• Date: Sat 27 February 2010
  • Venue: Britannia Stadium
  • Ref: Walton, P
  • Attendance: 27,011
1 - 3
Arsenal

Arsenal

Bendtner (32)

Vermaelen (90)

Fabregas (90)P

Stoke City vs Arsenal

Team Lineups

Stoke City

Thomas Sorensen
Robert Huth
Ryan Shawcross
Abdoulaye Diagne-Faye (Danny Collins, 60)
Andy Wilkinson
Glenn Whelan
Danny Pugh
Dean Whitehead (Liam Lawrence, 78)
Rory Delap
Ricardo Fuller (Sanli Tuncay, 80)
Mamady Sidibe

Arsenal

Manuel Almunia
Bacary Sagna
Thomas Vermaelen
Gael Clichy
Sol Campbell
Cesc Fabregas
Samir Nasri (Da Silva Eduardo, 84)
Aaron Ramsey (Tomas Rosicky, 71)
Alexandre Song
Emmanuel Eboue (Theo Walcott, 75)
Nicklas Bendtner

Match Report
Aaron Ramsey suffered an horrific broken leg at Stoke City which overshadowed a 3-1 victory which put Arsenal right back in the race for the Premiership title. The 19-year-old midfielder crumpled in a heap after a foul by Ryan Shawcross, which earned the Stoke centre-back a straight red card in the 66th minute. Ramsey was attended to on the pitch by medical staff for several minutes and needed oxygen before he was stretchered from the field. The youngster received a standing ovation from both sets of supporters while the clearly upset Shawcross made the long walk with his head bowed. Arsenal had leaked three goals from Rory Delap long throws in losing on their previous two visits to the Britannia Stadium, so it wasn't a massive surprise when the same weapon worked again in the eighth minute. Delap's flat delivery from the right was headed on by the unmarked Shawcross and Danny Pugh was also unattended as he stooped to nod home at the far post. Pulis had been concerned that his players would be tired after Wednesday's extra-time FA Cup victory over Manchester City, but there was no sign of that as Stoke's power-play dominated the opening exchanges. Arsenal were struggling to make any dents in a rock-solid home defence, with Abdoulaye Faye and Shawcross marshalling operations superbly. But Arsene Wenger's men gradually got their passing game together to exert some pressure and they equalised with an excellent goal in the 32nd minute. Cesc Fabregas' cross from the right was immaculate and Nicklas Bendtner rose to direct a perfectly placed header high inside Thomas Sorensen's left-hand post from ten yards. The Arsenal defence still looked rocky when Stoke got the ball into dangerous areas, but the visitors were now in the ascendancy and finished the first half well on top. Arsenal started the second half with similar dominance and Ramsey could have won a penalty in a tangle with Faye before a shot from Gael Clichy drew a diving stop from Sorensen. Stoke earned some respite by winning three corners in succession, but it was only temporary as the Gunners upped the tempo again with Emmanuel Eboue's fierce drive forcing another fingertip stop from Sorensen. The pressure inevitably intensified after Shawcross was sent off and Arsenal made the breakthrough when Pugh handled Bendtner's intended pass and referee Peter Walton pointed to the spot. Sorensen got a hand to Fabregas' low penalty but couldn't prevent the ball from sneaking inside his left-hand post. Thomas Vermaelen then prodded a third in the fourth of seven minutes of stoppage time to ensure Stoke were beaten for the first time in 12 games.
Live Text Commentary
Full time
 

Stoke 1 Arsenal 3: Late goals from Fabregas and Vermaelen give Arsenal a valuable three points in the title race after a horrific injury for Aaron Ramsey.

90
Goal
 

Stoke 1 Arsenal 3: Rosicky strikes from the edge of the area, low to Sorensen's right. The keeper does well to keep the first effort out, but Fabregas follows up to turn the ball across goal where Vermaelen bundles home into an empty net.

90

Bendtner shoots but it hits Huth and goes for a corner. Stoke are really struggling to stay in this game now.

90

Bendtner is bundled over inside the area by Collins. The Arsenal players appeal for another penatly but it's not given.

90

The fourth official has indicated that there will be 7 minutes of stoppage time.

90
Goal
 

Stoke 1 Arsenal 2: Fabregas side-foots it right footed to Sorensen's left. The keeper guesses the right way, but can't get a strong enough hand on it to keep the ball out.

90
Penalty
 

Bendtner plays the ball through. It strikes the arm of Pugh and the referee points to the spot.

89

Arsenal really piliing on the pressure. Fabregas' cross from the right is headed away to the far post. Rosicky turns it back towards Walcott. Stoke half clear and eventually relieve the pressure.

87

Great chance for Eduardo but he fires wide from 8 yards. Song's clever pass finds the Croatian inside the area, he takes one touch out of his feet, but nudges it wide with Sorensen coming out to meet him.

85

Foul on Rosicky by Lawrence and Arsenal have a free-kick 35 yards from goal on the left. Fabregas takes and Campbell so nearly gets on the end of it at the far post, but it goes out for a goal-kick. That was half a chance for Arsenal.

84
Substitution
 

Arsenal substitution: In the final change of the evening, Eduardo comes on to replace Samir Nasri.

83

Fabregas tries to find the run of Walcott, but it's cut out on the edge of the Stoke area, with Walcott advancing onto it.

82

Rosicky chests the ball down on theedge of the area and takes a right foot shot, but he drags his effort tamely wide.

80
Substitution
 

Stoke City substitution: Tuncay comes on in Pulis' final change of the evening and he replaces Ricardo Fuller.

79

Song tries to unleash an effort from distance, but Delap does well to charge the ball down.

78
Substitution
 

Stoke City substitution: Lawrence replaces Whitehead for the hosts.

77

Fuller does well to hold the ball up on the edge of the Arsenal area. He plays it wide to the overlapping Whitehead, who produces a teasing low cross, but no one can get on the end of it.

76

Fabregas chips the ball forward looking for Bendtner, but the pass is too firm and it goes through to Sorensen.

75
Substitution
 

Arsenal substitution: Walcott enters the fray in place of Eboue.

74

Rosicky plays the ball behind the Stoke defence for Bendtner inside the Stoke area, but the flag goes up for offside as he takes the ball around Sorensen.

72

Long throw-in chance again for Stoke, 20 yards from goal on the right, this time Sagna clears for Arsenal.

72
Substitution
 

Arsenal substitution: Rosicky comes on for the injured Ramsey.

71

Ramsey is stretchered off and goes straight into the ambulnace as the games resumes.

69

Ramsey is still receiving medical attention and we look as though we're in for a lengthy stoppage. Ramsey's leg from first glance looked badly broken. It's a very serious injury for the Arsenal man.

66
Red Card
 

Shawcross hammers into Ramsey on half-way. It looks like Ramsey's leg could be broken here and Shawcross looks distraught at the chanllenge as he receives a red card. The Arsenal players are look pretty shook up.

65

Fuller gets on the end of a long punt forward and almost makes something out of nothing from a tight angle, but his shot is straight at Almunia.

64

Campbell bursts forward into the Stoke half and is brought down earning Arsenal a 40 yards from goal. Fabregas takes long into the Stoke area. Vermaelen rises highest, but can't find the target with his header.

62
Yellow Card
 

Song pulls back Delap on the right hand side and he gets himself a yellow card and will now miss the next two games.

60
Substitution
 

Stoke City substitution: Danny Collins comes on in place of Faye.

60

Fabregas tries his own luck from distance, but his shot goes well over.

59

Fine strike from 25 yards by Eboue and Sorensen is forced into a fine save to his left to tip the ball over for a corner.

58

Long throw-in from Delap lands in the centra of the 6 yard box. Almunia tries to punch under pressure from Sidibe but makes a bit of a hash of it and the referee bails him out by spotting a foul.

57

Nasri tries threading a ball forward for Fabregas inside the area, but it's wasteful from the Arsenal man and the ball runs harmlessly through to Sorensen in the Stoke goal.

56

Arsene Wenger will be far more pleased with how his side have started this half. They've enjoyed the lion's share of the possession and are starting to look more likely to find a way through the Stoke defence again.

55

Dangerous low cross from the right by Eboue goes right across the face of the six yard box, but Sorensen gets down and smothers the ball.

53

Fabregas lines up a shot from 30 yards. He hits it well, but it's charged down well by Huth.

52

Series of corners for Stoke and the home side are starting to create some pressure of their own.

51

Long throw0in from Delap is launched into the Arsenal area. Bendtner gets up to head away but it goes out for a corner.

51

It's been a much better start to the half for Arsenal. Clichy almost gets in down the left, but he tries skipping past a challenge rather than crossing and knocks it out for a goal-kick.

49

Penalty appeals for Arsenal as Ramsey turns inside the box. Faye bundles into the back of him and the Arsenal man goes down, but the referee waves the appeals away.

48

Fuller puts Clichy under pressure as he tries to shepherd the ball out for a goal-kick. Fuller manages to knock the ball onto Clichy and out for a corner, but the referee's assistant flags for a foul against the Stoke man.

46

Sidibe tries to play the ball out to the left for Fuller, but his pass is over-hit and it goes out for an Arsenal throw-in.

Second half
 

Arsenal get this second half underway.

Half time
 

Stoke 1 Arsenal 1: Bendtner's header on 32 minutes cancels out Pugh's early opener to send the sides in all square at one apiece.

45

The Gunners won't want to hear the half-time whistle as they're just starting to get into gear and put the hosts under pressure.

45

There will be 2 minutes of added time at the end of the half.

43

Bendtner drives at the heart of the Stoke defence. The ball is played wide to Clichy. He crosses early but the ball is cleared.

41

Danger in the Arsenal area. They don't clear on a couple of occasions and Sidibe is almost able to nick the ball.

40

Bendtner tries taking on his man down the left. He gets half a yard and crosses, but it's deflected out for a corner.

39

Eboue is brought down by Whitehead on the edge of the area and it's a free-kick to Arsenal in a dangerous position, 25 yards out and central.

37

Delap gets put away down the right. He finds Fuller inside the penalty area. Fuller twists and turns inside the area. He does well to create half a yard of space, but is eventually crowded out.

35

Lovely pass forward finds Ramsey inside the Stoke area on the right. He cuts inside but runs into trouble and the danger is over.

32
Goal
 

Stoke 1 Arsenal 1: Fabregas is allowed space to cross from the right. Bendtner gets up the highest and heads powerfully back into the far corner from 12 yards.

32

Fabregas drives to the edge of the Stoke area. He plays it wide to Sagna, who pulls it back for Fabregas, but he was caught on his heels and Stoke clear.

30

Good posession for Arsenal around the edge of the Stoke area. Clichy gets in a cross from the left, but Fabregas can't get his head to it and Stoke clear.

29

Wilkinson hits one on the volley from 30 yards, but it comes off the outside of his boot and goes well wide.

27

The corner gets played dangerously in-swinging towards the far post. Sorensen gets up to punch but misses it and it just goes out for a goal-kick at the far post.

26

Fabregas chests it down 25 yards out. He hits it early on the volley and Sorensen scrambles to his right to parry wide for a corner.

25

Delap has another throw, this time a lot closer to the corner flag. HE tosses it further into the six yard box, but Almunia gathers.

24

Another throw-in for Stoke a similar distance from goal, this time on the left. Shawcross gets up for the header 6 yards out, but he gets in front of the ball and it's headed back to the edge of the area.

23

Stoke have another dangerous throw-in which Delap will take 30 yards out on the right. It causes problems again in the Arsenal defence, but somehow it beats everyone and drifts out to the far side.

21

Arsenal look to break forward. Campbell drives into the Stoke half and plays it into Fabregas, but the Arsenal man gets robbed of possession again and Stoke earns themselves a free-kick on half-way for a foul on Fuller as they try to counter.

19

Clichy plays a long diagonal ball forward for Sagna on the right. He does well to keep the ball in play, but under pressure from Huth he concedes a goal-kick.

18

Eboue plays a good one-two with Fabregas and gets into the Stoke penatly area, but Faye slides in and clears up the danger.

16

Arsenal just starting to get into the game now. They play the first dangerous looking ball into the box from the left, but Faye gets up well to head away.

14

Bendtner receives the ball 40 yards from goal. He advances 15 yards before shooting, but he drags his shot well wide from the right corner of the area.

14

The ball is played up to Fabregas on the half-way line, but he gives the ball away under no pressure. It's been a really poor start for the Gunners.

12

Eboue forces a corner on the right for Arsenal. They take out-swinging, but it's straight at the first defender and headed clear.

11

Whitehead brings down Eboue as he moves into the Stoke half and it's a free-kick to Arsenal inside the centre circle.

9

Arsene Wenger will no doubt be very unhappy with how his team have started this match and the free header they allowed Shawcross for the goal.

8
Goal
 

Stoke 1 Arsenal 0: Delap launches the throw into the box. Shawcross gets up to head towards the far post and Pugh pounces to head home from a couple of yards.

7

Fuller does well to pressure Song running back towards his own goal and the Arsenal man is forced to give away a throw-in 6 yards out on the right,

6

Arsenal have made a pretty slow start to this game. Clichy surges forward with Arsenal's first real attack but he over hits his forward pass and it goes harmlessly out for a goal-kick.

5

Long throw from Delap, 40 yards out on the right. The ball is launched into the penalty area. It's flicked on by Sidibe, but it drifts out for a goal-kick.

3

Song gets robbed of possession 40 yards from his own goall. The ball gets played in behnd the Arsenal defence looking for the run of Fuller, but Almunia comes rushing out to claim. Sagna clashes with Almunia in the procees and requires treatment.

1

Fuller does well to get past Vermaelen down the right. He crosses low, but Campbell steps in to clear as Sidibe looked to get on the end of the cross.

Kickoff
 

The home side get this match underway.

Awaiting Kickoff
 

Stoke have won their last 4 home league games against Arsenal, the Gunners last away victory in this fixture coming in January 1982.

Awaiting Kickoff
 

Stoke are undefeated since the turn of the year and after dumping tonight's visitors out of the FA Cup they'll surely fancy their chances of claiming more league points. At least a draw and Stoke set a club top-flight record for games unbeaten.

Awaiting Kickoff
 

Gallas misses out through injury meaning a first Premiership start for Sol Campbell since his return to the club.

Awaiting Kickoff
 

Despite returning to light training, Etherington misses out for the hosts. Faye and Wilkinson do, however, return from bans.

Awaiting Kickoff
 

After Chelsea's slip-up earlier today at home to Man City, Arsenal could move to within three points of the leaders if they beat Stoke this evening.

Awaiting Kickoff
 

Arsenal team line-up: Almunia, Sagna, Vermaelen, Clichy, Eboue, Campbell, Fabregas, Nasir, Ramsey, Song Billong, Bendtner

Awaiting Kickoff
 

Stoke City team line-up: Sorensen, Huth, Shawcross, Faye, Wilkinson, Whelan, Pugh, Whitehead, Delap, Fuller, Sidibe