Stoke 0-0 Arsenal

By Alistair MagowanBBC Sport
Santi Cazorla

Arsenal are still searching for their first goal of the season as they shared a tame goalless draw with Stoke.

Santi Cazorla was again their most impressive performer and tested Asmir Begovic, but others struggled to create any clear-cut opportunities.

Lukas Podolski had an early effort that hit the falling Andy Wilkinson's arm, while Olivier Giroud's shot was just over as the Gunners finished strongly.

Arsenal attack missing something - Arsene Wenger

Stoke's Jon Walters was also wasteful and had no power in his late prod.

The hosts had little else to point to as they too shared their second draw of the season.

Arsenal dominated possession but did not possess any real endeavour until late in the game - that coincided with the late introduction of Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who replaced the disappointing Lukas Podolski and Gervinho.

And the lack of cutting edge will give Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger food for thought as he continues to rebuild his attacking options after the departure of last season's top scorer Robin van Persie to Manchester United.

Giroud's diagonal lob in the dying stages almost caught out Stoke keeper Begovic, but his decision to shoot rather than pass to the onrushing Aaron Ramsey was one example of how the Frenchman still needs time to link with his new team-mates as he made his full debut.

Tony Pulis's side will be more content with the point as they failed to fashion too many chances, although they had an early Walters effort ruled out for offside and Jermaine Pennant was furious when he claimed he was pushed over by Kieran Gibbs in the penalty area.

In keeping with his performance against Sunderland last week, Arsenal's Cazorla was quick to run the show in midfield, proving equally adept with either foot and finding space with ease.

But where Arsenal showed promise in the attacking third, with Podolski dropping inside to support Cazorla, they could not create many attempts on the Stoke goal in the first half.

Tony Pulis still keen to "freshen" up Stoke squad

The hosts handed a debut to American Geoff Cameron in place of the suspended Dean Whitehead and he became the latest of Stoke's long throw-in specialists, though they rarely troubled the Gunners defence.

And after the interval, Stoke were limited to Walters's late poke with only Vito Mannone - making his first Premier League start for almost three years in place of the injured Wojciech Szczesny - to beat.

Once Arsenal finally gathered some momentum, Giroud, Abou Diaby and Mikel Arteta failed to work Begovic with speculative efforts, but at least the Gunners can take some satisfaction from two consecutive clean sheets, a sign perhaps that new assistant Steve Bould is having some effect.

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