• English Barclays Premier League
  • 2 February 2013, 3:00pm
  • Emirates Stadium
  • Attendance: 59,872
  • Podolski, 78

live commentary

90 mins:That's full time. Arsenal deservedly take the three points.

90 mins:We've four minutes of added time.

90 mins:Ramsey replaces Walcott.

89 mins:Walcott feeds the ball through for Giroud but the Frenchman is surrounded by defenders.

87 mins:Koscielny is fouled by Shawcross. The Stoke man is booked.

85 mins:Can Stoke's changes see them get a goal.

83 mins:Stoke make a triple change Owen, Jermome and Jones replacing Crouch, Walters and Cameron.

80 mins:Cazorla fires over after bursting into the area.

78 mins:Podolski's deflected free kick finds the back off the net.

76 mins:Wilkinson is shown yellow for a foul on Walcott on the edge of the area.

74 mins:Crouch is caught offside as Stoke look to attack.

72 mins:Cazorla floats a cross in but Giroud's header loops over the bar.

70 mins:Whelan goes into the refeee's notebook. It looked as though he got the ball.

69 mins:Arsenal clear from Etherington's free kick.

67 mins:Arsenal make a double swap with Podolski and Cazorla replacing Oxlade-Chamberlain and Diaby.

64 mins:Shotton's long throw falls to Shawcross who miscues his shot.

62 mins:Oxlade-Chamberlian looks to turn sharply but loses control of the ball.

59 mins:Oxlade-Chamberlain looks to slip a pass through for Wilshere but the midfielder is caught flat footed.

57 mins:Stoke are getting men behind the ball making it difficult for Arsenal to get through.

55 mins:Wilshere's low cross is met by Giroud, but again Huth is in attendance and distrcts the Frenchman.

53 mins:Walcoytt picks up a knock but looks ok.

52 mins:Monreal accelerates and gets a cross in but Huth does enough to put off Giroud.

50 mins:Walcott takes the corner but Begovic collects comfortably.

49 mins:Monreal's first-time ball goes out for a corner.

47 mins:Walcott looks to force his way through but runs into traffic.

45 mins:We're underway in the second half.

45 mins:That's half time. Arsneal created the better chances but were denied three times by Begovic.

45 mins:Two minutes of added time have been signaled.

45 mins:Walters gets treatment after a clash of heads.

42 mins:Wilshere crosses but Shotton gets up well to head away.

40 mins:Oxlade-Chamerlain gets in behind the defence but again Begovic makes a great save.

37 mins:Wilshere looks to thread the ball through but Walters picks the pass.

35 mins:Begovic then makes a great save from Koscielny's glancing header.

34 mins:The ball comes to Giroud who should have headed goalwards but seemed to cushion the header down.

32 mins:Begovic makes a poit-blank save with his body to keep out Oxlade-Chamberlain's close-range effort.

31 mins:Walcott escapes Wilkinson with a sharp turn but his delivery is poor.

29 mins:Shotton's long throw is cut out.

27 mins:Sagna picks up a knock to the back of the head but is back on the pitch.

25 mins:Walcott is let down by his first touch and Etherington nips in.

23 mins:Oxlade-Chamberlain's cross is headed out for a corner by Wilkinson.

21 mins:Oxlade-Chamberlain's drive is blocked by Huth.

19 mins:Wilkinson cuts out Oxlade-Chamberlain's pass to Walcott.

17 mins:Crouch's turn-and-shot on the edge of the area goes out for a corner.

15 mins:Shawcross gets to the ball ahead of Giroud.

13 mins:Walter's dipping volley is straight at Szczesny.

10 mins:Etherington's early cross is cut out.

8 mins:Mertesacker gets a foot in to cut out Whelan's pass to Walters.

6 mins:Huth's clearance from Walcott's cross goes out for a corner.

4 mins:Walcott tears down the right but his cross is cut out.

1 mins:Oxlade-Chamberlain drags his shot wide.

Chris Foy gets the game underway.

Adam and Whitehead drop to the bench for Stoke with Wilkinson and Shotton coming in.

Monreal makes his debut for the Gunners, replacing the injured Gibbs. Koscielny, Arteta, Oxlade-Chamberlain and Diaby are also included in the starting line-up.

  • English Barclays Premier League
  • 2 February 2013, 3:00pm
  • Emirates Stadium
  • Attendance: 59,872
  • Podolski, 78

match report

Arsenal gave their hopes of a top-four finish a boost with a 1-0 win over Stoke City, but needed a deflected free-kick to beat the outstanding Asmir Begovic.

Arsene Wenger's side dominated for much of the game and created several clear-cut chances, only to be denied by fine saves from Stoke's stubborn goalkeeper.

However, the Bosnian was left helpless when Lukas Podolski's free-kick 12 minutes from time deflected off Geoff Cameron and into the back of the net.

The result sees Arsenal close to within a point of fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur, who play on Sunday, while Stoke remain tenth.

Arsenal made a high-tempo start, with Theo Walcott's pace proving an early thorn in Stoke's side and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain trying his luck with a shot that flashed wide.

The visitors took 20 minutes to get into the game and eventually had half-chances of their own through Peter Crouch, Ryan Shawcross and Glenn Whelan.

But Arsenal soon returned to the ascendancy and would have led at half-time had it not been for a trio of excellent saves from Begovic.

First, the Bosnian stopped a close-range snap-shot from Oxlade-Chamberlain, before palming a point-blank Laurent Koscielny header to safety.

However, his best stop came five minutes from the break, when Jack Wilshere released Oxlade-Chamberlain, who opened up his body and sent a right-foot shot towards the far corner, only for Begovic to divert it wide with a strong hand.

The break came at the wrong time for Arsenal and they struggled to regain their momentum for the first 20 minutes of the second period.

However, the introduction of the rested Santi Cazorla and Podolski from the substitutes' bench gave them fresh impetus and they soon set up camp in and around Stoke's box.

It looked like the breakthrough would not come, but after Andy Wilkinson brought down Walcott on the edge of the box, Podolski produced the winner courtesy of a helping hand from Cameron.

team line-up

1Wojciech Szczesny
17Nacho Monreal
3Bacary Sagna
4Per Mertesacker
6Laurent Koscielny
10Jack Wilshere
2Vassiriki Abou Diaby68
8Mikel Arteta
15Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain68
14Theo Walcott91
12Olivier Giroud


11André Santos
9Lukas Podolski68
24Vito Mannone
7Tomas Rosicky
25Carl Jenkinson
16Aaron Ramsey91
19Santiago Cazorla68


Chris Foy

team line-up

1Asmir Begovic
4Robert Huth
28Andy Wilkinson
17Ryan Shawcross
30Ryan Shotton
15Steven N'Zonzi
2Geoff Cameron84
6Glenn Whelan
26Matthew Etherington
19Jonathan Walters84
25Peter Crouch84


10Michael Owen84
16Charlie Adam
33Cameron Jerome84
18Dean Whitehead
21Michael Kightly
29Thomas Sørensen
9Kenwyne Jones84


Chris Foy

match stats

possession %6534
shots on target51
shots off target84
tackles won98