Stoke 1-0 Arsenal: The Guff

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Arsenal’s title ambitions were dealt an Orcish blow yesterday as we went down 1-0 to Stoke. Here’s some of the reaction from the press and the blogs.

When we desperately needed something to rescue the game, we turned to an unproved 21 year-old without a Premier League goal to his name. I’m by no means holding young Sanogo accountable, but he way he scooped that late chance over the bar reminded me of our inexplicable failure to recruit a new attacker. The priority in January was to find a striker who was better than Bendtner and Sanogo. I refuse to accept that was an impossible task. – Gunnerblog.

This was yet another agonising afternoon after Jonathan Walters’s late penalty condemned Arsenal to a potentially damaging defeat, leaving them four points behind Chelsea. and providing their doubters with further ammunition that they will fall short in their title challenge.- Telegraph.

The most damning statistic about this match is that Arsenal failed to muster a shot on target during the second half. They weren’t much better in the first half either such was the indifference displayed towards the attacking game. Beaten by a contentious penalty, Arsène freely admitted afterwards that his team need to perform and they didn’t. – A Cultured Left Foot.

Arsenal lost ground at the top of the Premier League when they were beaten by a late penalty at the Britannia Stadium, an unhappy hunting ground over the years. Stoke City were just about worth their win and will be extremely grateful for the three points, though Arsenal gave a poor account of themselves as title contenders. – Guardian.

Some mitigation is offered by the fact Stoke have beaten Chelsea and Utd at the Britannia, while also drawing with City, but that line of defence is undermined by the fact they’ve also conceded in every one of their last 14 games, yet we only managed two shots on target in a second half we seemed to sleepwalk through. Yes, the penalty was soft. No, I don’t think we did enough to win the game – and win it we had to. – Arse2Mouse.

Forget the hidings against marquee opposition, this was the significant one – the beating that sounded a bell on their realistic title claims. Even as Chelsea scamper away, Arsenal retain optimistic claims. But the spirit that has kept their season buoyant leaked into hostile Britannia air. – Sunday Mirror.

Follow the links for more post-game reading.

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