News Matches

Stoke City v Arsenal Live Commentary, 5/13/17

1 - 4
P. Crouch (67)
O. Giroud (42)
M. Özil (55)
A. Sánchez (76)
O. Giroud (80)
bet365 Stadium


Thanks for joining our commentary this evening. Until next time, goodbye.
Stoke were barely in the contest and now have a run of just one win in 10 Premier League matches. Mark Hughes will be feeling the pressure as his side will finish the term just a fraction above the relegation zone. The Potters were booed at half-time and will have to ensure they do not end the season on a negative note in their final game at Southampton next week.
Arsenal secure a massive result in their bid to finish in the top four. Arsene Wenger's men put forward a fine display to win for only the second time at the bet365 Stadium in the Premier League. A brace from Olivier Giroud and strikes from Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez have put them to within one point of Liverpool, placing huge pressure on Jurgen Klopp's men in their clash against West Ham tomorrow.
The referee ends the contest.
The tempo of the game has dropped, with both teams just awaiting the full-time whistle. A rare victory for Arsenal on the road at the Potters.
Ramsey is played into all sorts of space down the left flank, and although he has support he cannot find Walcott on the edge of the box.
There will be four minutes of added time.
P. Crouch
Yellow Card
Stoke City
Crouch goes into the book for a lunge on Xhaka.
CHANCE! Bellerin and Walcott link up down the right and the winger tries to blast the ball past Butland at his near post, but the England keeper makes a smart stop.
SAVE! Sobhi unlocks the Arsenal defence down the left and his cross finds its way to Cameron for the strike on the edge of the box, but his effort is beaten away by a smart save from Cech before the Gunners scramble the rebound away.
T. Walcott
O. Giroud
Walcott comes on for the final throes to replace Giroud.
D. Welbeck
M. Özil
Welbeck replaces Ozil for the visitors.
Ramadan Sobhi
M. Arnautović
Stoke City
Arnautovic appears to have suffered an injury in the challenge by Holding and makes way for Sobhi.
A. Ramsey
Ramsey makes an impact straight off the bench as he beats Shawcross to tee up Giroud with a fine low ball.
O. Giroud
GOALLLL!!!!!! GIROUD SCORES THE FOURTH! Arsenal put the icing on the cake as Ramsey does well to hold off Shawcross before sliding a low cross into the six-yard box. Giroud pounces on the ball with a powerful left-footed strike on the slide to find the top corner. Game over!
R. Holding
Yellow Card
Holding wipes out Arnautovic on the left flank and goes into the book.
A. Ramsey
A. Sánchez
Ramsey replaces Sanchez after the decisive strike from the Chilean.
SAVE! A mistake by Johnson allows Ramsey to snatch the ball and drive into the box. He beats two challenges before firing at goal, but a fine save from Butland keeps him at bay.
A. Sánchez
GOALLLL!!!! SANCHEZ STRIKES! In his final act before leaving the field Sanchez delivers a crucial goal for Arsenal - surely wrapping up the game for the visitors. He collects on the edge of the box and is invited to shoot by the Stoke defence. The Chilean drills his effort into the bottom corner with the aid of a deflection from Shawcross. A super finish for his 50th Premier League goal.
Héctor Bellerín
Bellerin slides the ball to Sanchez for the striker to notch his goal.
A mistake by Xhaka allows Arnautovic to steal possession and advance, but his attempted pass to Crouch is cut out by Koscielny.
Sanchez does not look overly comfortable as he runs down the left channel and has a glance towards the Arsenal bench.
The tone of the game has changed completely with Crouch's goal. Arsenal were looking solid at the back until that point, but they're now unsettled to say the least.
Mustafi goes down clutching his face after appearing to get caught by a stray arm at a set-piece. He gets to his feet, but he's not happy with the officials.
The game has come to life now as Stoke are taking the game to Arsenal with the home supporters raising the volume inside the stadium.
M. Arnautović
Stoke City
Arnautovic's first raid down the flank ended with Diouf heading wide. On this occasion his good work is rewarded as Crouch converts his cross.
P. Crouch
Stoke City
GOALL!!!! CROUCH GETS STOKE BACK IN THE GAME! Crouch converts from close range as he diverts Arnautovic's cross past Cech to find the net. However, Arsenal will not be happy looking at the replays as the striker used his hand to send the ball home. Game on nonetheless.
Sanchez gets a knock in a challenge with Martins Indi, and he winces as he gets to his feet. He looks to be ok to continue as he regains his stride.
Crouch cannot keep the pressure on as he guides his header well wide of the target from Shaqiri's next delivery. Arsenal weather a storm there.
SAVE! Shaqiri's first cross is cleared only as far as Cameron, who nods the ball back into danger. Martins Indi back heads the ball towards the target and his effort almost loops over Cech before the keeper turns the attempt over the bar.
Pieters lifts a dangerous cross into the box and Shaqiri will have another opportunity to send a cross into the box.
Cech does well to protect his goal from an aerial bombardment for the home side. First he relies on Giroud to head Shaqiri's first cross behind, while the second he punches clear coming through a crowd of players.
S. Berahino
M. Diouf
Stoke City
Diouf makes way after his miss to be replaced by Berahino.
P. Crouch
J. Allen
Stoke City
Allen is withdrawn to be replaced by Crouch.
CHANCE! Stoke should be back in the game as Arnautovic does brilliantly down the left flank before cutting back on to his right foot. He delivers a fine cross into the box for Diouf, but the forward can only head his effort wide of the target. A poor miss from Diouf.
Giroud takes a whack to the head in an aerial battle with Shawcross. He requires treatment on the pitch before we can continue.
A. Sánchez
Sanchez delivers a sumptuous throughball between the Stoke defence, allowing Ozil to collect and score.
M. Özil
GOALLLL!!! OZIL FINDS THE NET! Arsenal double their lead with a sublime team move as Sanchez slides a perfect throughball between two defenders to find the German. Ozil keeps his composure to lift the ball over Butland into the top corner with a sweet left-footed strike. Another delightful team goal from the Gunners.
Arsenal break on the counter and through Coquelin win a corner down the left. However, a poor header from Mustafi allows the Potters to clear the danger.
Cech has to be alert to the dange as Johnson's cross from the right almost deflects into the path of Shawcross, but the keeper gets there ahead of the Stoke man.
Coquelin is brought down by a hard challenge from Cameron and the home supporters are not happy with referee Dean as he awards a free-kick to the Gunners.
Shaqiri wins possession from Xhaka and tries an ambitious cross to the back post for Diouf, but he gets too much power on his attempt and Cech watches it out for a goal-kick.
Better intent from Shaqiri as he runs at the Arsenal defence, but the attack ends with a heavy touch from the Swiss taking the ball out for a goal-kick.
We're back underway at the bet365 Stadium.
The players are out for the second half, so we should be underway shortly.
Stoke were booed off at the break by sections of their supporters. They were second-best throughout to the Gunners, struggling to break out of their own half. Mark Hughes will have to work with his players at the break to address their issues to get on the front foot.
The Gunners were the better side and controlled the first half, but had struggled to cut through the Potters' defensive line. However, their neat move just before the break allowed the Frenchman to convert from close range following good work from Francis Coquelin and Hector Bellerin.
Arsenal take a 1-0 lead into the break against Stoke thanks to Olivier Giroud's 11th Premier League goal of the campaign.
Arsenal put their foot on the ball to see out the half-time whistle.
There will be one minute of added time.
The Gunners are back in control now and are pushing men into the Stoke half in pursuit of a second before the break.
Héctor Bellerín
Bellerin does extremely well down the right to latch on to Coquelin's precise throughball before laying it on a plate for Giroud to score.
O. Giroud
GOALLL!!!!!! GIROUD TAPS ARSENAL AHEAD! Stoke now allow the Gunners space in behind as Coquelin threads a pass through to Bellerin. The wing-back speeds away from Pieters and plays a sublime ball across the face of goal for Giroud, who is left with a simple tap-in to hand Arsenal the lead. A fine team goal.
Stoke have been disciplined in their defensive work thus far - as other than Monreal's threat down the left they have not allowed Arsenal any space in behind.
Arsenal have just lost their control of the game over the last five minutes, with the home side enjoying a decent spell. This was always going to be a close contest, although Wenger will want to see more from his team in the final third before the break.
Arsenal come through an examination of their defending at set-pieces, which has been their undoing in the past at the bet365 Stadium, with two solid clearances.
Shaqiri probes on the edge of the box and he drops his shoulder to cut inside on the right flank to strike on his left foot. However, Koscielny gets across to make the block.
WIDE! This time Sanchez does collect in a stronger position to shoot on the left flank. He drives a low effort towards the target, but it lacks the direction to trouble Butland.
Sanchez collects on the right flank and has Giroud in support, but solid defending from Pieters stops him from firing a cross into the box, settling for a corner.
Allen latches on to a loose ball and drives into the box after beating the challenge of Holding, but he gets crowded out by Koscielny before he can pull the trigger in the right inside channel. Better from the home side.
OVER! Arnautovic takes the set-piece and bends his effort over the wall, but it fails to dip enough to find the top corner - just sailing over the bar.
S. Mustafi
Yellow Card
Mustafi is booked for his challenge on Shaqiri.
Mustafi dives in with a loose challenge on Shaqiri and he hands the Potters a dangerous free-kick to threaten from 25 yards from goal.
For all their possession Arsenal have not much penetration. Sanchez has not been as active on the edge of the box as Wenger would have liked. The Gunners need to feed the Chilean in the final third.
Monreal has been extremely active in the match thus far and he almost gets in behind the Potters down the right once more, but Ozil's lofted pass skips off the surface and bounces behind.
Sanchez and Giroud almost combine on the edge of the box to release the Frenchman, but Shawcross comes in with an important challenge to quell the opening.
Stoke are chasing shadows at the moment and can't get the near the Gunners in possession. It seems only a matter of time for Wenger's side.
OFF THE POST! Bellerin lifts a dangerous cross to the back post and Monreal guides a headed effort at goal, only to see his attempt clatter off the woodwork and bounce clear with Cameron making an important tackle to deny Coquelin.
Despite an improvement in Arsenal's form of late - it has not been enough to dispel some of his doubtes as a plane flies over the bet365 Stadium bearing a 'Wenger out' sign.
A ball over the top of the Stoke defence from Ozil almost finds Monreal on the left flank, but he just can't bring it under control before it trickles out for a goal-kick.
The Gunners have settled into a rhythm and are controlling the game at the moment. Stoke are defending deep, but need an out ball to stymie the pressure.
SAVE! Butland makes a great save to keep the Potters level as he leans back to tip Holding's header over the bar. The effort from the defender appeared to be dipping under the bar before the England keeper acted.
The Gunners win their second corner of the match as they continue to move men forward into the final third. A positive start from the visitors.
Monreal probes down the left and his cross is cleared behind by Martins Indi. The Gunners are starting to move the ball in dangerous positions.
Mustafi sends a long ball over the top of the Stoke defence for Sanchez, who shoots at goal first time, only to see the offside flag raised by the linesman.
Diouf collects a loose ball in the centre circle and goes on a charge through the middle of the Arsenal defence, and only a good tackle from Koscielny stops his progress.
We're underway at the bet365 Stadium.
The players are out on the pitch, so we should be underway shortly.
STAT ATTACK! Stoke have won four of their eight home meetings against Arsenal in the Premier League. The Potters have only tasted defeat once at the bet365 Stadium against the North London outfit, which came in 2010.
STAT ATTACK! Mark Hughes has not lost a Premier League home match to Arsene Wenger in their battles over the years, winning five of the contests.
Arsenal have made four changes from their team that beat Southampton 2-0 during the week. Hector Bellerin, Laurent Koscielny, Francis Coquelin and Olivier Giroud come into the fold this evening, while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain misses out due to injury.
Stoke have made one change from their draw with Bournemouth last time out. Erik Pieters comes back into the side ahead of Marc Muniesa, who drops to the bench.
Arsenal subs: Ospina, Gabriel, Elneny, Ramsey, Iwobi, Walcott, Welbeck.
ARSENAL (3-4-3): Cech; Holding, Mustafi, Koscielny; Bellerin, Coquelin, Xhaka, Monreal; Sanchez, Giroud, Ozil.
Stoke subs: Muniesa, Berahino, Adam, Walters, Crouch, Sobhi, Grant.
STOKE (4-2-3-1): Butland; Johnson, Shawcross, Martins Indi, Pieters; Cameron, Whelan; Arnautovic, Allen, Shaqiri; Diouf.
The team news has been announced and we'll start with the home side.
The Potters' home form has been decent enough this season, with only the top sides and Bournemouth emerging from the bet365 Stadium with victories this term. Stoke have played well against Arsenal at home in the past and will be determined to put on another strong display today.
Stoke have endured a poor second half to the season and have won just one of their last nine Premier League matches. As a result , the pressure on Mark Hughes has been elevated with the Welshman in need of a least one win before the end of the campaign to stave off the doubters.
Apart from their defeat at the hands of Tottenham, Arsene Wenger's men have been playing well of late. His switch to a back three appears to have solved some of the club's defensive issues and the Frenchman will be hopeful that continues against the Potters.
A victory today would ramp up the pressure on Jurgen Klopp's men ahead of their clash against West Ham tomorrow. The Gunners have a game in hand on the Reds, playing already-relegated Sunderland on Wednesday at the Emirates Stadium.
Out of the shadows Arsenal have re-emerged in the race for the top four with back-to-back wins over Manchester United and Southampton, leaving them in striking distance of Liverpool and Manchester City.
Good afternoon and welcome to the live commentary of the Premier League clash between Stoke City and Arsenal at the bet365 Stadium.