Goalkeepers on top as Stoke & Arsenal ends goalless
17th January 2016 4.15pm
It was a tale of two goalkeepers at the Britannia Stadium as Arsenal and Stoke fought out a goalless draw.
Both team had golden opportunities to open the scoring, but both Jack Butland and Petr Cech were more than a match for their opposition`s forwards.
The draw sees Arsenal move back to the summit of the table on goal difference from Potters` next opponents Leicester City.
Mark Hughes` named an unchanged eleven from the side that beat Norwich on Wednesday, with Joselu remaining up front.
Arsene Wenger was forced into one change as Mesut Ozil missed out through injury, with Alex Oxlaide-Chamberlain coming in for the German.
Stoke started the brightest, retaining the ball better than their London counterparts and create a couple of half chances with their neat passing.
Ibrahim Afellay nearly opened the scoring for the Potters but his effort from 20-yards whistled wide of Petr Cech`s goal.
Arsenal should have taken the lead when Oliver Giroud found himself with a one-on-one opportunity, but England international Butland closed down the French forward and made himself big to block the effort.
Butland was called into action once more before half-time but he managed to tip over Oxlaide-Chamberlain`s dipping half-volley from 25-yards.
Arsenal were out of the blocks fast in the second half and thought they had finally got the breakthrough when Giroud climbed highest in the penalty area, but his header was well saved by a stretching Butland.
Stoke managed to ride Arsenal`s early onslaught and looked the most likely to get the first allusive goal for the rest of the half.
Joselu, who was impressing once more in a central role, was slotted through expertly by Marko Arnautovic, and he managed to negotiate an angle to shoot, but Cech manage to save well. There was still a chance for the Potters to score from the rebound, but Bojan`s angle was always diminishing and Cech manage to save once more.
With the game seemingly fizzing out into a bore draw, the Potters nearly took all three points. Stoke are the only Premier League side yet to score from a corner kick scenario this season, but nearly squashed that record when Walters near post flick on from Afellay`s corner beat Cech, but Aaron Ramsey managed to head clear off the line.
Stoke managed to keep the move alive and the ball fell to Joselu who smashed in an accurate volley, but Cech was there again to turn away the effort, resulting in the game finishing in a stalemate.