skip to content
Mikel Arteta decides to take the corner short.
Emmanuel Frimpong joins the action as a substitute, replacing Yao Gervinho.
Yao Gervinho takes a shot. Save by Asmir Begovic.
Free kick awarded for a foul by Glenn Whelan on Robin van Persie. Direct free kick taken by Wojciech Szczesny.
Robin van Persie fires in a goal from inside the six-yard box to the bottom right corner of the goal. Arsenal 3-1 Stoke.The assist for the goal came from Yao Gervinho.
Glenn Whelan fouled by Clarindo Andre Santos, the ref awards a free kick. Glenn Whelan takes the direct free kick.
Free kick awarded for a foul by Cameron Jerome on Wojciech Szczesny. Wojciech Szczesny takes the free kick.
Kenwyne Jones takes a shot. Wojciech Szczesny makes a save.
Free kick awarded for a foul by Clarindo Andre Santos on Dean Whitehead. Glenn Whelan restarts play with the free kick.
Robin van Persie is ruled offside. Indirect free kick taken by Matthew Upson.
Kenwyne Jones is brought on as a substitute for Peter Crouch. Cameron Jerome on for Matthew Etherington.
Robin van Persie grabs a goal from close range to the bottom right corner of the goal. Arsenal 2-1 Stoke.Assist by Yao Gervinho.
Corner taken by Mikel Arteta from the left by-line played to the near post, clearance by Peter Crouch.
Corner taken left-footed by Robin van Persie from the right by-line to the near post, Glenn Whelan manages to make a clearance.
Andrey Arshavin joins the action as a substitute, replacing Theo Walcott.
Corner taken short by Mikel Arteta.
(Arsenal) makes a substitution, with Robin van Persie coming on for Marouane Chamakh.
Foul by Clarindo Andre Santos on Matthew Etherington, free kick awarded. Matthew Etherington takes the direct free kick.
Salif Diao on for Rory Delap.
Foul by Alex Song on Jonathan Walters, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Asmir Begovic.
Mikel Arteta takes the inswinging corner, clearance by Glenn Whelan.
Andy Wilkinson challenges Theo Walcott unfairly and gives away a free kick. Andy Wilkinson booked for unsporting behaviour. Clarindo Andre Santos takes the direct free kick.
Corner taken by Mikel Arteta from the right by-line.
Unfair challenge on Mikel Arteta by Glenn Whelan results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Laurent Koscielny.
Outswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Mikel Arteta. Shot from just outside the area by Yao Gervinho goes over the bar.
The ball is sent over by Mikel Arteta, Marouane Chamakh takes a shot. Matthew Upson gets a block in.
Jonathan Walters has an effort at goal from long range that goes wide left.
Rory Delap challenges Laurent Koscielny unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Mikel Arteta.
Foul by Laurent Koscielny on Peter Crouch, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Ryan Shawcross.
Glenn Whelan takes the inswinging corner, Marouane Chamakh makes a clearance.
Aaron Ramsey challenges Dean Whitehead unfairly and gives away a free kick. The free kick is swung in right-footed by Glenn Whelan, Laurent Koscielny makes a clearance.
Goal scored by Peter Crouch from close in high into the middle of the goal. Arsenal 1-1 Stoke.The assist for the goal came from Jonathan Walters.
Laurent Koscielny gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Peter Crouch. Direct free kick taken by Glenn Whelan.
Corner taken by Mikel Arteta from the right by-line played to the near post, Peter Crouch makes a clearance.
Mikel Arteta fouled by Dean Whitehead, the ref awards a free kick. Dean Whitehead receives a yellow card for unsporting behaviour. Per Mertesacker takes the free kick.
Foul by Johan Djourou on Peter Crouch, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Marc Wilson.
Peter Crouch challenges Laurent Koscielny unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Wojciech Szczesny.
A goal is scored by Yao Gervinho from close range low into the middle of the goal. Arsenal 1-0 Stoke.Assist on the goal came from Aaron Ramsey.
Andy Wilkinson concedes a free kick for a foul on Alex Song. Direct free kick taken by Mikel Arteta.
Foul by Mikel Arteta on Rory Delap, free kick awarded. Free kick crossed left-footed by Andy Wilkinson from right channel.
The assistant referee flags for offside against Jonathan Walters. Per Mertesacker restarts play with the free kick.
Shot from just outside the box by Aaron Ramsey misses to the left of the goal.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Theo Walcott by Marc Wilson. Free kick crossed right-footed by Mikel Arteta from right wing, clearance by Matthew Upson.
Handball by Dean Whitehead. Wojciech Szczesny takes the direct free kick.
Foul by Rory Delap on Alex Song, free kick awarded. Aaron Ramsey takes the free kick.
Foul by Matthew Upson on Marouane Chamakh, free kick awarded. Aaron Ramsey restarts play with the free kick.
Effort from long distance by Mikel Arteta goes wide right of the target.
Jonathan Walters has an effort at goal from the edge of the area that misses to the right of the target.
Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Mikel Arteta from the right by-line, Headed effort from deep inside the penalty area by Marouane Chamakh misses to the left of the goal.
Johan Djourou produces a cross.
Rory Delap produces a cross, save by Wojciech Szczesny.
Matthew Etherington has an effort at goal from outside the penalty area which goes wide right of the goal.
Clarindo Andre Santos is penalised for a handball. Andy Wilkinson restarts play with the free kick.
Alex Song fouled by Glenn Whelan, the ref awards a free kick. Per Mertesacker takes the free kick.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Laurent Koscielny by Peter Crouch. Johan Djourou takes the direct free kick. The assistant referee signals for offside against Theo Walcott. Asmir Begovic takes the indirect free kick.
Wenger hails complete Van Persie
Arsene Wenger believes handing Robin van Persie the captain's armband has made him the best all-round striker in the Premier League.
The Arsenal manager insists his one-time problem player has grown into a leader who can help inject drive and desire into the Gunners after their struggling start to the season.
Wenger, whose side have won five of their last six matches without impressing, said: "He has made a big improvement on the mental side since he has arrived to this club. And I think the final step was the armband.
"Yes, he had a history of being a bit temperamental, but he is a guy who takes things on board."
Asked whether he was the best all-round striker in the Premier League, Wenger added: "This season, certainly, yes. The last six months, certainly the most efficient.
"He's not a typical goal-scorer. When you see him play it never comes to your mind that this guy is a goal-scorer. And then you look at the record and think he's not only a good player, he's as well a top class goal-scorer.
"For all the other goal-scorers you do the opposite. You think they do not contribute too much to the game but they score the goals. For him it's the opposite. You look, this is a good player. And then you see that he scores goals as well."
Wenger is mindful that Holland international Van Persie has played 16 matches this season already and 41 this year and he could even decide to rest him against Stoke at the Emirates stadium on Sunday.
Wenger said: "On Monday I decide always to rest him and on Friday I play him again. It is always a difficult decision (leaving him out) to make at the moment, but I will have to do it.
"We will assess everybody, then I will make the decision for Sunday. I will have to rotate a little bit."
Carl Jenkinson misses out with the knee problem he picked up against Marseille in the Champions League in midweek. He will be out for a fortnight, as will Kieran Gibbs with an injury to his stomach muscles.
Manager Tony Pulis believes tired minds have been more of a problem than weary bodies for Stoke in the games that have followed their European fixtures.
The last two times the Potters have played in the Barclays Premier League on the Sunday after a Thursday night Europa League assignment, they have been beaten, going down 4-0 at Sunderland and 2-0 at Swansea.
Having seen his team defeat Israeli outfit Maccabi Tel Aviv two days ago, Pulis is keen to halt the pattern and is convinced the key is getting his players' heads right.
"We have looked at the stats and it is a mental thing rather than a physical thing," Pulis said. "Our running stats in the games at Swansea and Sunderland were very good, but we didn't look as sharp as maybe we could have been.
"So we are looking at that - but Arsenal would be tough whether we had played Thursday or just last Saturday."
The Gunners have made a poor start to the season, but their form has picked up in recent weeks and Pulis is certainly not about to underestimate the task that lies ahead.
"It will be tough - Arsenal have won five of their last six games," Pulis said. "They are on a bit of a roll and I think people have forgotten that.
"In the team we pick, everyone will have to be on their mettle - if not, we will get beaten."
Pulis will check on the condition of winger Jermaine Pennant. Former Gunner Pennant has been experiencing some trouble with his hamstring and did not feature against Maccabi Tel Aviv.
Jonathan Woodgate also missed that game as he is not part of Pulis' European squad and will come back into contention if he is fit, while Danny Higginbotham - out since April with a knee injury - may be involved as well after playing for the reserves this week.
Van Persie is super-sub as Gunners win
Robin van Persie climbed off the bench to rescue Arsenal with two goals to sink Stoke 3-1 at the Emirates Stadium.
Arsene Wenger's decision to start his captain on the bench almost backfired as they only had Gervinho's strike to show for their dominance in the first half.
To add to their problems, former Tottenham striker Peter Crouch marked his return to north London with an equaliser 10 minutes before the interval.
With the Gunners labouring against their battle-hardened visitors, Van Persie was let loose with 25 minutes remaining.
And within a quarter of an hour he had scored twice to bail out his shot-shy team-mates and take his goal tally to a remarkable 29 in his last 34 appearances for the club.
It was hardly a convincing performance from Arsenal, and yet a sixth win in their last seven matches is not exactly the record of a club supposedly in crisis not so long ago.
In Van Persie's absence, Marouane Chamakh got a chance to impress, and he should have given Arsenal the lead in the 10th minute with a free header from Mikel Arteta's corner but made a mess of his effort which flew wide.
Mikel Arteta fired a low drive narrowly wide and Gervinho just failed to control Aaron Ramsey's lofted ball into the area as the hosts warmed to their task.
In the 23rd minute Ramsey almost repeated his midweek heroics in Marseille with a fierce drive which fizzed just wide.
The goal Arsenal had been threatening arrived in the 27th minute, with Ramsey the architect.
The Wales international, who had his leg broken by Stoke's Ryan Shawcross 18 months ago, collected a half-clearance from the Potters defender and chipped it back into the area.
Gervinho's chest control this time was perfect, creating the angle for him to beat the diving Asmir Begovic from 12 yards for his second goal since joining the club.
But Stoke grabbed a shock leveller seven minutes later from a disputed free-kick after Laurent Koscielny was adjudged to have fouled Crouch.
As Wenger protested to fourth official Jon Moss, Glenn Whelan lofted the ball into the area, Shawcross' cross found its way to Jon Walters at the far post and his header back across goal was nodded in by Crouch.
Arsenal began the second half sluggishly, with the biggest stir caused by Van Persie when he began to warm up on the touchline.
Chamakh passed up another half-chance with an overhead kick which drifted wide following a goalmouth scramble.
The change was inevitable and Van Persie finally made his entrance with 25 minutes remaining, replacing Chamakh.
The Dutchman almost made an immediate impact with a neat turn and a cross which flew just over the head of Ramsey.
But it took only eight minutes for the new arrival to get Arsenal back on track.
Gervinho beat Walters to reach the byline and pulled the ball back for new strike partner Van Persie, who squeezed the ball between Begovic and his near post.
And Van Persie had the final say with six minutes to go, Gervinho again the provider with a low cross which the in-form Holland star fired past Begovic to kill Stoke off.
© 2004 - 2015 football.co.uk