petr Cech
Petr Cech secured his 10th clean sheet of the season against Stoke CityGetty

Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech believes that the Gunners have managed to exceed expectations after holding on to a stalemate against Stoke City at the Britannia. Arsenal have an extremely bad record at the Britannia, winning only once in their last seven visits in the league, way back in 2010, where Aaron Ramsey suffered a broken leg after a reckless tackle by defender Ryan Shawcross.

The win took Arsenal back on top of the table, level on points with Leicester City, but only a point adrift of Manchester City, who gained two points on the Gunners after their 4-0 win over Crystal Palace during the weekend. The Gunners were without a lot of first choice players, with Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez expected to be back next week against Chelsea at the Emirates. The lack of a creative spark in the middle meant that the Gunners failed to carve open the Stoke defence and were more dependent on acts of individual brilliance at the back to come out of the fixture with at least a point.

Cech made a couple of very good saves in the second half, from Marko Arnautovic and Bojan Krkic, while Jack Butland held his own against Olivier Giroud and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in the first. The clean sheet takes the Gunners' tally to 10 for the season, bettered only by Manchester United at 11.

"[We came here and] everyone [outside the club] thought we were going to lose again. We showed everybody that we can compete. In the circumstances we will take a point and move on. We were unlucky in midweek to concede a late goal and today we will take a point. We are in the position we want to be and we now go to the home game and we are ready to compete again," Cech told Arsenal's official website.

"I was pleased with my contribution because sometimes it can be a tricky game. You try to keep your composure in such conditions. Every pass you make you try to do it perfectly and the players in front of you feel confident and that they can relax. It helps and in the second half I did my best to keep everything out," he added.