the half hour mark Ryan Shawcross headed over the bar from Eric Choupo Moying’s stood up cross, but Diouf may have found himself lucky after bringing down Arsenal right-back Hector Bellerin inside the penalty box only for referee Andre Mariner to give a corner a few minutes before the header.
Butland then again drew saves from Ramsey and did well to keep out Granit Xhaka, who was shining for Arsenal in midfield, as he saved his long range effort.
Despite controlling the first half, Arsenal were always susceptible to the counter attack and Stoke took full advantage of it as Jese’s left footed strike was enough to put them a goal up.
The Potters then showed willingness and resilience as they held on till full-time with wave after wave on Gunners’ attack coming their way. Arsene Wenger introduced Leicester-game hero Oliveir Giroud but it was all too late, although the Frenchman headed one effort just wide of the post in the dying minutes.
Arsenal seemed dismal and in dire need of a finishing quality, new signing Alexandre Lacazette thought he had equalized only to see his goal ruled out for off-side. The club may just have to wait for Alexis Sanchez to return as quickly as possible but for Mark Hughes and Stoke, they would be delighted to get their first points of the season.
Handing Manchester United The Advantage?
The loss means that the Gunners are now 3 points behind the leaders, so early at the start of the season. Jose Mourinho’s side, scored four more against Swansea City, as the Gunners lost out to Stoke. Chelsea and Spurs play today, while Manchester City play Everton tomorrow.
Not the best start for Wenger and his team, as the French manager was seen complaining on the sidelines once again. No plan to recover from a goal that was lost and yet again no striker to put the ball into the back of the net, with Alexis Sanchez not playing.
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