Arsene Wenger’s side headed to the Britannia Stadium knowing a point would take them back to the top of the table following Leicester City’s 1-1 draw with Aston Villa on Saturday.
Arsenal knew of the difficulties that Stoke pose, and the Britannia Stadium hasn’t been a happy hunting ground for the North London side with just one win in seven attempts heading in to the game.
The Potters, led by the dangerous forward line of Bojan Krkic, Jonathan Walters, Ibrahim Afellay and Marko Arnautovic, are an exciting team these days and the visitors stood up to the task well.
|Interceptions||Effective Clearances||Def Duels Won||Aerial Duels Won||Ball Recoveries||Accurate Passes||Mins Played|
As shown by the table provided by Opta, Arsenal’s excellent defensive display was led by the outstanding Laurent Koscielny who contributed greatly in a number of key areas.
The France international recorded two aerial duels won, three ball recoveries, four defensive duels won, five interceptions and an impressive seven effective clearances over the 90 minutes.
Koscielny, 30, is now rightfully seen as one of the leading centre-backs in the Premier League and his side’s solid defensive form this season clearly coincides with the Frenchman playing regularly.
The former Lorient man has proven on many occasions just as important as the likes of Olivier Giroud, Mesut Ozil and Petr Cech in Arsenal’s bid to win the title this season.
The draw lifts Wenger’s side above Leicester on goal difference, a positive end to a very difficult week.