Arsenal strikers Theo Walcott and Olivier Giroud scored a goal each Saturday in a 2-0 win over Stoke in the Premier League that still highlighted the team’s inefficiency in attack.
Arsenal dominated the entire game but missed a slew of chances in its first match since failing to reinforce its attacking options in the transfer window. Walcott broke the deadlock in the 31st minute after running onto a perfect through ball from Mesut Ozil, and Giroud then came on as a substitute to put the result beyond doubt in the 85th.
In between, Walcott, Ozil and Giroud all missed good chances to add to the lead, and Stoke goalkeeper Jack Butland made a string of saves to keep his team in the game.
Alexis Sanchez also hit the post twice before Walcott’s goal, as Arsenal enjoyed 73 percent possession in the first half but somehow failed to put the game away by the break.
The unconvincing finishing came after Arsenal was held scoreless in its first two home games of the season and with manager Arsene Wenger acknowledging he was open to signing another striker – only to end the transfer period without buying a single outfield player.
Walcott easily could have had a hat trick but headed high from close range after a good cross from Hector Bellerin early in the first half, and was then denied by Butland when clear on goal in the 70th.
Giroud also missed a great chance before his goal, shooting wide after being gifted the ball by the Stoke defense in the 77th.
Still, the win lifted Arsenal into second place on 10 points from five games, five points behind leader Manchester City.
Stoke is last with two points.