Stoke City beat Arsenal 3-2 at the Britannia Stadium on Saturday, as the Potters held on despite leading 3-0 at half time and almost giving up their lead.
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First half goals from Peter Crouch, Bojan and Jonathan Walters put Stoke 3-0 up, but the Gunners came surging back in the second half as two goals in two minutes from Santi Cazorla and Aaron Ramsey set up a grandstand finish.
Despite intense pressure from 10-man Arsenal, who had Calum Chambers sent off late on, Stoke held on for a huge win as Arsenal lost more ground in the race for a top four spot. With the victory Stoke move up to 11th on 18 points, while Arsenal remain sixth on 23 points.
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Crouch put Stoke ahead just 19 seconds into the match as he bundled home from close range to give the Potters the perfect start. Arsenal should have equalized early on as Olivier Giroud headed wide when it looked easier to score. Despite having a large amount of the play, Stoke continue to look dangerous on set pieces and Mame Diouf saw a header well-saved by Enzo Martinez at the back post.
Soon after Stoke were 2-0 up as Walters whipped in a great ball from the right which Bojan slotted home after arriving unmarked from the edge of the box. It got worse for Arsenal before the break as Crouch’s header from a corner dropped to the feet of Walters who hammered home. 3-0 to Stoke at the break as the Gunners were stunned.
Danny Welbeck came on at half time for Arsenal as the Gunners went all out attack, but they were nearly 4-0 down as the ball dropped to USMNT player Geoff Cameron but the chance came and went as Arsenal survived. Alexis Sanchez should have makde it 3-1 but he took it around Begovic and hit the post as an open goal beckoned.
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Soon after Stoke looked to be out of sight as Bojan cut in from the left and smashed home but the goal was disallowed as Mame Diouf was in an offside position. Arsenal then went straight up the other end and were awarded a penalty after Diouf clipped Matheiu Flamini. Cazorla scored the spot kick to make it 3-1 and moments later it was 3-2 as Ramsey drilled home from a corner as the Gunners clawed their way back into the contest.
Late in the game Chambers was sent off for Arsenal after picking up two yellow cards, but Stoke steadied themselves to secure a famous win as they have now lost just once in their last nine home games against the Gunners.
Stoke City: Begovic, Bardsley, Shawcross, Muniesa (Whelan, 63′), Pieters, Nzonzi, Cameron, Diouf (Adam, 69′), Bojan, Walters, Crouch
Goals: Crouch (1′), Bojan (37′), Walters (45′)
Arsenal: Martinez, Bellerin (Welbeck, 45′), Chambers, Mertesacker, Gibbs, Flamini, Ramsey, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Alexis, Cazorla, Giroud (Podolski, 63′)
Goals: Cazorla (68′), Ramsey (70′)