STOKE ON TRENT, ENGLAND - AUGUST 26: Oliver Giroud of Arsenal see's his shot saved by Asmir Begovic of Stoke during the Barclays Premier League match between Stoke City and Arsenal at The Britannia Stadium on August 26, 2012 in Stoke on Trent, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Stoke City and Arsenal played out a dull match with few chances at either end.
The Gunners enjoyed the best of the play and the majority of possesion, but were unable to craft any clear chances to put themselves ahead. Santiago Cazorla looked the most likely source of an Arsenal goal, but could only test the keeper with a pair of long-range efforts in the first half.
Stoke City were restricted to few chances throughout the match, with Michael Kightly firing into Vito Mannone's arms in the first half, and Jonathan Walters spurning a fine opportunity late in the game with a tame shot with which he should have done better. Stoke were otherwise restricted to aerial chances - former Houston Dynamo man Geoff Cameron was on long-throw duty, but the Arsenal defence coped well with Stoke's aerial threat, thanks to the efforts of Per Merteacker.
Olivier Giroud went the closest to scoring in the whole game in the dying minutes, almost snatching a late winner with a spectacular 40-yard lob which beat Potters goalkeeper Asmir Begovic, but landed just over the bar, provoking his manager's fury at not spotting the run of the better-placed Aaron Ramsey.
Overall, although Stoke's disciplined defending (with Ryan Shawcross particularly excelling) cannot be discredited, Arsenal looked relatively toothless throughout the game, with Olivier Giroud and Lukas Podolski occasionally looking dangerous but ultimately prevented from making any space for themselves. It is still to early to draw any conclusions about this Arsenal side, but with two winnable games resulting in just two points and no goals after drab performances, question will surely be asked of the North Londoners before long.