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Barclays Premier League

Britannia Stadium (ATT 27,502) 28th April 2012 - Kick off 15:00 Ref: C Foy

Stoke Stoke City vs Arsenal Arsenal

Stoke 1

P Crouch (9)


Arsenal 1

R van Persie (15)

Live Commentary

Last Updated at 4:52 pm, April 28th 2012

  1. Thanks for tuning in this afternoon! Stay with us for the full match report.

  2. 90+4

    That's it! The FT whistle blows and Arsenal are forced to settle with a point.

  3. 90+4

    The seconds trickle down and it looks like Arsenal will be sharing the spoils with the hosts...

  4. 90+3

    Wenger is furious now after Whitehead goes down and Stoke win a free-kick inside their own half.

  5. 90+3

    A rash challenge from Whitehead goes unpunished and Wenger is not happy on the touchline. Arsenal win a late corner but Shawcross heads it away.

  6. 90+2

    Crouch very nearly gets to it but Szczesny does enough to keep it out before Sagna hoofs it away. Walters comes close seconds later but the Gunners defence hold firm.

  7. 90+1

    Four minutes stoppage time are added at the end of this second half. Stoke win a long throw on the right and Delap steps up.

  8. 90

    Vermaelen drives his effort through the wall but drags it just wide of the post without testing Begovic.

  9. 89

    Arsenal win another free-kick from 25 yards out and it looks like Van Persie will be taking it, although Vermaelen is loitering...

  10. 88

    Jerome is called up for a foul as Arsenal are handed a free-kick in midfield, which Santos takes quickly.

  11. 87

    Sagna comes out of nowhere with a long-range shot, which takes a deflection before bouncing into Begovic's arms.

  12. 86

    A flowing move nearly comes off as Chamakh backheels towards Santos but the sub leaves the ball behind him.

  13. 85

    Delap gets his first touch but loses out to Chamakh, then Van Persie after reclaiming it. Song fires a ball towards the box but Walters clears with an overhead kick.

  14. 84

    Rory Delap comes on for Etherington in another Stoke change.

  15. 83

    Another change for the Gunners as Santos comes on for Benayoun.

  16. 82

    Huth finds Jerome with a pinpoint ball down the middle but his powerful shot is parried by Szczesny.

  17. 81

    It's Stoke's turn for a free-kick after Diaby charges in with his foot raised on Cameron Jerome. Walters climbs to win a long ball but nods it straight into Szczesny's gloves.

  18. 80

    Rosicky wins a free-kick for Arsenal in the middle of the park after a foul from Wilson.

  19. 79

    Gibbs tries to chase down a Benayoun ball from the left as Arsenal push in these late stages but he's closed down.

  20. 78

    A change for Arsenal as well as Gervinho makes way for Chamakh.

  21. 78

    The Potters make another change as Cameron Jerome comes on for Jermaine Pennant.

  22. 77

    Stoke win a long free-kick which is nodded on by Crouch, but Vermaelen gets it away with a headed clearance.

  23. 76

    Arsenal win two corners in quick succession, still aggrieved over that denied penalty. Van Persie whips in the second but it's easily dealt with by Crouch.

  24. 75

    Benayoun goes down in the Stoke box after a push from Whelan but Chris Foy doesn't given anything.

  25. 74

    Diaby, who has recovered from a virus, comes off the bench for Ramsey as Arsenal make a change.

  26. 73

    Rosicky does well to put Ramsey clear but the midfielder drags his shot wide. A replay of that Vermaelen shot shows Shawcross appeared to handle the ball and the Gunners were unlucky not to be given another free-kick.

  27. 72

    Van Persie fires his powerful shot straight into the Stoke wall and it falls to Vermaelen, who tries his luck but slams his equally stinging shot into Shawcross.

  28. 71

    Vermaelen goes down on the edge of the Stoke box off a Whelan challenge and it's an Arsenal free-kick.

  29. 70

    The Gunners man is taking a battering this afternoon but he shrugs it off. Etherington charges down the left with Crouch in a good position but he fluffs his cross.

  30. 69

    Pennant's corner can't reach Walters, covered well by the Gunners' backline. Koscielny is in another collision, this time with Szczesny.

  31. 68

    Whitehead tries an optimistic shot for the hosts and it takes a deflection to hand Stoke a corner.

  32. 67

    Etherington is brought down by Song and the Gunners man is handed a booking.

  33. 66

    Some sloppy stuff from Gervinho this afternoon - it might be time for Oxlade-Chamberlain to make an appearance soon.

  34. 65

    Some more building passing play from Arsenal culminates in a cross from Song from the right but Gervinho is slow to react.

  35. 64

    Gibbs attempts a shot from just inside the box after a slip from Whitehead but it's blocked by the Potters defence.

  36. 63

    Benayoun earns a booking after a foul on Pennant.

  37. 62

    Arsenal exchange passes, pressing for a way forward in midfield but Rosicky loses the ball down the left.

  38. 61

    Benayoun closes down a long pass from Upson towards the front as Stoke are handed a throw.

  39. 60

    Whitehead finds some space for Stoke and tries to slip through Walters towards goal, but there's too much pace on his pass.

  40. 59

    Crouch gets to his feet and appears to be fine after that collision as play resumes with a Szczesny kick.

  41. 58

    A clash of heads between Crouch and Koscielny sees the Stoke man on the ground needing treatment and there's a lull in play.

  42. 57

    Rosicky tries to slot the ball through to Van Persie but Whitehead makes an interception and breaks for Stoke. Arsenal reclaim the ball and Benayoun sneaks into the box but Shawcross closes him down with a well-timed challenge.

  43. 56

    Stoke make the first change of the game as Ryan Shotton makes way for Matthew Upson.

  44. 55

    Vermalen, fed by Rosicky, tries to plant a cross in the box from the left but blasts his effort well off target.

  45. 54

    Szczesny lofts a long ball up the pitch, trying to find Sagna, but it goes out for a Stoke throw.

  46. 53

    Shotton launches in another throw but the wind catches it and it goes straight behind and back to Szczesny for an Arsenal goal-kick.

  47. 52

    It's Arsenal's turn for a throw inside their own half and Gibbs tries to feed the ball back to Szczesny, who has to move fast to snatch it away from Walters.

  48. 51

    Stoke win a throw on the left of the Arsenal goal, which Shotton steps up to take. Song makes the crucial clearance, hoofing it up field.

  49. 50

    Sagna lifts a cross into the box after some intricate play from Arsenal but Van Persie's header goes straight into the arms of Begovic.

  50. 49

    It's Stoke's turn to get forward and Szczesny is forced to punch away two crosses, from Etherington and Pennant, in quick succession.

  51. 48

    Arsenal exchange passes until Van Persie appears to be pushed by Huth but the referee is unmoved.

  52. 47

    Benayoun finds Van Persie on the edge of the box but the skipper's shot is blocked by Wilson. The ball drops to Gervinho but he panics and fires it into the stands.

  53. 46

    Arsenal get us started this half but Stoke reclaim possession in midfield and the ball goes back to Begovic. Pennant fires a cross in but Walters can't quite latch onto it.

  54. Nearly time to get back underway. Thanks for all your feedback!

  55. While the first half has been going on, Arsenal's Champions League rivals Newcastle have fallen 4-0 behind at Wigan!

  56. The whistle blows for half-time and it's all level at the Britannia after Van Persie cancelled out Peter Crouch's opener.

  57. 45

    Huth tries a shot from distance but his low effort trickles well wide of the post as half-time approaches.

  58. 44

    Better delivery this time and the Potters win a corner, but Szczesny just manages to punch the effort clear.

  59. 43

    Another kick from distance for Stoke and Pennant steps up again. There'll be hoping for a bit more quality this time...

  60. 42

    Rosicky tries to a drift a ball into the box, looking for Van Persie, but Begovic charges out to collect with an easy catch.

  61. 41

    The hosts win a free-kick in the middle of the park after a foul from Rosicky but the long effort is won by Van Persie.

  62. 39

    Pennant's effort is poor and rolls straight back to Song as a chance goes begging for the hosts. Tony Pulis isn't happy.

  63. 38

    Stoke are awarded a free-kick from distance on the right after a push by Benayoun, which Pennant steps up to take.

  64. 37

    Didn't look like any malice in the clash and both players are ok. Back on the ball, Van Persie tries to feed Benayoun in the box but his pass is blocked.

  65. 36

    Whelan pokes a ball through for Walters, who charges towards goal, but his momentum carries him straight into a collision with Szczesny.

  66. 35

    The Gunners effectively deal with the set-piece. Just 10 minutes of regular time to go this half and it's all-square.

  67. 34

    Stoke win a throw on the right of the Arsenal goal and Shotton steps up to take it, with Delap on the bench.

  68. 33

    The ball goes back to Begovic for a goal-kick after Gibbs fails to wriggle away from Pennant in the Stoke box.

  69. 32

    Gervinho holds off Shotton in the box, edging forward, but the Stoke man eventually manages to close him down.

  70. 31

    Gibbs attempts to deliver a cross into the Stoke box from the left but he's charged down by Pennant. Arsenal throw.

  71. 30

    Whelan gets away from Ramsey as he storms towards the Arsenal goal but he can't find the pass and it rolls back to Szczesny.

  72. 29

    Crouch is bundled over by Song in midfield and Stoke win a free-kick. Shawcross' effort is a long one, meant for Crouch, but he can't quite get his head to it in the box.

  73. 28

    Song feeds Van Persie, who trickles the ball towards goal, finding Gibbs, but Huth is there with the crucial clearance.

  74. 27

    Ramsey tries to find Van Persie down the left from the opposite wing but Shotton intervenes.

  75. 26

    Stoke enjoy some possession before Shotton floats a long diagonal ball towards Crouch but the striker is a yard or so offside.

  76. 25

    Rosicky fires a long ball into the area and Van Persie tries to chase it down but Begovic stoops to snatch it to safety.

  77. 24

    Shotton knocks the ball out for another Arsenal throw and the visitors trade passes just inside the Stoke half.

  78. 23

    Two missed chances now for Gervinho - will it be third-time lucky? The ball goes out for a Gunners throw in midfield.

  79. 22

    Gervinho chases down a long ball and gets away from Wilson but fluffs his lines from close range, under pressure from the Potters defence.

  80. 21

    The skipper sweeps it in and Koscielny rises to meet it but can't keep his header on target as Stoke breathe a sigh of relief.

  81. 20

    Wasted chance there for Gervinho, was a great ball in from Sagna. Arsenal win a free-kick from far out, with Rosicky and Van Persie both having a look.

  82. 19

    Van Persie picks out Sagna down the right and the defender storms forward, trying to find Gervinho with a long cross, but he can't quite latch onto it in the box.

  83. 18

    A long ball upfield is dealt with by Wilson to dissolve an Arsenal attack and Stoke win a throw inside their own half.

  84. 17

    So Arsenal are back on level ground after an intense opening few minutes. Gervinho tries a charge down the right and the ball is knocked out for a Gunners throw.

  85. The Gunners skipper teams up with Rosicky once again, this time poking a pinpoint cross home with ease for his 28th Premier League goal of the season.

  86. 15


  87. 14

    The Gunners are back in possession in their own half, trying to mount an attack from deep, with Vermaelen on the ball.

  88. 13

    Arsenal are still pushing for an equaliser as they build their trademark passing game in the Stoke half. Ramsey unleashes a long-range shot but drags it wide.

  89. 12

    Walters loses concentration to let Song slip by in the box but atones by forcing the Cameroonian to put the ball behind. Stoke goal-kick.

  90. 11

    Not the position the Gunners want to be in early on! They look for an instant response, winning a corner on the left.

  91. Crouch climbs above the Gunners backline and makes no mistake nodding Etherington's cross down, past Szczesny and into the net.

  92. 10


  93. 9

    Brilliant save from Begovic! Van Persie nearly opens the scoring for Arsenal after latching onto a great long ball from Rosicky but the keeper palms his close-range header away.

  94. 8

    Benayoun skips easily away from Whitehead on a strong run but is closed down on the edge of the box by the Potters defence.

  95. 7

    Benayoun and Van Persie combine brilliantly to get forward for the Gunners but it's a weak finish from the former in the end and Begovic is able to save.

  96. 6

    Pennant lofts the ball in, looking for Crouch, but the lofty striker is offside and his headed effort is wide anyway.

  97. 5

    Now it's Stoke's turn for a free-kick in midfield after Whitehead is brought down. Very physical stuff already here.

  98. 4

    A dubious challenge on Song by Whitehead earns the Stoke man a yellow card. The ref could have his hands full today.

  99. 3

    There's a problem with Ramsey, who gets caught by Sagna in the throat, but he appears to be ok after a brief lull in play.

  100. 2

    Whitehead fires the ball into the box after doing well to win it but Vermaelen is there with a headed clearance.

  101. 1

    We're underway at the Britannia and it's the hosts that get things rolling but Arsenal snatch possession.

  102. Enjoy the first half!

  103. Worth noting Stoke have won just one of their last seven games but are still in contention to clinch a top-10 finish.

  104. The teams are out at the Britannia and it's almost time for kick-off. Thanks for all your feedback guys, keep it coming at HT.

  105. Around 20 minutes to go until KO - plenty of time to have your say! Tweet me @SkySportsRachG or email

  106. But they could find it tricky - the Gunners who have won just one of their four trips to the Britannia Stadium in all competitions since Stoke returned to the top flight.

  107. Arsene Wenger's men are currently three points ahead of fourth-placed Toon and will be keen to maintain that gap.

  108. The Gunners will be looking to cement third place today but have suffered two successive disappointments, with Newcastle hanging on their coattails.

  109. Refereeing this afternoon's clash is Chris Foy (Merseyside).

  110. Subs: Fabianski, Diaby, Vela, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Squillaci, Chamakh, Coquelin.

  111. Arsenal XI: Szczesny, Sagna, Koscielny, Vermaelen, Gibbs, Song, Ramsey, Gervinho, Rosicky, Benayoun, Van Persie.

  112. Subs: Sorensen, Jones, Fuller, Upson, Delap, Jerome, Palacios.

  113. Stoke XI: Begovic; Shotton, Shawcross (c), Huth, Wilson; Pennant, Whelan, Whitehead, Etherington; Walters, Crouch.

  114. Let's have a look at the line-ups then...

  115. Here's a quick update from Sky Bet - "The Gunners were in fantastic form until a defeat to Wigan and draw against Chelsea in recent weeks and are 5/6 to get a win at Stoke. The Potters have a good home league record against Arsenal and are 16/5 to win and 13/5 to draw."

  116. I'll be bringing you the team line-ups in just a sec but first why not get in touch with your thoughts and predictions ahead of kick-off at 3? You can Tweet me @SkySportsRachG or email

  117. Good afternoon all and welcome to our live coverage of Stoke v Arsenal at the Britannia Stadium.



Barclays Premier League

Barclays Premier League
Pos Team P Pts
1 Chelsea 4 12
2 Aston Villa 4 10
3 Swansea City 4 9
4 Southampton 4 7
5 Manchester City 4 7
6 Tottenham Hotspur 4 7
7 Arsenal 4 6
8 Liverpool 4 6
9 Manchester United 4 5
10 Hull City 4 5
11 Everton 4 5
12 Leicester City 4 5
13 West Ham United 4 4
14 Stoke City 4 4
15 Sunderland 4 3
16 Queens Park Rangers 4 3
17 Crystal Palace 4 2
18 Burnley 4 2
19 West Bromwich Albion 4 2
20 Newcastle United 4 2