Arsenal recorded a 3-0 victory over Stoke at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday afternoon but did not break the deadlock until the last 15 minutes.
The visitors threatened first on four minutes, as Swiss playmaker Xherdan Shaqiri curled an effort just wide of goal from the edge of the area. Arsenal had their first effort on goal on 23 minutes.
Hector Bellerin’s cross found midfielder Aaron Ramsey in the area and the Welshman’s effort on goal looped over Jack Butland onto the bar. Six months later Jack Wilshere found Ramsey, whose shot on goal deflected wide. Centre-back Shkodran Mustafi headed the resulting corner kick right at Butland.
Just past the half-hour mark, Bellerin fired over the bar from a tight angle after good play from striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. The visitors threatened on 35 minutes, as Ryan Shawcross headed over from a Shaqiri cross, at the other end Mohamed Elneny saw a long-range effort go wide of goal.
On 42 minutes, Gunners defender Calum Chambers headed wide of the far post from a pinpoint set piece from Mesut Ozil. The same two players combined again two minutes later, as the defender headed off target once again.
The first attempt on either goal in the second period arrived on 57 minutes. Ozil and Ramsey combined well to find Danny Welbeck, who fired wide of the near post. A minute later Elneny saw an effort blocked before Butland kept out a low effort from Nacho Monreal. On 66 minutes, Butland made a comfortable save from a low Jack Wilshere effort.
A minute later, Shaqiri tried to curl an effort past David Ospina, but the Colombian ‘keeper was equal to the effort. The Swiss international came close to opening the scoring, as a right-wing corner floated over Ospina and hit the far post with the ‘keeper well beaten.
Arsenal had a good opportunity to take the lead on 71 minutes, as Ozil produced a good through ball behind the defence to Aubameyang, only for Butland to run off his line and block the striker’s effort.
A minute later, Chambers headed straight at Butland, as the Gunners push for an opening goal. The home side were awarded a penalty kick on 75 minutes, when Bruno Martins Indi was adjudged to have fouled Ozil in the area, despite it looking like the defender got the ball. Aubameyang stepped up and made no mistake from the penalty spot.
On 77 Monreal fired well off target from long range with teammates in better positions. Ramsey and Mkhitaryan then worked Butland. The Gunners sealed the win on 86 minutes. Ozil’s corner found its way to Aubameyang on the far side of the area and the striker produced a good half-volley to beat Butland.
The Gunners won a penalty with just two minutes left as Badou barged Lacazette to the floor. The striker got up and dusted himself off to fire past the Stoke ‘keeper. Swiss international Granit Xhaka fired well wide of goal from long-range in stoppage-time.
It mattered little, though, as the Gunners recorded a comfortable win in the end after 75 minutes of frustration.
Who was Arsenal’s man of the match against Stoke?