The keeper made good early saves to deny Benayoun and Van Persie but there was nothing he could do to deny the Dutchman in the 15th minute as the unmarked striker tapped in from close range.
The big centre-half should also have stayed closer to Van Persie at times but he spent most of his time helping Wilson deal with the lively Gervinho.
He struggled in the first half against the pace of Benayoun and the support he received from Rosicky, in fact he was lucky that the Czech midfielder did not punish his sloppy marking earlier as a cross to Van Persie was well saved from Begovic. He was replaced by Upson in the 56th minute.
He stayed very close to Van Persie and generally did well but he was caught napping on a couple of occasions and the Dutchman punished him in the 15th minute with his equalizer.
The full back had a bit of a torrid time against Gervinho and had the Ivorian been able to make more of his chances his day could have been a lot worse.
He had a lively start to the game and showed his value to the Stoke side with an excellent cross for Crouch’s opening goal. He continued to threaten down the left but not regularly enough to ease the pressure Arsenal were putting the Potters under.
He was eager to test the abilities of Gibbs at full-back with regular forays down the right wing but not all of his crosses were accurate enough for Crouch and Walters to take advantage of.
A frustrating afternoon for him, he spent more time chasing the ball than Whelan did and although some of his challenges managed to break-up Arsenal moves he was generally found wanting.
An indifferent day for the midfielder, he often found himself struggling against the solid Song and Ramsey partnership but there were occasions where he was able to break forward and release Walters only for the chance to disappear.
The striker was a constant threat to the Arsenal defense and he got the game’s opening goal with a solid header from inside the penalty area. He was able to find space in-between Vermaelen and Gibbs and head home Etherington’s inch perfect cross, giving Szczesny no chance. He continued to be Stoke’s dangerman and challenged well for every ball put into the penalty area, sadly he was unable to get his name on the scoresheet for a second time.
He never stops moving, looking for space and trying the drag defenders out of position but he found himself out of luck when it came to linking up with Crouch and testing Szczesny.
The Pole could only watch as Crouch’s 10th minute header flew into his bottom corner however after that he marshaled his defense well and came to punch any dangerous crosses into his penalty area.
He should have got closer to Etherington for the opening goal, the winger had far too much time and space to land the ball on Crouch’s head. Apart from that Sagna had a solid game and stayed much closer to his man, very rarely giving him any opportunity to threaten his goal.
He handled Pennant well, although he could have been tighter on occasions to deny the winger chances to cross into the penalty area. When he was able to go forward he provided good support for Benayoun but his final delivery lacked any real quality.
The big central defender had a solid game but was given a tough time by Crouch. He let his man get free for the opening goal but did not let that happen again in the game.
Was not afraid to throw himself at the ball and did everything he could to avert danger inside his penalty area.
He drifted in and out of the game with the odd nice touch and link-up with Rosicky. However he could have had more of an influence on the game as he never really threatened Stoke’s defense with chances.
He controlled most of the game from the midfield, just sitting in front of the back four he dictated the tempo that Arsenal played at and moved his side forward throughout the game. His passes were neat and tidy and his tackling was strong and regularly broke up potential Stoke moves.
He had a good game in a more attacking role of the midfield three, he drifted across the pitch picking up the ball and creating chances for his forwards. He created Van Persie’s equalizer with an excellent cross and found the Dutchman on a couple of occasions only for the chances to be denied.
Back on the ground where he sustained his horror injury the Welshman had a solid game in the middle of the pitch, although he could have contributed more going forward than he did. There were times when his final ball was intercepted or just behind his teammates and that stopped some of the nice flowing football Arsenal were playing. He was replaced by Diaby in the 73rd minute.
R. van Persie
Looked lively from the opening minutes, he could have had an assist and a goal before he finally got his side level in the 15th minute. He showed excellent movement to evade his markers and time his run perfectly to meet Rosicky’s cross at the back post.
Full of energy and lightning pace but he often held on to the ball for a second too long which allowed Stoke to intervene. His involvement was very hit and miss and all too often the game seemed to pass him by, and this must have been clear to his manager who replaced him with Chamakh with 12 minutes to go.
- 29 T. Sørensen
Replaced Shotton after 55 minutes and helped tighten up the Stoke defense.
A late replacement for Etherington but even his trademark long throw could not get his side the winner.
- 40 W. Palacios
- 10 R. Fuller
Replaced Pennant and had one excellent chance to win the game but his shot was parried away by Szczesny.
- 9 K. Jones
- 21 Ł. Fabiański
Replaced Benayoun in the 83rd minute but had little impact.
- 18 S. Squillaci
Replaced Ramsey in the 73rd minute and was full on energy, however he was unable to find a way through the Stoke defense.
- 39 F. Coquelin
- 15 A. Oxlade-Chamberlain
Replaced Gervinho in the 79th minute and tried to support Van Persie but rarely threatened the Stoke goal.