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1 vs 0
Played
February 2, 2013 10:00 AM EST
Emirates Stadium — London
Referee:‬ C. Foy‎
Attendance:‬ 59872‎
 
 
Top of the Match
Asmir Begovic
Asmir Begovic
Stoke
Lukas Podolski
Lukas Podolski
Arsenal
Flop of the Match
Geoff Cameron
Geoff Cameron
Stoke
Ryan Shawcross
Ryan Shawcross
Stoke

Arsenal 1-0 Stoke: Podolski puts Gunners back in the Champions League picture

The London side took some time to break down the Potters but did so in the second half thanks to Lukas Podolski's free kick with its opponents offering little in response

By Chris Teale

EPL:Asmir Begovic - Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Arsenal v Stoke City
Getty Images
Arsenal moved towards the Champions League places with a comfortable 1-0 win against Stoke.

The first half took some time to gather momentum, but the home side began to dominate and was denied several times by Stoke goalkeeper Asmir Begovic.

It took until the 78th minute for Arsenal to take the lead, with Lukas Podolski seeing his free kick deflected home for what was the winning goal.

New Gunners signing Nacho Monreal started as one of five changes to Arsene Wenger’s side that drew with Liverpool.

Meanwhile, Stoke made two changes to its team, bringing in Ryan Shotton and Andy Wilkinson for Charlie Adam and Dean Whitehead.

The game began in a lively fashion, with Bacary Sagna and Theo Walcott linking up well on the right, although the latter’s early pull-back could not find a teammate in the area.

However, things calmed down rapidly into a familiar rhythm as Arsenal dominated possession but found itself unable to create further chances as the away side held firm.

As the half went on, Stoke began to grow into the game and see more of the ball, with Peter Crouch looking threatening up front as he managed to take down a few high balls.

It took until the 32nd minute for either side to create an opening, and it fell to Arsenal, with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain denied by Begovic’s superb reflexes after a corner.

The home side then created another opening a couple of minutes later, with Laurent Koscielny seeing his header blocked well again by the impressive Begovic.

Oxlade-Chamberlain was then denied again by the Bosnian as he latched onto a superb through-ball from Jack Wilshere but saw Begovic deflect his finish away for a corner.

However, despite the home side dominating possession and carving its opponents open, it was unable to force any more openings and went into halftime deadlocked at 0-0.

The second half began in a similar fashion, with the home side monopolising possession and toying with its opponents but it was unable to create an early chance.

It took until the 53rd minute for the Gunners to create an opening, and it came through debutant Nacho Monreal, who sent in a teasing cross after some superb interplay but saw the ball cleared.

Then, just a minute later, Arsenal had another chance as Olivier Giroud nearly got on the end of a ball from the superb Wilshere but could not quite make good enough contact.

The Gunners were dominating possession as their opponents seemed unable to get the ball out of their half, but were struggling to create another chance to the frustration of their fans.

However, in the 78th minute Arsenal finally made the breakthrough as Podolski saw his free kick deflected home by Geoff Cameron, with the goal standing despite some suspicion of offside.

This seemed to galvanize the Gunners, who could have had a second through Santi Cazorla, who saw his shot tipped just over the bar by Begovic, and they held on to secure the win.

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Arsenal

1
Wojciech Szczesny
Goalkeeper
3.00
3
Bacary Sagna
Defender
3.00
4
Per Mertesacker
Defender
3.50
6
3.00
17
Monreal
Defender
3.50
24
A. Diaby
Midfielder
68′
2.50
8
Mikel Arteta
Midfielder
3.00
10
Jack Wilshere
Midfielder
3.50
12
2.50
14
Theo Walcott
Striker
91′
3.00
15
2.50

Stoke

3.50
1
Asmir Begovic
Goalkeeper
1.50
20
3.50
4
Robert Huth
Defender
3.00
17
2.00
28
2.50
30
2.50
6
Glenn Whelan
Midfielder
70′
3.00
15
Steven N'Zonzi
Midfielder
2.00
26
2.00
19
3.00
25

Substitutes

25
Vito Mannone
Goalkeeper
 - 
27
 - 
25
 - 
7
Tomas Rosicky
Midfielder
 - 
16
Aaron Ramsey
Midfielder
91′
 - 
19
Santi Cazorla
Midfielder
68′
3.00
9
3.50

Substitutes

 - 
29
 - 
16
Charlie Adam
Midfielder
 - 
18
Dean Whitehead
Midfielder
 - 
21
 - 
9
 - 
10
 - 
30

Coach/Manager

-
 - 

Coach/Manager

 - 
-
 
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  • Own Goal
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  • Yellow Card
  • Assist
  • Penalty Save
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  • Penalty Shootout Miss
  • Yellow Card / Red Card
  • Red Card
  • Substitution IN
  • Substitution OUT
  • Injury
  • Goal.com Rating
  • Goal.com Man of the Match
  • Goal.com Flop of the Match
  • Top & Flop Global Ranking
  • Fans' Man of the Match
  • Fans' Flop of the Match
Results
 
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Luis Suárez Luis Suárez
Striker
Liverpool
30 0
Daniel Sturridge Daniel Sturridge
Striker
Liverpool
20 0
Yaya Touré Yaya Touré
Midfielder
Man City
18 6
Wayne Rooney Wayne Rooney
Striker
Man United
15 2
Sergio Agüero Sergio Agüero
Striker
Man City
15 0