skip to content
Nicklas Bendtner is penalised for handball and concedes a free kick. Asmir Begovic restarts play with the free kick.
Robin van Persie fouled by Salif Diao, the ref awards a free kick. Johan Djourou restarts play with the free kick.
Shot from just outside the area by Bacary Sagna goes over the bar.
Ryan Shawcross concedes a free kick for a foul on Theo Walcott. Theo Walcott has a direct shot on goal from the free kick.
Kenwyne Jones leaves the field to be replaced by Salif Diao.
Jonathan Walters finds the net with a goal from inside the box to the bottom right corner of the goal. Stoke 3-1 Arsenal.
Robin van Persie finds the net with a goal from the edge of the area low into the middle of the goal. Stoke 2-1 Arsenal.Marouane Chamakh provided the assist for the goal.
Tomas Rosicky joins the action as a substitute, replacing Alex Song.
Shot on goal by Robin van Persie from just inside the area clears the crossbar.
Corner taken left-footed by Danny Pugh, Ryan Shawcross gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Wojciech Szczesny. Direct free kick taken by Wojciech Szczesny.
Glenn Whelan takes a shot. Save made by Wojciech Szczesny.
Corner taken by Robin van Persie from the right by-line, Abdoulaye Faye makes a clearance.
Corner taken right-footed by Theo Walcott from the left by-line, Ryan Shawcross makes a clearance.
Corner taken by Robin van Persie, Kenwyne Jones manages to make a clearance.
Robin van Persie takes a shot. Blocked by Asmir Begovic.
Danny Pugh comes on in place of Jermaine Pennant.
Jack Wilshere challenges Jermaine Pennant unfairly and gives away a free kick. Jermaine Pennant delivers the ball, Rory Delap produces a header from deep inside the six-yard box which goes wide of the right-hand post.
The referee shows Jack Wilshere a yellow card for unsporting behaviour. Jermaine Pennant booked for unsporting behaviour.
Marouane Chamakh concedes a free kick for a foul on Kenwyne Jones. Direct free kick taken by Andy Wilkinson.
Free kick awarded for a foul by Jermaine Pennant on Robin van Persie. Free kick crossed left-footed by Jack Wilshere, Glenn Whelan manages to make a clearance.
Laurent Koscielny fouled by Kenwyne Jones, the ref awards a free kick. Laurent Koscielny takes the direct free kick.
Unfair challenge on Jack Wilshere by Dean Whitehead results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Kieran Gibbs.
Rory Delap takes a shot. Blocked by Laurent Koscielny.
Nicklas Bendtner concedes a free kick for a foul on Jermaine Pennant. Booking for Nicklas Bendtner. Asmir Begovic takes the direct free kick.
The referee blows for offside against Andy Wilkinson. Indirect free kick taken by Wojciech Szczesny.
Robin van Persie takes a shot. Save made by Asmir Begovic.
Foul by Robin van Persie on Jermaine Pennant, free kick awarded. Asmir Begovic restarts play with the free kick.
Marouane Chamakh produces a right-footed shot from just outside the penalty box that goes wide left of the target.
Shot from long distance by Nicklas Bendtner misses to the right of the target.
(Stoke) makes a substitution, with Abdoulaye Faye coming on for Robert Huth.
Corner taken right-footed by Jermaine Pennant from the right by-line, Robert Huth has a headed effort from close in and clears the bar.
Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Andrey Arshavin, clearance made by Ryan Shawcross.
Nicklas Bendtner joins the action as a substitute, replacing Andrey Arshavin. Marouane Chamakh replaces Aaron Ramsey.
The assistant referee signals for offside against Robin van Persie. Asmir Begovic restarts play with the free kick.
Free kick awarded for a foul by Dean Whitehead on Jack Wilshere. Direct free kick taken by Aaron Ramsey.
Jonathan Walters takes a shot.
Jermaine Pennant grabs a goal from outside the penalty area to the top right corner of the goal. Stoke 2-0 Arsenal.
Robin van Persie gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Ryan Shawcross. Direct free kick taken by Asmir Begovic.
Foul by Jack Wilshere on Dean Whitehead, free kick awarded. Asmir Begovic takes the free kick.
Jack Wilshere takes a shot. Blocked by Dean Whitehead.
Jonathan Walters takes a shot. Wojciech Szczesny makes a comfortable save.
Andrey Arshavin gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Jermaine Pennant. Jermaine Pennant sends in a cross, Kenwyne Jones finds the net with a goal from close in to the bottom right corner of the goal. Stoke 1-0 Arsenal.Jermaine Pennant provided the assist for the goal.
Unfair challenge on Jermaine Pennant by Laurent Koscielny results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Asmir Begovic.
Shot from just outside the box by Bacary Sagna misses to the right of the goal.
Shot from 18 yards by Jonathan Walters. Wojciech Szczesny makes a comfortable save.
Jack Wilshere concedes a free kick for a foul on Dean Whitehead. Glenn Whelan takes the direct free kick.
Theo Walcott has an effort at goal from just inside the box that misses to the right of the target.
Shot from just outside the box by Jermaine Pennant misses to the right of the goal.
Andrey Arshavin takes the inswinging corner, Shot from deep inside the area by Laurent Koscielny clears the bar.
Robin van Persie produces a left-footed shot from inside the area that clears the bar.
Long range shot by Glenn Whelan goes over the bar.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Jermaine Pennant by Kieran Gibbs. Direct free kick taken by Asmir Begovic.
Andrey Arshavin produces a right-footed shot from the edge of the area and misses to the left of the target.
Wenger maintains respect for Pulis
Arsene Wenger insists he has respect for Stoke boss Tony Pulis and every other manager - no matter what their approach to the beautiful game.
There has been little love lost between the two coaches, whose tactical approaches are at the opposite ends of the footballing spectrum.
Earlier this season, Stoke went as far as writing to the Football Association to complain over Wenger's comments they employed "rugby on the goalkeepers" with reference to Ryan Shawcross' and Robert Huth's challenges on Tottenham number one Heurelho Gomes.
Wenger, though, insists he is not interested in adding any more fuel to the flames ahead of what is set to be an emotional return to Britannia Stadium for Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey, who suffered a double leg fracture after a tackle from Shawcross there in February 2010.
"You can have disagreements and respect," said the Arsenal manager. "I always give my honest feeling about things, that will never change. I respect every single manager in the league."
Arsenal recovered from the loss of Ramsey as they went on to win last season's game at Stoke with two late goals, but on Sunday must again do without injured captain Cesc Fabregas because of a thigh problem.
Wenger is expecting nothing less than a stern examination from the FA Cup finalists - with former Gunner Jermaine Pennant impressing on the flank to supply Trinidad & Tobago striker Kenwyne Jones.
"When you look at the difficulty to remain in the Premier League, the fact Stoke were safe very early is great credit to them," Wenger told Arsenal TV Online.
"They have played much better [football] this season, and maybe that is why they have done better as well.
"There is a logic in the way Stoke build their team and you have to say Pennant has had a good season, delivering many balls for them."
Centre-back Thomas Vermaelen could return for Arsenal after nine months out with a niggling Achilles problem.
Full-back Gael Clichy (hamstring) and defender Johan Djourou (ankle) face fitness tests but Samir Nasri and Abou Diaby remain out along with Fabregas.
Shawcross will not be fazed by the prospect of facing Ramsey for the first time after his challenge broke the midfielder's leg, according to Stoke assistant manager Dave Kemp.
Ramsey has made a full recovery from his horrific injury that sparked an outcry from Arsenal, scoring the winner against Manchester United last weekend.
Kemp said: "Ryan is an excellent professional. He is our captain and growing as a player. He conducts himself well in training and on match days.
"In any player's career you will have ups and downs and things you have to deal with. I don't expect anything to affect his performance.
"Everyone is pleased Aaron Ramsey is up and running and playing well and scoring the winner against United. We don't want him scoring on Sunday, but we wish him well."
Asked if the players would shake hands when the teams line-up, Kemp sidestepped the question.
"It is not a big issue," he said. "Stoke City versus Arsenal is a big game. There is enough going on without concerning ourselves about side issues."
On-loan striker John Carew is aiming for another run-out after coming off the bench in the draw against Blackpool following a back problem.
Full-back Andy Wilkinson is expected to shrug off a knock in time for the game but Matthew Etherington, Ricardo Fuller and Danny Higginbotham remain sidelined through injury.
Gunners title hopes shot down at Britannia
Stoke once again exposed Arsenal's soft underbelly with a deserved 3-1 victory which finally extinguished the dying embers of the Gunners` outside chance of making a late run for the Barclays Premier League title.
First-half goals from Kenwyne Jones and Jermaine Pennant were conceded far too easily and further defensive weaknesses were exposed after the break as the Londoners got themselves back into the game late on only to throw away their good work seconds later.
Robin van Persie hit his 19th in his last 21 matches, the eighth time in succession he had scored away from home, with less than 10 minutes remaining only for Jon Walters to go straight down the other end and make it 3-1.
It was a defeat which put the top of the table beyond reach for Arsene Wenger's side, although in truth they had blown their chances of ended a six-year wait for a trophy several weeks ago.
Much of the pre-match focus had been on the return of midfielder Aaron Ramsey to the ground where he horrifically broke his leg in two places last season and a first meeting with Ryan Shawcross, the player whose tackle inflicted the injury.
As a result, despite Stoke's short time in the Premier League, these two sides have managed to build up plenty of history, with Wenger heavily critical of what he perceives as Stoke's over-physical style.
But the more relevant history related to Stoke's threat from set-pieces and Arsenal's tendency to concede soft goals.
Both were prevalent at the Britannia Stadium and contributed significantly to the result.
Their problems were mainly all of their own making, typified by the opening goal which was scored with far too much ease.
Goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny had already flapped at one cross which Pennant hooked wide when he was left totally exposed by his defence in the 28th minute.
Andrey Arshavin's needless push on Pennant close to the corner flag allowed the winger to clip over a free-kick and Jones, having evaded Johan Djourou far too easily, simply jogged in and let the ball hit him on the chest to divert it over the line.
The lack of effort required by the Trinidad and Tobago international to score against the league's third-placed side was embarrassing and Jones, presumably surprised by such a gift, did not even celebrate.
Arsenal should have been ahead well before that point though as the usually prolific van Persie blazed over from 10 yards when put through by Ramsey's through-ball.
Stoke fans' chant of "1-0 to the rugby team" was aimed at Wenger but the only direct thing about Stoke's second was the run of Pennant.
Cutting in from the left he was allowed to advance unchallenged and when Djourou belatedly came to meet him the winger fired in a shot which deflected off the defender and over Szczesny.
Arsenal were spared further embarrassment by the crossbar just before the break when Walters shot from a narrow angle on the left of the penalty area.
Strikers Nicklas Bendtner and Marouane Chamakh replaced Ramsey and Arshavin for the second half but it was the other end of the pitch where the Gunners were lacking as within seconds of the restart Robert Huth headed over Pennant's corner.
In the ensuing melee Alex Song appeared to catch the defender in the face with an elbow which went unnoticed by referee Mark Halsey.
There was greater concern for Huth when he suffered an injury scare six days before the FA Cup final, limping off with a knee problem.
For all the complaints about host's approach to the game, Bendtner was the first player to be booked when he upended Pennant close to the touchline, although the Stoke winger soon followed into the book for his retaliation to Jack Wilshere's studs-up challenge which also earned him a caution.
As the match entered its closing stages chances came at both ends; Begovic launching himself at Van Persie's feet to block an almost-certain goal and Glenn Whelan forcing Szczesny to tip his shot around the post from a counter-attack.
But with nine minutes remaining Begovic's slip up in allowing van Persie's shot to roll underneath him gave Arsenal a glimmer of hope.
But, true to form, a minute later Djourou's miserable afternoon was complete when his half-clearance fell to Walters who poked home.
Stoke still have a cup final to look forward to, for Arsenal there is only next season.
© 2004 - 2014 football.co.uk