Report: Stoke 1-4 Arsenal (inc. goals)

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Starting XI: Cech, Mustafi, Koscielny, Holding, Bellerin, Coquelin, Xhaka, Monreal, Ozil, Alexis, Giroud

Subs: Ospina, Gabriel, Ramsey, Walcott, Iwobi, Welbeck, Elneny


Arsenal closed the gap on fourth-place Liverpool to one point as they secured their first win at Stoke City since 2010 with a classy 4-1 win.

The Gunners dominated throughout and deserved their half time lead as Olivier Giroud tapped home Hector Bellerin’s cross from close range. Mesut Ozil doubled the advantage after great work from Alexis before Peter Crouch, with a blatant handball, reduced the deficit on 67 minutes. Arsene Wenger’s men weathered a brief onslaught from the home side before Alexis Sanchez and Olivier Giroud killed the game.

First half

So often in past fixtures at Stoke, the home side have unsettled Wenger sides by roaring out of the traps, snapping into challenges and pressing high up the pitch. That wasn’t the case on this occasion as Hughes’ men sat deep, affording the Gunners plenty of space in midfield where the likes of Xhaka and Ozil enjoyed spraying passes about the pitch.

Arsenal were confident in possession with particular joy coming down the left as Monreal and Sanchez charged behind the Stoke defence to chase diagonal balls. Both men couldn’t quite get the ball down in time to get off shots. The Spaniard did hit the post on 16 minutes with a header from a Bellerin cross, that coming after Mustafi had forced Jack Butland to tip over from a corner.

The Gunners looked relatively comfortable at the back until a rash, late challenge by Mustafi on Shaqiri earned the German a booking and Stoke a chance to shoot at goal from the edge of the box. Arnautovic curled his effort just over.

Arsenal finally got the goal their dominant performance deserved on 41 minutes and somewhat surprisingly, it was Francis Coquelin who played a key part in picking the Stoke lock. The Frenchman, in for Aaron Ramsey and playing further up the pitch than usual, delivered a defence-splitting pass for Hector Bellerin who looked up and squared for Olivier Giroud to tap in his second goal in four days. (1-0)

So lacklustre were Stoke that when the referee blew his whistle for half time they were greeted with hearty boos by their own support. Mark Hughes looked particularly naffed off.

Second half

Ten minutes after half time the Gunners consolidated their position with a fantastic second goal by Mesut Ozil. The German picked up the ball in the centre of the park, fed the ball to Alexis and then continued his run into the box. The Chilean knew exactly what he wanted to do, he just needed to get the weight on the through ball right. It was perfect and allowed Ozil to take a touch before clipping over Butland. Arguably, one of the Gunners best goals of the season. (2-0)

Stoke really should have reduced the deficit just before the hour but Mame Biram Diouf somehow headed wide from two yards out after Arnautovic had turned Holding and delivered a cross from the by-line. A let-off for the Gunners.

The home side continued to pressure, winning a succession of corners that were aimed at substitute Peter Crouch. For the most part, Arsenal dealt with the threat although Bruno Martins Indi did test Cech with a header.

The pressure finely told on 67 minutes but there was huge controversy about the way the ball ended up in the back of the Arsenal net. In real time it looked as though Crouch had headed Arnautovic’s cross past Cech, but replays showed the striker had shamelessly used his hand. Wenger went apoplectic on the touchline. And rightly so. (2-1)

Things looked liked going from bad to worse for the Gunners when Alexis Sanchez signalled to the bench that he needed to come off. The Chilean was holding his thigh and looked in pain, but with the bench sluggish to react he was left on. Amazingly, he made a telling final contribution, scoring the goal that finally killed Stoke’s resistance.

How he found the energy to charge at the Stoke box and smash home, with the aid of a slight deflection, was astonishing. He really is a freak of nature. (3-1)

Alexis trudged off, receiving a high five from Wenger, a hug from Vic Akers and Aaron Ramsey was sent on. The Welshman had a chance to score immediately but could only shoot straight at Butland. The reprieve for the home side was temporary. Again Ramsey burst forward, this time he picked out Giroud who slid home for his second of the game. (4-1)

The win takes the Gunners up to 69 points and keeps the pressure on Liverpool who travel to West Ham tomorrow afternoon. It’ll be all eyes on the London Stadium where we need Slaven Bilic’s men to do us a favour.

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121 Comments on "Report: Stoke 1-4 Arsenal (inc. goals)"

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H2k

Normally this season we capitulate when something game changing goes against us. Mike Dean letting Crouch’s hand ball goal count could easily have been the latest. So it was great to see Arsenal not fall apart, keep their heads high and go on to win, and win well. Its performances like this which will give us confidence in the last couple of games and put pressure on Liverpool.

On a side note, who let David Pleat be a commentator. Ugh.

Smart-Arse

Fuck yes! That felt SO good. What a way to shut those fucking orc cunts up!!!! Get in!!!!!

wengajenga

Man david pleat was so bad, everytime he spoke my ears started hurting.The bias of the guy was so obvious spewing vitroil everytime he got the chance.ugh

Liam Bradys left peg

Yeah the kerb crawling spud cunt.

GunneRon

Fuck off David Pleat for calling Rob Holding a cheat not long after the cheating cunt crouch scored with his hand.

triobaldcott

10/10 for Vic Akers today. Looked smooth as f*ck.

ramgooner

Nobody sees the orcs with naked eyes.

NW Gooner

Wears avaitors 10x better than Kroenke

Indian Gooner

People who don’t know the difference between a blanket and a banner ffs get to commentate.

Ray Middleton

Pleat was deplorable. So nice when the 3rd and 4th goals slammed i.

SDS

David Pleat, what a colossal bellend he is.

DialSquareGoon

Thats three hoodoos destroyed in a row! A big shout to Rob Holding, what a player, getting sweet revenge for Debuchy! Shutting up that obnoxious crowd made my day! COYG!!

Jordan

come on Liverpool, drop them damn points!

GunneRon

Yeah game on now. Bring it on Liverpool !
On another note, My personal salute to Alexis Sanchez for showing unbelievable desire, drive and determination to score even after getting injured. What a warrior, What a fucking great player !

Liam Bradys left peg

It will be very difficult to replace him and all his attributes far outweigh a few misplaced passes and what some say is a dip in form! Bollocks!! We need him and more like him.

Atom

Seriously who votes that down. Even if you don’t like Wenger I don’t understand how anyone can cheer for their team to fail

Maniac

Watching Arnautovic get exactly what he deserved was delicious. Well done Holding! #JusticeForDebuchy

CountLeaf

that tackle from Holding.

officially one of the dearest moments of this season.

Xxxrob

Was brilliant but he was also massive part of the third crucial goal too. Waltzed through cunt 1 and 2 and fed bellerin. Really really like this kid what a signing

Cliff Bastin

Yes we need to analyse why our season imploded but consecutive wins at old trafford, st mary’s and modor deserves huge credit. Well done boys

Gunnya

Emirates not ot

shokim

Got three hoodoos off our backs – woohoo! Time to celebrate a good away way.

PS. The ref and Arnautovic are cunts.

shokim

*good away win

Anonymarse

Need to follow it up with a win against Chelsea

Boomtime

Haha! That was a nice one to watch. Holding on Arnautovic was superb, what a guy. Oh, and random second-hand colostomy bag NBCSN cunt, up yours.

Aaron

The worst was his actual audible “yes!” when Crouch’s hand scored.

Wade wilson

Mike Dean absolutely atrocious! Should never be allowed to officiate. However it seems with got a Dean proof kit😝. And a shout out to commentators calling cheating controversial. C’Mon you IRONS

marc

not sure which tv station David Pleat was giving analysis for, US one I think, but what a pompous twat!

Good play and Alexis with the badge taps again…what does it mean?

Bob\'s Mexican Cousin
Bob\'s Mexican Cousin

He made it all the way to Mexico the wanker.

Nicely done Holding, slaying orcs to benefit humanity.

a different George

I think this was a feed that can be picked up (for a fee, obviously) for broadcast in various countries. The “in-house” NBC crew for the U.S. (Arlo White with Lee Dixon or Graham LeSaux or both) did the Leicester-Chelsea match yesterday and, I would guess, will be at West Ham tomorrow.

Gunnya

Holding taking Arnautovic out of the game was the best 😀

Mississippi Gunner

My girlfriend and me, simultaneously, when the camera showed Giroud:

“Jesus Christ”

richardanus

Good laaad…

NewSeason

Fuck Mike Dean. Fuke Stock City. Fuck Mark Hughes. Fuck that commentator on NBC who asked the Rob Holding “fuck you yellow card on Arnautovic” to be changed to red.
Most of all, fuck you to the bunch that spent money on the airplane today. We know change is necessary, and we have the whole summer to demand it. Just support the team during the game.

Ash

I swear NBC are so anti-arsenal.

Me So Hornsey

If we lose out to Liverpool by a single goal’s goal difference I’m coming after that ref. Metaphorically. I don’t mean in a Chelsea scum target his family type of way. Or do I? Of course I don’t. The Hammers better put the notion out of my head tomorrow. Come on you Irons!

a different George

If we win our last two matches, we cannot be level with Liverpool on points, so goal difference cannot matter. (There are various unlikely combinations where goal difference could matter–if Liverpool lose both their matches and we lose one and draw one, or if Liverpool draw both matches and we win one and lose one.) So Mike Dean, although he does not deserve it, will probably escape your wrath.

Gudang Bedil

Haha fakoff Arnautovic! I love the way Holding slam him. That’s for Debuchy.

Original Paul

The Orcs are defeated, we march on proud COYG!

lookf

For Frodo!!!!

Ni_Yulii

Watching the game and David Pleatt argues about Holding’s intent on fouling Arnoutovic. He even calls for a red card..

As for Crouch’s goal. He says “to me its a header”. And later after confirmation he speaks of intent. How Crouch’s intent was to head the ball, but the hand came first.

Commentary at it’s worst for me.

Cracked

Holding on Arnautovic was a great bit of karma for what he did to Debuchy.

Armchair Expert

Fucking Stokies were shown today how to play actual football and score goals!

How awful was Mike Dean again? How does he still have a job? Does an opposition player have to basically murder one of ours for him to show the yellow card?

Also, that commentator on NBCSN, David Pleat I think, what a fucking knob! He couldn’t see the clear elbow on Giroud but Holding’s shoulder push was reckless? Get a fucking grip!

Mark C

If a non-British player scored a goal like that with his hand, we’d hear endless sanctimonious moralizing from the pundits about cheating..:

JustBrowsing

Sanchez is clearly injured, thinks fuck this I’ll just run it off and score. Joyous!
He was even tracking back and making runs still.
Football won today when the orcs resorted to their rugby tactics..honestly, fuck them and their fans.
He looks so happy ATM, and that celebration. I think he’s staying 😀
I’ve already asked my West Ham mates to do us a favour, coz we know that works right? Haha
Top 4, FA cup, sign the ox, Sanchez and Ozil up and the fabled worldy striker and I’ll be dreaming again.
COYG!!

Arsene\'s Coat

Cracking all round performance. David Pleat can fuck right off.

Arsene\'s red tie

I was so happy with Holding’s foul on Arnautovic!!!!!!
Serves him right for that Debuchy incident a couple of years ago…

ramgooner

That Holding tackle on Aurnatovic is on par with Lauren on Ronaldo. What a lad.

DB10**

Thou shalt not pass.

Stoke player not happy when they get played some of their own ‘football’.

John C

Another match that highlights the complete lack of character of our team, in end of season matches against teams with nothing too play for we switch it on to fall over the line. Disgraceful!

Wenger out

Twatsloch

Love the sarcasm mate. It is sarcasm, right?

John C

No, these are the types of performances that Wenger will hold up as justification to carry on as normal, completely ignoring that our last 3 matches have been against teams that have had either other priorities or are on holiday.

If he stays on next season a year from now we’ll beat Chelsea 3-0 at The Bridge 3 days after they seal their consecutive title and again it’ll be held up by Wenger as how we have so much character dispite being 15 points behind them, then rinse and repeat for another year, and then another year ad infinitum

Twatsloch

Zzzzzzzzzzzz

Des

Yeah what wankers eh? Winning football matches. Who do we think we are?

Mikeh

You paid for that plane, didn’t you!!!

momozemio

ahah…. exvellent one!! I almost spit the wine I was drinking to celebrate this fantastic win 🙂

papergooner

I totally agree. The man is a fraud. He intentionally keeps us from winning the title but wins just enough games to keep his managerial position. He even does it in specific patches so he can build trust among us fans, then tear it away when we the team are achieving way too much.

My theory is that Wenger purposely denies us trophies and the league to lower the clubs expectations of success. He messed up the formula in the first quarter of his reign, but since around 2006 he has mastered this art of the fourth place trophy. Disgraceful!

In recent years, he had to win us two FA cups to shut up the 99.9% of Arsenal supporters who deserve to win the league every year. But now the majority of fans, in the 100’s, are rising against him.

30 years ago Wenger should have signed Messi, Ronaldo, Iniesta, Xavi and Buffon. Clearly this man has no clue what he is doing, most teams in world would have the insight of signing these class players before they are even born. Every other team in the world are winning their respective leagues and Champions League every year and yet we have had not ANY success in the past 21 years.

The worst thing is, I am not even asking for that much. I just can’t bear Arsene’s sadism anymore. For change to happen, the ‘real fans’ need to make their voices heard. Rant over!

#Wengerout

arseblog
Admin

This is one of the stupidest things I’ve ever read

Lord Bendtner

I know right. How dare he come back from Stoke with a victory. What was he thinking?

MateKiddleton

Pretty sure this is just a pisstake. Re-read it again…

Dr Richard Kimble

I respectfully arkse you to roll up your airplane banner and stuff it up your 4rse sideways.

Twatsloch

My man of the match – Holding for bankaxing Arnautovic. Long overdue!

Twatsloch

Banjaxing!

richardanus

…and man of the moment for turning our season around, in recent weeks, old fruit.

espen

Go Hammers go!!!!!

Dan P

Lovely to think of all those Stoke fans crying into their meat pies, but….
It is just amazing how we turn into 1970s Brazil every year when there’s nothing to play for, always nice to win but we still need a different manager and a big shake up

Gunner Up North

We’re still playing in the hope of champions league football next season. I know that’s not the most we’ve all hoped for but it could be a factor in wether one of our best players stays or goes and who we might be able to bring in this summer. But yes we do need another manager. Hopefully we can get top four and the cup this season and Mr Wenger can leave with his legacy intact, just like it should be.

Rufusstan

We are also playing to build momentum, and get the confidence in our new system so that we are ready for Chelsea in 2 weeks time.

Our ‘nothing to play for’ is an FA cup.

GoonerBert

Just saw Rob Holding’s interview on Sky. Looks like an Arsenal legend in the making! That was a great performance from the team. COYG!!

roastimbou27

I bloody LOVE Rob Holding

richardanus

I do too Roasty.

lovely arse

Well that was pleasant.

Parisian Weetabix

In the aftermath of a win which should have made for a thoroughly satisfying watch, I’ve compiled this list of things David Pleat said that really pissed me off and ensured that it ultimately wasn’t:

– Calling Berahino “Beharino” and then “Berino”.

– “Crouch is 34.”
Crouch is 36. When informed of this, Pleat replied “Exactly” as if this somehow confirmed his point.

– “Crouch clearly scored with his head.”
Analysts later confirmed Crouch scored with his hand.

– “The Premier League will conclude next Saturday.”
The Premier League concludes next Sunday.

– Remaining completely oblivious to all of the main commentator’s attempts to introduce humour to proceedings.
“Sometimes Ozil’s off the ball work doesn’t match his on the ball work.”
“What off the ball work? (ha ha)”
“Well, you see sometimes Ozil can be perceived as being quite lazy and not putting enough effort in for the team.”
Gosh, really? Tell us something we don’t know maybe.

– “Shawcross looks innocent to me” after Shawcross elbowed Giroud in the face. The last time Shawcross was innocent he was still in his dad’s balls.

– “Focus is Arsene Wenger’s favourite word.”
Pretty sure you and focus can pipe down and wait in line behind handbrake and mental strength.

– “Pochettino likes the word focus because Arsene Wenger uses it.”

– “Tony Adams scored the goal that won Arsenal the Premier League at Everton.”
We were 3-0 up at the tmime.

– He called the banner flown behind the plane a blanket.

– “The referee’s shirt is the wrong colour, he should change it.”
Interesting insight into David Pleat’s warped perception of colour, and a possible explanation for his warped perception of the rest of the game.

– “They should make the technical areas slightly further apart so that the managers don’t interfere with the fourth official.”
Really focusing in on the important parts of the game there. I for one hope that Pleat manages to have this increase in space implemented. What a legacy it will be.

– Saying Holding should’ve been sent off for a fairly routine foul on Arnautovic. If such fouls were to merit red cards we’d have finished the game with about six players still on the pitch. And he was saying earlier on how the referees should try and keep as many players on the pitch as possible. And also earlier on Joe Allen made a similar foul, received no card, and Pleat commended both him and the referee.

I’m sure I missed some so feel free to add. This match was an ordeal. Bring back Gale and Townsend, at least they tend only to have stupid opinions rather than objectively getting facts wrong.

PFo

1. It wasn’t Pleat, but the other guy (Jon Champion, I think?) who said it, but the “what off the ball work,” comment about Ozil irked the hell out of me. You’re supposed to be a fair-minded professional, describing the action before you and letting the other guy bring the “colour” and “analysis”,rather than focusing on unfunny, lazy, mean-spirited caricatures of the players. Someone should tell him to read Ozil’s running stats. Luckily Pleat is too senile to have picked up on it.

2. Pleat wanted a red card for Holding, but not only did he fail to see Shawcross’s elbow, he was quick to excuse Crouch’s high-footed tackle at the end, explaining it was justifiably a yellow because it could have injured someone, but somehow leaving out the bit about how a dangerous foul is worthy of a red, the EXACT SAME reasoning he had used to argue that Holding’s should have been red 10 minutes earlier.

PFo

I can’t be certain, but I think he actually called Berahino “Bellerin” the first time he said it.

Lakshya

He did, he did! I got confused at the time, then realized it’s just Berahino that the stupid commentator can’t pronounce.

C J

The last time Shawcross was innocent he was still in his dad’s balls loool

Timorous Me

Jon Champion deserves some sort of medal for dealing with that twat for 90+ minutes and not wringing his neck.

Parisian Weetabix

Just a few more on watching the highlights:

– “Absolutely perfect precision placement” on Alexis’s shot that took a considerable deflection of Shawcross before going in
– “Peter Cech”. Come on mate, he’s played in the Premier League for over a decade. This is worse than Martin Hayes and “Carzola”
– “Johnson unfortunate to slip” after Johnson’s desperate attempts to claw down Giroud culminated in him falling over
– “Yes” following Crouch’s goal. It wasn’t exactly a Mike Dean celebrating Louis Saha scoring for Spurs level of elation, but nonetheless enough to constitute the final tug that sent his nonpartisan shroud tumbling to the floor

I’m not sure whether Pleat intended this to come across as performance art, or whether it was a cry for help as he slowly loses his tenuous grip on reality. Whatever it was I’d rather he did it somewhere else.

Hank Scorpio

Just be thankful Clichy doesn’t play for us anymore. Aside from the obvious fact that he’s not very good, Pleat calls him Cliché

uncle D

The manager deserves credit! Good rotation today. Sanchez is doing a fantastic job. The bench looked loaded with ammunition. COYG!!! Wengerin turning it around

Amusa

Fuck you Stoke, Fuck You!

Dan D

COYI!

Dean

What does people think of the alexis celebration after his goal looked to me like he said he was staying.

iamtheantisp*r

It seemed that way, but who knows? He clearly tapped the crest a few times and then pointed at the ground a few times, as if to say, “Here is where I will stay.” But again, who knows…

John C

It’s good PR for when he leaves in the summer

chopper4001

I certainly thought he tapped the badge, pointed to himself and then pointed to the ground.

I’m reading too much into it aren’t I…

Twatsloch

Regardless what it meant, fuck you Arnautovic. Hope your arm falls off!

VintageFuzz

There is a special sense of joy seeing Holding absolutely nail Arnautovic and Arnautovic swearing at him in Serbian for it. Then Holding plays a decent part in the goal for 4-1.

Gunnya

He said “cash me ousside how how dat”

Gunnya

*bow

VintageFuzz

Hahaha pretty much… He said “jebacu ti mamu…” which directly translates to I’ll f*ck your mom.

Clock-End Mike

Best moment for me was seeing Bouldy with a broad smile on his face. I think it was after Alexis’ goal, not sure. Anything that makes him smile has to be a bit special.

DB10**

Think him and akers were having a laugh at mark hughes moaning about something.
Yes it was great to see.

Gunnya

To all those who said cech was losing his edge -fuck you

Gimpel the Fool

Was it not a foul on Bellerin in the lead up to Crouch’s illegal goal?

Serpent

Yes, quite a blatant foul too…

Serpent

Holding just gets better and better. Calm on the ball, hard as a rock in the defence. That tackle on Arnautovic was brilliant… We showed mettle and were able to handle the onslaught after their goal and then hit back. So good to see us give Mark Hughseless and his Orcs a show. Too bad Ramsey didn’t score, though.

On a final note: I saw at least three cynical “professional fouls” by Stoke. Not a single yellow. Is that rule only applicable for Arsenal players?

Twatsloch

Although not scoring Ramsey put in a fine effort to assist HFB for 4-1. Justice!

And once again, Holding fucking up Arnautovic. GET IN!!!

Shame no one gave Shawcross a suitable reply for his elbow on HFB but there will be more games. I’m OK with picking them one at a time.

Saud

Someone please give David Pleat an Orc cock. He’s dying to suck it.

Graham

This is Stokes cup final and we gave them a pasting. Good times

Original Paul

Three at the back is so great on so many levels for us imho.

ant

This boy holding.

Shitbird

The game in the minute or two before the Stoke goal was some of the most insane and inane refereeing you will see. It’s not easy taking 3 points off of Mike Fucking Dean but Arsenal did it.

Birdinggooner

It is really quite amazing that they found enough people in Stoke to realise that Paul Nuttall was a complete fantasist and lying ****. There is hope for Mordor…

DB10**

Lets see how much is made of crouch’s hand ball in the papers.
The commentry team did not use the word cheat when they heard that the goal came off the hand.
But they called holding a cheat. And hoped that the ref had red carded him.
In their words “to stamp this sort of tackles from the game”.
I kid you not. I just could not believe my ears.

santori

I’ve been saying this all season.

THERE IS NO PLAN B.

You play Giroud or Welbeck depending on the opponent’s set up and who has been more efficient last game.

Great to see Giroud then come off the bench today and knock two very crucial balls in then eh? No pace. Who needs pace if you know where to be at the right time.

Also kudos to Coquelin who played well today. I think this back 3 allows him more license to put tackles in higher up field but he also holds the ball for us a bit better although Rambo again came in with a vital contribution.

AND all this criticism on Bellerin, granted he isn’t his best but what an excellent ball in for the first goal.

Holding did good today (with Anautovic….hehehe) but you also have to be a bit more fair and critical. He let in two opportunities out wide, one which ended in the Crouch hand ball and the other their useless striker whatever his name before missed from 2 yards in vain imitation of Welbeck (even Danny won’t miss those)

Pooplord76

“no plan b” you say as we’re playing with 3 at the back…

C J

great stuff blogs, links to goals are buggered though

Hank1979

Any other links for the goals? Hopefully the hammers will do a job on Liverpool. We can thank them by giving them a good deal on theo

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