Premier League • Day 37
  • 2nd Half
  • Stoke City
  • Arsenal
  • Crouch
  • GiroudWalcott
  • ÖzilWelbeck
  • ArnautovicSobhi
  • Giroud
  • Holding
  • SánchezRamsey
  • Sánchez
  • Crouch
  • DioufBerahino
  • AllenCrouch
  • Özil
  • 1st Half
  • Stoke City
  • Arsenal
  • Giroud
  • Mustafi

Stoke City - Arsenal

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Tickets: Barclays Premier League official site

Paul Hassall
  • End of 2nd Half

FT: Stoke 1-4 Arsenal. Giroud (2), Ozil and Sanchez were all on target as the Gunners moved to within one point of fourth-placed Liverpool. Crouch's controversial 'handball' goal had given the hosts hope, but in the end Wenger's men were too strong.


Plenty of empty seats in the stadium now. Stoke fans have seen enough. The Gunners faithful are in fine voice.


Arsenal content to play this one out.


Four minutes added.

  • Peter Crouch
    Yellow cardPeter CrouchStoke CityCrouch booked for a nasty lunge on Xhaka.
    TodayGoals1On target1Yellow Cards1Fouls1

Crouch booked for a nasty lunge on Xhaka.


Arsenal with real momentum at the moment. This will be a sixth win out of seven in all comps. Sunderland and Everton to come at the Emirates. Liverpool end with Middlesbrough at home, so there's a lot on that match on Sunday v West Ham.


Arsenal still pouring forward. Butland forced into action once more with Walcott threatening to get in on the act.


As it stands, Arsenal will be a point behind fourth-placed Liverpool with just two matches to play. Lots of pressure on the Reds ahead o their trip to West Ham tomorrow.

  • Theo Walcott
    OffOlivier GiroudArsenalARSENAL CHANGE: No treble for Giroud. He's replaced by Walcott.
    TodayGoals2On target2Fouls1Offsides1
  • Theo Walcott
    OnTheo WalcottArsenal

ARSENAL CHANGE: No treble for Giroud. He's replaced by Walcott.

  • Danny Welbeck
    OffMesut ÖzilArsenalARSENAL CHANGE: Ozil off, Welbeck on.
    TodayGoals1On target1Fouls1Free Kicks1
  • Danny Welbeck
    OnDanny WelbeckArsenal

ARSENAL CHANGE: Ozil off, Welbeck on.


Arsenal coasting now. That Crouch goal won't have any serious implications.

  • Ramadan Sobhi
    OffMarko ArnautovicStoke CitySTOKE CHANGE: Sobhi on for Arnautovic.
    TodayAssists1Fouls against1Wide1Offsides1
  • Ramadan Sobhi
    OnRamadan SobhiStoke City

STOKE CHANGE: Sobhi on for Arnautovic.

  • Olivier Giroud
    GoalOlivier GiroudArsenalGOAL! It's four! Giroud slides Ramsey's ball into the net after the Welshman had raced to the right of the area and cut it back for the striker.
    TodayGoals2On target2Fouls1Offsides1

GOAL! It's four! Giroud slides Ramsey's ball into the net after the Welshman had raced to the right of the area and cut it back for the striker.

  • Rob Holding
    Yellow cardRob HoldingArsenalHolding booked.
    TodayYellow Cards1Fouls2Wide1Free Kicks1

Holding booked.

Peter Crouch of Stoke City scores his sides first goal past Petr Cech

SAVE! Almost four as Ramsey is allowed to power into the box and test Butland with a low drive.

  • Aaron Ramsey
    OffAlexis SánchezArsenalARSENAL CHANGE: Job done for Sanchez as he is replaced by Ramsey.
    TodayGoals1Assists1On target1Fouls against6
  • Aaron Ramsey
    OnAaron RamseyArsenal

ARSENAL CHANGE: Job done for Sanchez as he is replaced by Ramsey.

Peter Crouch of Stoke City celebrates scoring his sides first goal
  • Alexis Sánchez
    GoalAlexis SánchezArsenalGOAL! Sanchez restores Arsenal's two-goal cushion. The forward was hobbling just moments ago, but takes a pass in his stride and drills a low shot in off the far post.
    TodayGoals1Assists1On target1Fouls against6

GOAL! Sanchez restores Arsenal's two-goal cushion. The forward was hobbling just moments ago, but takes a pass in his stride and drills a low shot in off the far post.


Cameron leads a Stoke charge after an error by Xhaka. He looks for Crouch, but it is a hopeful ball more than anything. Arsenal are off the hook and move it clear.


Sanchez struggling. He's hobbling a fair bit and has been for a while now. This would be a blow for the Gunners.


Stoke looking very lively in attack following the double change. Berahino has a pop from 20 yards, but it's easy enough for Cech.




From cruise control to a real battle. Arsenal suddenly face a tough finale here.


Wenger furious. He thinks he saw the handball. Funny, as he has a habit of not noticing things a lot of the time!

  • Peter Crouch
    GoalPeter CrouchStoke CityGOAL! Crouch loves playing against Arsenal - and he's got Stoke right back in this. The towering forward gets to the near post to meet Arnautovic's cross, but it looked like it may have gone in off his hand!
    TodayGoals1On target1Wide1

GOAL! Crouch loves playing against Arsenal - and he's got Stoke right back in this. The towering forward gets to the near post to meet Arnautovic's cross, but it looked like it may have gone in off his hand!


Boos from the home support as Arsenal break up the Stoke momentum by delaying their own corner kick. It's eventually taken but easily cleared.


Arsenal just looking to see out this spell of Stoke pressure. Ozil's lovely finish has given them a cushion and the platform to really crank up the heat on Liverpool in the battle for a top four spot.


SAVE! Martins Indi sees his header tipped over by Cech after another corner was nodded back into the mix.


A great response from Stoke. A succession of corners put Arsenal under real pressure. Can they get themselves right back into this with plenty of time still on the clock?

  • Saido Berahino
    OffMame Biram DioufStoke CitySTOKE CHANGE: Berahino on for Diouf.
    TodayFouls2Fouls against1Wide1Offsides2
  • Saido Berahino
    OnSaido BerahinoStoke City

STOKE CHANGE: Berahino on for Diouf.

  • Peter Crouch
    OffJoe AllenStoke CitySTOKE CHANGE: Crouch on for Allen.
  • Peter Crouch
    OnPeter CrouchStoke City

STOKE CHANGE: Crouch on for Allen.


Arnautovic surges free on the left and fires in cross that Diouf can only guide wide from six yards out. Stoke almost back in it!




The weight of that pass from deep by Sanchez was quite awesome. Eye of the needle stuff.

  • Mesut Özil
    GoalMesut ÖzilArsenalGOAL! The visitors double their advantage. Ozil plays a sublime one-two with Sanchez and coolly clips the ball over Butland.
    TodayGoals1On target1Fouls1Corners5

GOAL! The visitors double their advantage. Ozil plays a sublime one-two with Sanchez and coolly clips the ball over Butland.


Arsenal beginning to assert their authority on this once again now.


Indeed, Crouch has eight Premier League goals against Arsenal, his joint favourite opponent in the division (also Blackburn – 8). Surely he's someone Hughes should turn to?

Stoke's Peter Crouch celebrates scoring the first goal after only 19 seconds in their 3-2 victory over Arsenal

How long until Stoke mix up their attacking options? They have Berahino, Walters and Crouch on the bench.


Shaqiri over a free kick just inside the Arsenal half. It's only half cleared and recycled towards Allen whose flick towards Shawcross is snatched out of the air by Cech.


Arsenal's full backs were allowed to attack at will in the first half, but may well have to do a longer stint in terms of defensive duties from this point on.


Shaqiri more involved now, which can only be good for Hughes and co. The Swiss playmaker surges into space and arcs a deep cross towards Diouf. It proves too long in the end, but signs that the home team may pose more of a threat in the second 45.


Shaqiri bursts into the right side of the area, but can't quite reach his own push forward. Goal kick to the visitors, but more urgency on show from City.


A defeat here would end Stoke's hopes of a top-10 finish. They need to raise their level significantly to get something here.

  • 2nd Half

KICK OFF! Arsenal restart the contest.

Olivier Giroud of Arsenal celebrates scoring his sides first goal during the Premier League match between Stoke City and Arsenal
  • End of 1st Half

HT: Stoke 0-1 Arsenal. Giroud's close-range finish gives the visitors a deserved interval lead. As it stands, the top-four push is on!


One minute added.


A rather surprising stat that sums up that it's not been a happy hunting ground for Arsenal over the years.


That's goal No.15 for Giroud (11 in the PL) and it could be a big one in the push for a place in the top four.

  • Olivier Giroud
    GoalOlivier GiroudArsenalGOAL! Bellerin sprints free on the right and puts a low cross on a plate for Giroud to tap home from close range.
    TodayGoals1On target1Offsides1

GOAL! Bellerin sprints free on the right and puts a low cross on a plate for Giroud to tap home from close range.


Not any more though....


Hughes will be the happier of the two managers. Arsenal were well on top early doors, but it's much closer at present.


It's been a disappointing spell over the past 10 minutes or so. Not much to shout about at either end.


Stoke are 12th and three points off 10th as it stands. Arsenal would be three off fourth-placed Liverpool with two to play. Fair to say a point doesn't suit either side in the respective aims.


A succession of Stoke corners ends with Johnson stabbing a loose ball well wide with Sanchez looking to nip in ahead of him and lead a break.


Shaqiri jinks onto his left foot but sees a curling cross-shot deflect out for a corner.


It's been a tough evening for Diouf so far. He's barely had a kick.


Sanchez rifles wide of the near post after Johnson had sloppily lost possession deep inside his own half.


Wonderful feet from Joe Allen as he tries to shimmy his way in from the left of the area. The Welshman evades two but is eventually crowded out as he looked to get a shot away.


Arnautovic steps up but curls the free kick just over the top.

  • Shkodran Mustafi
    Yellow cardShkodran MustafiArsenalMustafi booked. Arnautovic and Shaqiri over it....
    TodayOn target1Yellow Cards1Fouls1

Mustafi booked. Arnautovic and Shaqiri over it....


A good run from Shaqiri takes him in from the right. He almost loses it twice, but does enough to tease a foul out of Mustafi. Free kick 25 yards out in a central position.


Bruno Martins Indi hoists a high ball to the right wing for the diminutive Shaqiri. Koscielny easily wins the header. With that kind of logic, they are going to concede plenty of ground...


Stoke just can't keep hold of the ball for any significant period of time.




Monreal allowed to run free again - but this time the ball in-behind is overcooked. Surprised Hughes hasn't done anything about Shaqiri allowing the full back to roam without covering.


MAY MAGIC: Arsenal haven’t lost any of their last nine away league games in May (W6 D3) – the last side to beat them was Stoke in 2011.


Arsenal looking good on the pitch - but a look to the heavens suggests the message form some fans remains the same...


POST! Arsenal are getting closer. Once again Monreal ghosts into space but sees his header from Bellerin's deflected cross cannon back off the woodwork.


Pieters and Arnautovic combine on the left. The latter shows nice feet and a burst of pace to break free in the box, but his attempted cross hits an Arsenal body and diverts to safety. Best moment so far for the home side.




A rare Stoke attack sees a hoisted ball aimed towards Diouf. He looks suspiciously offside, but Cech comes off his line to easily pluck it out of the air. An easy 400th game for the Gunners keeper so far.

Arsenal's Alexis Sanchez in action with Stoke City's Jack Butland

Stoke having all sorts of problems down their right side so far. Arsenal continually looking to direct their attack down that avenue.


Monreal sits on the turf with a rueful expression on his face. Bellerin cuts inside from the right and clips a diagonal ball over the top for his fellow full back. Monreal gets in-behind Johnson, but his first touch is poor and he can't get a shot away before he runs out of pitch.


Not sure why it bothers or affects Stoke fans....


POSSESSION: Stoke with just 34 so far. Arsenal well on top.


Stoke deal with the resulting right-wing corner, but already signs that an in-form Arsenal mean business here.


Mustafi improvises with a looping header to direct a miscued corner towards goal, and Butland is forced to tip it over.


Another Gunners attack down the left leads to a second corner.


DID YOU KNOW? The Potters have drawn one and lost four of their five home games against the Premier League’s top six this season – they won three of their six against the same sides in 2015-16 (D1 L2).


Shaqiri with some solid defensive work. It comes at the expense of the first corner of the evening. Arsenal work it short but Sanchez's delivery is nodded to safety.


Arsenal settling into an early rhythm. Stoke dropping deep and looking to attack on the counter.


Mustafi rakes a ball over the top for Sanchez. The Chilean chests and volleys but sees his shot blocked by Butland. t wouldn't have counted as the flag was up - but smart keeping from the Stoke No.1.


Diouf leads an early charge for the hosts. He's a tad isolated but looks to batter his way through a raft of defenders. He makes it past three but eventually comes up just short.


GOOD OMEN FOR POTTERS FANS? Stoke have won their last Premier League home game of the season in each of the last three campaigns, scoring 12 goals and conceding three.


Has Arsenal's fine form of late led to a shift in mood from their supporters?

  • 1st Half

KICK OFF! Stoke get this contest up and running.


We've got 15 minutes until kick off, so let's take a closer look at those teams... Stoke make just one change with Erik Pieters coming in for Marc Muniesa at left-back. Arsenal name four. Laurent Koscielny, Francis Coquelin, Hector Bellerin and Olivier Giroud all start.

Arsenal's Olivier Giroud has a shot saved by Stoke's Jack Butland

There's been no love lost between Arsenal and Stoke over the years, so would the Potters enjoy the prospect of upsetting the Gunners' top four push? "I don't think it gets as personal as that," claims Hughes. "We just like to upset teams that maybe sometimes expect to win. Our record stands comparison to anybody against Arsenal. It is our last home game, our fans will be totally behind us and the fact that it is Arsenal will add to the mix, so I'm really looking forward to it."


LAST LEAGUE MEETING: Back in December, Arsenal hit back from 1-0 down to prevail 3-1 at Emirates Stadium and move top of the table. The Gunners seem to have found form again after an almighty slump, while Stoke need a big performance here after picking up one victory in their last nine.

Arsenal's Alex Iwobi celebrates scoring Arsenal's third goal against Stoke

HUGHES HOODOO: The Stoke gaffer is unbeaten in his last eight home Premier League meetings with Arsene Wenger (W5 D3), with that run spread across five different clubs – Blackburn (one game), Man City (two), Fulham (one), QPR (one) and Stoke (three).

Arsene Wenger and Mark Hughes (Reuters)



Arsene Wenger on his side's top four bid: "I believe that, for us, it's important to maintain the focus and intensity in every single game. We'll need another strong performance at Stoke. We know we can only win our games... so let's just continue."

Arsene Wenger's Arsenal are making another late charge for the top four

Mark Hughes: "I'd like to think people for the most part have acknowledged how hard it is for Stoke City to keep on competing at the level we are. And if results go with us and we win our last two games, we could be eighth. So it's all about perception, I think, and maybe a little bit of realistic understanding of where we are. We are still absolutely desperate to push the club forward and I think next year that's what we'll do. We don't see this as a trend, in terms of being below ninth. We view it as a blip and we'll be stronger next year."

Mark Hughes felt Bournemouth escaped a couple of red cards

This is a walk Arsenal's player haven't enjoyed much over the years... STAT: Stoke have only lost one of their eight home Premier League games against Arsenal (W4 D3). The Gunners’ 12.5% win percentage (one win in eight) away at the Potters is their joint-second worst in the Premier League era (level with Sheffield Wednesday, one win in eight); they only have a worse win record at Manchester United (three wins in 25, 12%).


CONFIRMED TEAMS - STOKE CITY: Butland, Johnson, Shawcross, Martins Indi, Pieters, Whelan, Cameron, Allen, Arnautovic, Diouf, Shaqiri... Subs: Grant; Muniesa, Berahino, Adam, Walters, Crouch, Ramadan. /// ARSENAL: Cech, Holding, Mustafi, Koscielny, Bellerin, Coquelin, Xhaka, Monreal, Sanchez, Giroud, Ozil... Subs: Ospina, Gabriel, Ramsey, Walcott, Iwobi, Elneny, Welbeck.


Hello and welcome to LIVE updates of the Premier League clash between Stoke City and Arsenal at the bet365 Stadium. This a huge moment in the Gunners' bid to secure a top-four finish. Arsene Wenger's men are currently fifth but can close the gap on fourth-placed Liverpool to just one point with two matches to play. The Potters will be keen to put a spanner in the works and produce a good showing in their final home match of the season. Kick off 5.30pm BST.

Arsenal's Olivier Giroud in action with Stoke's Ryan Shawcross