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Premier League

  • September 22, 2013
  • • 13:30
  • • Emirates Stadium, London
  • Referee: M. Dean
  • • Attendance: 50002
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Live Commentary

  • Right, that's it from the Emirates. I've been Tom J Doyle, and I hope you enjoyed that one. Especially the Gunners among you - congratulations on leading the Premier League!
  • STAT ATTACK (via @OptaJoe): 3 - Today is the first time Arsenal have scored 3 goals from set-pieces (excludes pens) in a PL game since 4 v Fulham in May 2010. Routine.
  • Mesut Ozil will take the plaudits after playing a part in all three goals - not bad for your home debut. Aaron Ramsey continued his brilliant goalscoring form, although Mark Hughes will wonder how his side could come to the Emirates and concede three from set pieces.
  • STAT ATTACK (via @OptaJoe): 8 - Before today, all eight of Arsenal's Premier League goals this season had come from open play. Transformative.
  • That's it - Arsenal are top of the Premier League! They fully deserve their 3-1 victory over Stoke today, and have now won seven consecutive games in all competitions. Talk about a turnaround - Arsene Wenger must be delighted.
  • 90' + 3'
    Ramsey wants two, and almost gets another - Giroud feeds him a ball to the right of the area which the Welsh captain has to turn to collect. He drives through on goal and fizzes in a high effort which Begovic tips over the bar.
  • 90' + 3'
    Ramsey wants two, and almost gets another - Giroud feeds him a ball to the right of the area which the Welsh captain has to turn to collect. He drives through on goal and fizzes in a high effort which Begovic tips over the bar.
  • 90' + 2'
    Arsenal fans are singing 'We are top of the league' - that would have been unthinkable after the opening-day defeat to Aston Villa. What a difference a man like Mesut Ozil can make.
  • 90' + 1'
    Yellow Card Stephen Ireland
  • 90'
    Four minutes of injury time here, and this one has rather petered out after Sagna's third. Stoke have threatened at times, but Arsenal's quality and temperament have shone through today.
  • 89'
    Wilson is fed the ball on the left wing and passes in a low cross, but Szczesny shouts and is left the ball to greet like an old friend. Not good enough from Stoke.
  • 88'
    Miyaichi shows quick feet down the right to beat his man, but his cross is well overhit. Still, a little flash of what the Japanese forward can do.
  • 87'
    Arsenal go to sleep here as Cameron beats the offside trap on the right, but his volley cross is cut out before reaching a Potters player. Moments later Ireland thrashes a close-range effort over the bar, but the referee blew up for an earlier foul by Walters.
  • 86'
    Ireland has his first chance to get on the ball and feed Walters over the top, but there's too much on the ball and Szczesny easily gathers it. They just haven't had enough quality or concentration today.
  • 84'
    Mathieu Flamini does well to cut out a cross from the right, which Szczesny then collects. It was a surprise to see the former Gunner given a new cotract this summer, but he's gone about his work quietly and effectively this season.
  • 82'
    Stoke are continuing to push for a result here, and win another corner - they were putting serious pressure on Arsenal just before Sagna's header, and will be disappointed that they've lost the key aerial battles today.
  • 80'
    Substitution Mesut Özil Mikel Arteta
  • 80'
    Arteta comes on for Mesut Ozil, who walks off to a standing ovation - he had a part to play in all three goals and got two direct assists. He looks like a fan favourite already.
  • 78'
    Painful for Walters here as he is caught late on the heel by Mertesacker - and Arteta is warming up for the Gunners. That'll be a big boost for Wenger to have the mercurial Spaniard back.
  • 76'
    Substitute Pennant whips in the corner which comes straight back to him, and Shawcross can only head the next delivery wide of Szczesny's left-hand post.
  • 75'
    Substitution Kenwyne Jones Jermaine Pennant
  • 75'
    They may be two behind but it's not all over for Stoke - Wilson gets forward well dow the left and wins a corner, from which Shawcross gets a shot it. Sagna blocks it over for another corner...
  • 74'
    Mark Hughes will be fuming - he may want to change Stoke's image, but they've conceded all three goals from set pieces today. Arsenal meanwhile have scored two headers - what has happened to football today?!
  • 73'
    Substitution Serge Gnabry Ryo Miyaichi
  • 73'
    Substitution Jack Wilshere Monreal
  • 72'
    Assist Mesut Özil
  • 72'
    Goal Bacary Sagna
    SAGNA MAKES IT THREE!!! That is a really top header from the right-back, who meets Ozil's cross with a looping header from the right over Begovic and into the right-hand corner of the net.
  • 70'
    Wilshere is crowded out here and wins a free kick 30 yards out on the left after being bodychecked by Walters.
  • 68'
    Stoke are already looking more dangerous with Palacios on the pitch, and Walters forces a corner after fine work dow the right. The delivery comes to nothing, but Arsenal are in dager of sitting back a little too much now - they need that third goal.
  • 67'
    Substitution Erik Pieters W. Palacios
  • 67'
    Wilshere's back up and running - relief all round for the hosts. Stoke have brought on Wilson palacios to give the midfield a bit more bite now.
  • 64'
    Wilshere is down now clutching his left leg after being caught by N'Zonzi. An injury like that has been coming for Wilshere - his touch has let him down today and he's always been on the stretch to make sure he wins it back. It's an admirable trait, but Wenger may want him to just hold back a tad more.
  • 63'
    Both sides go close! Ozil is through on the right and unleashes a low strike which Begovic holds on to, and Wilson then surges forward all too easily before forcing Szczesny into a decent stop to his left with a strong drive from 25 yards. That's the flow we were looking for!
  • 62'
    The home crowd are getting a little restless now as the second half has no real flow to it. Stoke are happy with that at the moment as they'll look to crank up the pressure.
  • 61'
    Jon Walters has been quiet today, but is looking to get more involved with some runs off the Arsenal back line - the Potters really need to be more clinical in their distribution though.
  • 59'
    Substitution Charlie Adam Stephen Ireland
  • 59'
    Charlie Adam pays for that earlier wayward pass by being replaced by Stephen Ireland - he doesn't look best pleased with Hughes, and he's had a good game to be fair.
  • 57'
    Oh Olivier - the Frenchman has a great chance to extend Arsenal lead from 16 yards, but bends an effort high over the bar from the right of the area. He's on the floor with his head in his hands - he knows how good a chance that was.
  • 56'
    Stoke are looking to break through but their build-up play is really letting them down. It seems as though they're still caught between the styles of Mark Hughes and Tony Pulis - not an attractive phrase, I'll admit.
  • 54'
    Yellow Card Robert Huth
  • 54'
    If Gnabry ever wondered what regular Premier League football was really like, he's just tasted Huth's shoulder to find out. It's a wonder he's still walking, let alone running about - the defender got the most deserved booking you're ever likely to see.
  • 52'
    Top stop by Begovic! Adam sprays a loose pass across the field and Gnabry picks up the ball - he feeds Giroud before receving a 'Hulk SMASH' from Robert Huth, and Giroud forces the keeper into a fine fingertip save ovr the bar from 22 yards.
  • 50'
    Some really lovely passing from Arsenal here as Ozil and Wilshere link the play well for Sagna, but the move breaks down and Stoke retain possession. Pretty play there, but it'll have to be more incisive.
  • 49'
    Gnabry and Ozil trade passes on the right wing, and the youngster cuts inside before unleashing a low drive at goal, which Begovic does well to get down to and hold on. That's more confident from the debutant.
  • 47'
    There's no let-up for Shawcross, who is still the subject of the home crowd's ire. Ramsey's early-season form is a testament to his recovery though, so perhaps it's time to let that one lie.
  • 45'
    We're underway again at the Emirates, and Arsenal are 45 minutes from a fourth consecutive win to go top of the Premier League.
  • Those stats show that Wilshere is having a tough time of it compared to his team mates - how times can change. We may see him replaced by Arteta if he picks up a predictable booking.
  • STAT ATTACK (via @OptaJoe): 85% - Jack Wilshere was the Arsenal outfield player with the lowest passing accuracy in the first half. Mistimed.
  • STAT ATTACK (via @OptaJoe): 1 - Arsenal have kept only one clean sheet in their five Premier League games this season. Brittle.
  • Mark Hughes will be disappointed with the nature of the goals conceded, but Jones is unsettling the Gunners' back line and there are goals for the taking if their final ball is a little better.
  • That's the interval! Arsenal lead 2-1 courtesy of goals from Aaron Ramsey and Per Mertesacker either side of a Geoff Cameron leveller. It's been a good battle so far, and it's still up for grabs for either side.
  • 45' + 1'
    Mertesacker slips and loses the flight of the ball now, but Koscielny is on hand to prevent Jones getting through. It's been a bit of an odd game for Arsenalso far - lots of fine passing and a couple of goals, but they always look close to conceding a clanger.
  • 45' + 1'
    Mertesacker slips and loses the flight of the ball now, but Koscielny is on hand to prevent Jones getting through. It's been a bit of an odd game for Arsenalso far - lots of fine passing and a couple of goals, but they always look close to conceding a clanger.
  • 45'
    Three minutes of inury time now and the Gunners are looking for a third. A 2-1 scoreline would set us up perfectly for the second half.
  • 44'
    Bam! Mertesacker and Jones clash heads now and the ground shakes as both hit the floor. They're both hurt but up now, albeit a bit dazed - who'd be a footballer eh?
  • 43'
    Ozil is a slippery customer - he leaves a couple of Potters for dead before looking for the cut-back to Ramsey, but can't get enough on his pass. He's be a top player in the premier League, that's for sure.
  • 42'
    Gnabry wins a free kick now after being manhandles off the ball by the corner flag. His touch let him down just before, but he showed good stregth to win the decision.
  • 40'
    Gnabry collects a weak Begovic clearance and feeds Ozil on the right, who finds him with a cut-back. The youngtser can only spoon his left-footed effort high and wide of Begovic's right-hand post though - a let-off for the keeper, who's had a half to forget.
  • 38'
    A great one-two between Giroud and Wilshere leaves the Frenchman bearing down on goal, but Begovic reacts quickly and is out to snaffle up the ball at the feet of the striker. His lack of pace cost him there, but it was a good idea.
  • 36'
    Assist Mesut Özil
  • 36'
    Goal Per Mertesacker
    MERTESACKER SCORES!!! The German defender produces a carbon copy of his previous header from the near post and makes a better connection this time, finishing it in the far corner. Laurent Koscielny ran across the ball to distract Begovic, who would have surely saved it otherwise, and the Gunners lead 2-1!
  • 34'
    Shawcross tries to take of Giroud's shirt and the referee correctly blows up for a foul on the left. The free kick comes in and is cleared for a corner - another chance for the Gunners now...
  • 33'
    Gnabry shows a good turn of pace here to get away in the right-back position, but almost loses the ball while sauntering along. Ramsey instructs him to play it out to the left, but he dallies and just gives it to the Welshman instead - that's inexperience right there.
  • 32'
    Chance for Mertesacker! The big defender glances a header from the front post across Begovic's goal, and it looks as though Arnautovic - who is literally hugging Gnabry - heads it clear to prevent a goal.
  • 30'
    Half-chance for Olivier Giroud! Ozil feeds the French forward who controls and looks to snap a shot from 18 yards, but he's brilliantly blocked out. More pressure, and a corner to Arsenal...
  • 29'
    Arsenal have looked very good so far, but predictably it's their defence that has let them down again. Ozil was no doubt an inspired purchase, but it looks as though there will be many games like this during the 2013/14 campaign - outscoring the opposition after needlessly conceding.
  • 27'
    Ooh, Jones should be in here as he's found through the centre, but his touch is loose and Per Mertesacker recovers to force it out for a corner. What a turnaround!
  • 26'
    Goal Geoff Cameron
    STOKE ARE LEVEL!!! Geoff Cameron is the unlikely scorer as he coolly strokes the ball into the corner of the net from 20 yards after Arnautovic volleys against the post from a lovely cross. Szczesny was scrambling across his goal after the rebound, but Cameron put it into the bottom left-hand corner. Game on!
  • 24'
    Over and out - Wilshere and Ramsey combine well to feed Kieran Gibbs on the left, and he then proceeds to cut in and hoof a shot about 20 yards over the bar. Right idea, right execution.
  • 23'
    Adam foolishly punts the free kick into the wall but Arnautovic feeds him again, and the next delivery is better - Arsenal can only eventually clear it for a corner. The delivery comes to nothing though despite their aerial dominance.
  • 22'
    Adam surges in from the left and wins a free kick right on the edge of the area after being bodychecked by Sagna. A great chance here...
  • 21'
    Ozil drops deep to collect from Ramsey and swivels to thread a ball through to Wilshere, but the Englishman can't control it after making a good run. he home crowd appreciated the German's vision there.
  • 19'
    Steven N'Zonzi wins the ball and surges forward before feeding Adam on the left. He takes his time before delivering a swerving cross that eluded Jones in the centre. Szczesny will be thankful as he completely misjudged that one, coming for it and getting left in no man's land.
  • 18'
    A cross is sent high into the Arsenal area and Wojciech Szczesny comes to claim with Kenwyne Jones bearing down on him. The keeper gets clipped in the air but holds on well - that'll be good for his confidence. He started the season poorly but has two consecutive clean sheets, and will badly want a third today.
  • 16'
    Stoke get forward for the first time and Bacary Sagna is forced to head Marc Wilson's cros from the right wing out for a throw. Midly better from the Potters.
  • 14'
    Wilshere overruns the ball here and flies into another challenge on Shawcross to concede a free kick. There's no denying the England midfielder's passion, but another like that will surely see him booked. He needs to calm down a bit.
  • 12'
    Ozil feeds Gnabry on the wing and the youngster wins a corner after a strong tackle from Arnautovic. Begovic comes to confidently claim the delivery though - that's better from the keeper.
  • 10'
    It's been all Arsenal so far, and the team looks full of confidence from back to front - although Wilshere shows a little too much here as he ploughs through Charlie Adam. It was Adam who conceded the foul for the goal.
  • 8'
    Sky Sports News have just reported that Walcott picked up a 'minor abdominal injury' in the warm-up, and is unavailable - Ryo Miyaichi is on the bench instead. Seems like Arsenal are just fine without him so far.
  • 7'
    Begovic really won't be happy whe he sees that goal again - a goalkeeper of his quality should either be catching shots like Ozil's, or pushing them clear of the danger zone. He did neither, and Stoke now have a difficult task ahead of them.
  • 5'
    Goal Aaron Ramsey
    RAMSEY SCORES!!! It's seven this season for the midfielder as Ozil bends a free kick around the wall and towards Begovic's bottom right-hand corner. The keeper is slow to react and only palms the ball out to his right, where the Wales captain is on hand to calmly slot home from six yards.
  • 4'
    Jack Wilshere advanced on goal and is clearly fouled, and Arsenal have a free kick in a good shooting position from 25 yards...
  • 3'
    Ryan Shawcross is being booed like a pantomime villain every time he gets on the ball - the home fans haven't forgotten the tackle that broke Ramsey's leg three years ago.
  • 2'
    Arsenal are zipping the ball about nicely here, and Gnabry gets his first touch down the right wing before being dumped on the floor. That's what it's like starting in the Premier League.
  • 1'
    We're underway at the Emirates! Stoke kick off and go long - some things never get old.
  • The announcement of Ozil's name is greeted with massive cheers - it's fair to say the crowd are pleased with that buy, Arsene...
  • The teams are out of the tunnel, and the home crowd get their first glimpse of Ozil. The Gunners were booed off on the first day of the season, but get a thunderous reception after winning every game since then. We should be in for an absolute cracker.
  • The Gunners will be favourites today, but Mark Hughes is quietly overseeing an evolution of sorts at Stoke. Their passing and possession stats are up, they're playing with confidence, and will be a tough proposition today. And in Asmir Begovic, they have one of the best goalkeepers in the Premier League.
  • Meanwhile, young Gnabry seems to have been given all of 15 minutes to prepare himself for the biggest game of his life - it's a tough blow for Arsenal to lose Walcott, but on such occasions are careers made. Over to you, Serge...
  • While all eyes will inevitably be on Ozil today, Aaron Ramsey has unquestionably been Arsenal's star so far this season. Many would have expected him to be the player to make way after the German's signing, but the Wales captain's goals so far have made it impossible to drop him.
  • Breaking team news - Theo Walcott has just been ruled out of today's game through illness, so starlet Serge Gnabry will play in his place. What a day for the young man!
  • Oh, and Nicklas bendtner is on the bench for Arsenal. Joy for the Gunners fans right there - though what price a later winner for the Dane?
  • For Mark Hughes' side meanwhile, new forward Marko Arnautovic gets his first full start for the Potters, who have started the season well with seven points from four games. A win by more than three goals would also send them top of the league, at least until the Manchester derby...
  • The big news for Arsene Wenger's side is that record summer signing Mesut Ozil makes his first home start, while Mikel Arteta is back on the bench to bolster the Gunners' midfield options.
  • Stoke subs: Sorensen, Whelan, Pennant, Palacios, Crouch, Etherington, Ireland.
  • Arsenal subs: Viviano, Jenkinson, Vermaelen, Arteta, Monreal, Bendtner, Gnabry.
  • Stoke starting XI: Begovic; Cameron, Shawcross, Huth, Pieters; Walters, Wilson, Nzonzi, Adam, Arnautovic; Jones.
  • Arsenal starting XI: Szczesny; Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs; Flamini, Ramsey, Wilshere; Ozil, Walcott; Giroud.
  • Good afternoon and welcome to the LIVE commentary of Arsenal v Stoke City at the Emirates Stadium. I'm Tom J Doyle, and I'll be guiding you through all of the action today. A win for the Gunners would send them top of the Premier League table. Crisis - what crisis?