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Barclays Premier League

Emirates Stadium (ATT 59,671) 23rd October 2011 - Kick off 13:30 Ref: L Mason

Arsenal Arsenal vs Stoke City Stoke City

Arsenal 3

Gervinho (27)
R van Persie (73, 82)

ft

Stoke City 1

P Crouch (34)

Van Persie guns down Stoke

Arsenal climb above the Potters into seventh

Last Updated: 23/10/11 5:58pm

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Supersub Robin van Persie came off the bench to score twice and earn Arsenal a 3-1 win over Premier League rivals Stoke.

Man of the match: Robin van Persie. Who else? He may only have been on the pitch for 24 minutes but the deadly Dutchman's introduction transformed Arsenal and swung the game in his side's favour. Save of the match: Neither goalkeeper really had to make an outstanding save, though Stoke's Asmir Begovic excellently raced off his line to deny Gervinho before the opening goal. Flop of the match: Marouane Chamakh really struggled to make any impression in his first Premier League start of the season before he was replaced by Van Persie. Should have scored with a free header in the first half. Talking point: Will Arsenal be able to keep Van Persie out of the clutches of the big European vultures? Yet again the Gunners skipper demonstrated how important he is to Arsenal's ambitions.

The Gunners struggled to break down the organised visitors in a frustrating first half which saw ex-Spurs man Peter Crouch cancel out Gervinho's opener.

But the introduction of talisman Van Persie, who took his Arsenal goals tally to 30 in 2011, completely changed the complexion of the Emirates clash.

Arsenal lacked a real presence in the final third of the pitch until he replaced the ineffective Marouane Chamakh and bagged a nine-minute brace.

The victory, a fourth straight home league win for Arsene Wenger's team, helped them climb above their opponents and into seventh place in the table.

Task

It was hardly a convincing performance from Arsenal, and yet a sixth win in their last seven matches is not exactly the record of a club supposedly in crisis not so long ago.

In Van Persie's absence, Chamakh got a chance to impress, and he should have given Arsenal the lead in the 10th minute with a free header from Mikel Arteta's corner but made a mess of his effort which flew wide.

Arteta fired a low drive narrowly wide and Gervinho just failed to control Aaron Ramsey's lofted ball into the area as the hosts warmed to their task.

In the 23rd minute Ramsey almost repeated his midweek heroics in Marseille with a fierce drive which fizzed just wide.

The goal Arsenal had been threatening arrived in the 27th minute, with Ramsey the architect.

The Wales international, who had his leg broken by Stoke's Ryan Shawcross 18 months ago, collected a half-clearance from the Potters defender and chipped it back into the area.

Gervinho's chest control this time was perfect, creating the angle for him to beat the diving Asmir Begovic from 12 yards for his second goal since joining the club.

But Stoke grabbed a shock leveller seven minutes later from a disputed free-kick after Laurent Koscielny was adjudged to have fouled Crouch.

Stir

As Wenger protested to fourth official Jon Moss, Glenn Whelan lofted the ball into the area, Shawcross' cross found its way to Jon Walters at the far post and his header back across goal was nodded in by Crouch.

Arsenal began the second half sluggishly, with the biggest stir caused by Van Persie when he began to warm up on the touchline.

Chamakh passed up another half-chance with an overhead kick which drifted wide following a goalmouth scramble.

The change was inevitable and Van Persie finally made his entrance with 25 minutes remaining, replacing Chamakh.

The Dutchman almost made an immediate impact with a neat turn and a cross which flew just over the head of Ramsey.

But it took only eight minutes for the new arrival to get Arsenal back on track.

Gervinho beat Walters to reach the byline and pulled the ball back for new strike partner Van Persie, who squeezed the ball between Begovic and his near post.

And Van Persie had the final say with six minutes to go, Gervinho again the provider with a low cross which the in-form Holland star fired past Begovic to kill Stoke off.

ArsenalTeam StatisticsStoke City
3Goals1
11st Half Goals1
4Shots on Target1
5Shots off Target5
0Blocked Shots2
10Corners1
10Fouls12
2Offsides2
0Yellow Cards2
0Red Cards0
87.6Passing Success75.1
12Tackles19
75Tackles Success68.4
66.7Possession33.3
55Territorial Advantage45
605Total Passes301
24Total Crosses9
154Lost Balls131
56Recoveries55

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Matches

Table

Barclays Premier League

Barclays Premier League
Pos Team P Pts
1 Liverpool 34 77
2 Chelsea 34 75
3 Manchester City 33 71
4 Arsenal 34 67
5 Everton 34 66
6 Tottenham Hotspur 34 60
7 Manchester United 33 57
8 Southampton 34 48
9 Newcastle United 34 46
10 Stoke City 34 43
11 Crystal Palace 34 40
12 West Ham United 34 37
13 Hull City 33 36
14 Aston Villa 33 34
15 Swansea City 34 33
16 West Bromwich Albion 33 33
17 Norwich City 34 32
18 Fulham 34 30
19 Cardiff City 34 29
20 Sunderland 33 26

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