Podolski Goal Vanquishes Stoke
Substitute Lukas Podolski gave Arsenal an important win over Stoke City when his free kick deflected in at The Emirates Stadium.
Arsenal 1-0 Stoke
New boy Nacho Monreal started at left back for the Gunners and he impressed with a solid debut.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain came close to giving Arsenal the lead early on when Stoke failed to deal with a corner but his shot was saved from close range by Asmir Begovic.
Begovic was then called into action again to prevent Laurent Koscielny from a header. Olivier Giroud had the initial chance but he elected to head the ball back cross goal rather the go for the targey, however Theo Walcott swung in the ball again and Koscielny connected with a header but Begovic spread himself well to deny him.
By this time Arsenal had total control of the game and Oxlade-Chamberlain should have scored when a splendid pass from Wilshere put him one-on-one with Begovic but the Stoke keeper turned the shot away from 10 yards out.
Despite their dominance, Arsenal had to wait until the 78th
minute for their goal. Andy Wilkinson brought down Walcott on the edge of the Stoke City area and Lukas Podolskiís free kick wrong-footed Begovic thanks to a deflection off Geoff Cameron. There was some controversy as immediately after the goal the linesman spoke to referee Chris Foy as Stoke were appealing for an offside from Giroud once the free-kick had been taken. Foy made the correct decision however, awarding Arsenal the goal.
Begovic prevented Arsenal yet again 2 minutes afterwards, this time stopping Santi Cazorlaís effort after the Spaniard had ran onto his shot after it had been blocked.
Itís a result that sees Arsenal stay 6th
, 4 points behind North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur. Stoke meanwhile go 10th