Arsenal limp past boring Stoke [Match report]

Theo Walcott kept his place in the Arsenal first team for the second straight game as Stoke visit the Emirates stadium for the fifth installment of the Barclays Premier League.

Laurent Koscielny shrugged off a slight knock that kept him out of the French national team's weekend friendly win while Mesut Ozil returned after missing out in the narrow win at St James's park.

Arsenal were denied early on when Theo Walcott had clear chances on goal, goalkeeper Jack Butland stood firm with Santi Carzola certain to score; at the other end, Xerdan Shakiri danced his way through but his shot was blocked, Petr Cech was only really called to action once in the first half as Mame Biram Diouf offered little going forward.

As the half wore on, Mesut Ozil showed what Arsenal missed in their fortuitous win at Newcastle, a pass of outrageous quality to Theo Walcott yielded the opener as the pacy forward only needed a touch to beat Butland.

Watch Theo Walcott's goal below:

The second half was quite sloppy, Arsenal would have paid dearly for their wasted chances had they played a stronger opponent. Theo Walcott fluffed a one on one after being put through by Aaron Ramsey, the latter fired embarrassingly when it looked easier to score early in the second half.

Wenger replaced Walcott later with Olivier Giroud and Oxlade-Chamberlain for the magnificent Ozil, Mikel Arteta had a taste of action too as Alexis Sanchez was hauled off.

It was Olivier Giroud however who handed Arsenal the insurance goal with a glancing header from a Santi Carzola free kick but that was after he had missed a gift of a sitter.

Written by @Komptrolla

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