Scoreless draw at Stoke puts Arsenal back on top of Premier League

18:12 17 January 2016

Arsenal's Laurent Koscielny (left) and Stoke City's Joselu battle for the ball

Arsenal's Laurent Koscielny (left) and Stoke City's Joselu battle for the ball


Stoke City 0 Arsenal 0

Arsenal fought out their first scoreless draw since August to claim the point that lifted them back to the Premier League summit.

The Gunners, who were missing both Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez at the Britannia Stadium, were good value for the draw that nudged them back above Leicester on goal difference.

With that said, the visitors were largely outshone in midfield during a lively first half, with Stoke displaying greater drive and desire but rather deficient in terms of shots on target.

Ibrahim Afellay should have done better, pouncing on a lay-off by Marko Arnautovic but drilling wide on his left foot, while Joselu’s header sailed tamely into the gloves of Petr Cech.

In fact, the better first-half scoring opportunities fell to Arsenal, with Joel Campbell’s precise through ball splitting the Potters defence to pick out the run of Olivier Giroud, but Jack Butland sprang forward to block the chance.

Butland also tipped Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s drive over the crossbar and the resulting corner presented the Arsenal midfielder with another go – this one spinning off the boot of Laurent Koscielny and wide.

And there was no question of the Stoke goalkeeper switching off at the start of the second half, getting down to claw away a header from Giroud that was destined for the bottom corner of the net.

Butland’s agility was soon matched by his opposite number, with Cech diving to parry a well-struck effort from Joselu and getting up in time to foil Bojan.

Arsenal were indebted to their veteran keeper again midway through the second period, pushing another Joselu attempt clear after Koscielny’s pass had gone astray.

While there were shorts bursts of pressure from both sides, neither could ever sustain them long enough to snap the deadlock – although not for the want of trying.

Campbell blazed wide late on for the Gunners, while Stoke might also have snatched all three points when Glenn Whelan’s glancing header was cleared off the line by Aaron Ramsey, with Cech stretching out a leg to keep out the rebound from Afellay.

Arsenal: Cech; Bellerin, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal; Flamini; Campbell; Oxlade-Chamberlain (Chambers 90), Ramsey, Walcott (Iwobi 72); Giroud.


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Islington Gazette visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Islington Gazette staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Islington Gazette account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Islington Sports News

Yesterday, 16:20

Highgate Harriers’ quartet of runners held off heavyweight opposition to clinch a surprise victory in the Southern Senior Relay Championships at Wormwood Scrubs.

Yesterday, 16:04

Paul Rattigan grabbed four goals as Boston Celtics racked up a 7-0 win against Boundary Estate in the Jack Morgan Cup.

Yesterday, 15:56

Middlesex’s title-winning squad gained the royal seal of approval when they were presented with the County Championship trophy at Buckingham Palace.

Yesterday, 07:01

A tale of two penalties decided the Islington Primary Schools’ Years 3-4 Boys’ Cup final as St Joan of Arc emerged victorious.

Mon, 13:01

Arsene Wenger turned 67 on Saturday, but his team failed to give him the birthday present he coveted most – three points against Middlesbrough.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Unbeaten Archway light-middleweight Tony Milch intends to demonstrate his championship credentials when he returns to the ring at York Hall next month.

Friday, October 21, 2016

On paper at least, the Gunners face a fairly straightforward contest against a misfiring Middlesbrough side at the Emirates on Saturday. Indeed, William Hill’s 12/1 odds, posted in favour of an away win, provide a clear indication of the strength of Arsenal’s favouritism.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Islington BC’s Jerome Campbell praised his coaching team after reaching the last four of the National Development Championship with a confident display on Sunday.

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read sport


Show Job Lists


Cosmetics, toiletries, vitamins and more. Boots is the number one choice when it comes to purchasing daily essentials.

If you’re obsessed with Apple or just love a good gadget, this is a prize that will blow you away! An incredible £3,333 to spend on Apple goodies! How would you like to be the proud new owner of the Apple Watch?

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now