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Barclays Premier League

Britannia Stadium (ATT 26,711) 1st March 2014 - Kick off 15:00

Stoke Stoke City vs Arsenal Arsenal

Stoke 1

J Walters (pen 76)

ft

Live Commentary

This article updates itself. There is no need to refresh this page. Last Updated at 5:03 pm, March 1st 2014

  1. That's all from this live commentary for today - match report and reaction to follow. Thanks for joining us.

  2. The victory sees Mark Hughes' Potters side hit the 30-point mark and they are now 12th, six points above the drop zone.

  3. FT

    Full-time: Stoke 1 (Walters pen 76) Arsenal 0. With Chelsea winning 3-1 at Fulham, the Gunners are now four points behind their London rivals at the top of the table with 10 rounds remaining this season.

  4. 90+4

    YELLOW CARD! Crouch booked for time-wasting.

  5. 90+3

    Sanogo wastes a huge chance to equalise. Again, Oxlade-Chamberlain got in behind left-back Pieters and crossed for his fellow substitute who leant back and shot over the crossbar.

  6. 90

    We'll have five minutes of stoppage time.

  7. 89

    Oxlade-Chamberlain tries to float a right-wing cross onto Sanogo's head but it's slightly overhit.

  8. 88

    Second change for Stoke (88) - Etherington ON, Arnautovic OFF.

  9. 84

    Crouch clears Giroud's tame shot after good work by Oxlade- Chamberlain on the right side of the box.

  10. 83

    Giroud wins a free-kick just outside the area... but Arteta's ferocious shot is well blocked by Whelan.

  11. 82

    Arsenal's best chance so far, as Ozil strikes a left-footed shot after being played in by Giroud but he sees the ball go right across the face of goal and wide.

  12. 81

    Final change for Arsenal (81) - Sanogo ON, Wilshere OFF.

  13. 78

    YELLOW CARD! Wilson is booked (78) for that foul on Wilshere - no escape.

  14. 77

    A late challenge from Wilson there, but referee Jones allows play to continue.

  15. 76

    Walters sends Szczesny the wrong way - the Pole dives to his right and the Irishman slides the penalty home.

  16. 76

    GOAL! Stoke 1 (Walters pen 76) Arsenal 0

  17. 75

    PENALTY TO STOKE! Walters toes the ball up in the air in the box and Koscielny handles.

  18. 74

    Arsenal's second change - Oxlade-Chamberlain ON, Rosicky OFF.

  19. 73

    Stoke make a change - Ireland ON, Adam OFF.

  20. 69

    Schurrle's got a hat-trick - it's Fulham 0 Chelsea 3. No chance of Arsenal going top today then.

  21. 69

    Cameron gets into a good position after receiving Arnautovic's pass but his cross from the right is poor.

  22. 67

    Giroud is backing into Wilson, and then goes to ground - only to see Adam come in with a late challenge. That looked dirty, and the Frenchman is angry.

  23. 66

    First change of the game (66), for Arsenal - Ozil ON, Podolski OFF.

  24. 65

    Schurrle's scored again at Craven Cottage - it's now Fulham 0 Chelsea 2 in west London.

  25. 65

    Save from Szczesny to deny Crouch! The big striker headed towards goal from Arnautovic's deep cross from the left. Then from the corner, Arsenal can't get the ball clear and Cameron strikes the loose ball first time with power - but it goes wide!

  26. 62

    A foul by Giroud, who was climbing on Whelan when Gibbs floated a cross in from the edge of the area. We could be seeing Ozil very soon...

  27. 60

    Stoke are still holding their own on the possession count, with Nzonzi and Whelan trying to make good use of the ball when they can.

  28. 58

    Bad news for Arsenal as Andre Schurrle puts Chelsea into a 1-0 lead at Fulham. The gap is three points in the live Premier League table.

  29. 56

    Wilshere is left in a heap on the edge of the Stoke area. He'd tried to instigate an attack down the right with Cazorla, and then received the ball back before being tackled.

  30. 54

    From the free-kick, Adam whips in a delicious curling delivery and it looks on a plate for Crouch - but his connection is poor, and Szczesny pats the ball away before Podolski clears. Great chance for Stoke!

  31. 53

    YELLOW CARD! Rosicky is booked (53) for a late challenge on Arnautovic. Arsenal's first caution of the game.

  32. 52

    Ambitious effort from Crouch, who stretches out a long leg and tries to hook the ball towards goal with a scissors kick. Szczesny watches it go wide.

  33. 50

    Begovic takes the ball cleanly from Arsenal's fourth corner of the afternoon, taken by Cazorla.

  34. 49

    Fantastic cross from Cameron, and Szczesny comes to claim the ball but ends up making a hash of it. Arteta manages to clear.

  35. 47

    Nzonzi is allowed to nod a header towards goal after Crouch had found him in the area with a header of his own. Szczesny claims easily though.

  36. 46

    Stoke get the second half underway.

  37. The players are back out, and the second half will be underway shortly.

  38. Only 14 touches of the ball in total for Lukas Podolski in that first half - the least of any player on the pitch. How can Arsenal get him more involved?

  39. Here's the Sky Bet odds at half-time. Arsenal are now evens for the victory, while Stoke are in to 15/4. The draw is a 6/4 shot.

  40. What did you make of the first half? And what will happen in the second? When should Wenger bring on Ozil? Can Hughes change it and take the victory for Stoke? Some questions to ponder... email jon.holmes@bskyb.com or tweet me at @jonboy79 to get involved.

  41. HT

    Half-time: Stoke 0 Arsenal 0. A good save from Szczesny to deny Whelan's long-range effort shortly before the break, but that's been the only real highlight of a fairly dull 45 minutes.

  42. 45

    One minute of additional time to be played.

  43. 44

    YELLOW CARD! Pieters is booked for a foul (44) on Giroud, who did get to the ball first. First caution of the match.

  44. 43

    Arsenal respond with Cazorla taking aim and shooting at Begovic. Podolski felt the Spaniard should have passed to him instead.

  45. 42

    Whelan lets fly with a shot from long range and Szczesny dives to his left to make the save. Beautiful pass from Shawcross out wide in the build-up, then Arnautovic spotted Whelan's run. Easily the best moment of the match so far.

  46. 41

    Four minutes left of this first half, and it hasn't been great to watch to say the least. 50-50 on the possession count.

  47. 39

    Begovic smothers the ball as Wilshere runs into the area onto a through-ball.

  48. 37

    Giroud gets sandwiched between Adam and Whelan, and it's left the Frenchman in pain. He's back up on his feet though, fortunately. Somehow, Jones gave the resulting free-kick to Stoke...

  49. 36

    Arteta does well to win the ball back, only to see Wilshere waste the advantage with an overly hopeful punt upfield for Giroud to run onto.

  50. 34

    Arteta points to the back of his thigh after coming off worse in an aerial challenge with Adam, who seemd to lead with his foot.

  51. 33

    Arteta finds Podolski running down the left channel, and the German blasts a left-footed shot towards goal after getting into the area - but he can't hit the target.

  52. 32

    Crouch hits a shot into the side netting from a very tight angle after Nzonzi looped a short cross into the box from the right.

  53. 30

    An attempt on goal from Giroud, but a comfortable save for Begovic. Still hasn't come to life, this game.

  54. 29

    Offside flag up again to thwart the Arnautovic and Walters combination. Correct call on this occasion.

  55. 28

    Jones stops the play as Arnautovic struggles with what appeared to be a head wound, but he's OK and we continue.

  56. 26

    Arsenal win a free-kick as Pieters goes in late on Wilshere near the edge of the visitors' penalty area. 'No real flow to the game' says co-commentator Trevor Francis. He's right...

  57. 24

    Stoke win their second corner, and Adam sends the ball way back to Whelan - but Cazorla quickly closes him down. The hosts wasting some good opportunities on set pieces.

  58. 23

    Tame effort from Cameron, straight at Szczesny. Midway through the first half, and Arsenal are only narrowly leading on possession (52%).

  59. 22

    At the other end, a brief sight of goal for Giroud. More tempo to the match now.

  60. 21

    Deep corner from Adam to the far post. Wilson heads the ball down, and Sagna and Koscielny manage to clear.

  61. 20

    Stoke win a corner, as Walters accelerates away from Gibbs down the right and forces the ball to go out off the Arsenal man.

  62. 18

    Cazorla does well to come in off the left flank and he attempts a curling effort from the edge of the area, but it sails harmlessly wide.

  63. 17

    Frustration for Walters as the ball goes out on the right. Then he gets involved in a little argy-bargy with Podolski. Jones has a word with both players.

  64. 15

    Offside flag is raised against Stoke - Arnautovic with a deep cross and Walters heads down and towards goal, the ball bouncing just wide of the post. Replays show Walters was just about level.

  65. 14

    Corner to Arsenal - Cazorla takes it but it's headed away for another set-piece. Stoke manage to clear that one too.

  66. 13

    Arsenal stringing passes together now, although Stoke are pressing well and they manage to win the ball back.

  67. 12

    Foul by Arnautovic on Wilshere right in front of referee Jones.

  68. 10

    Rosicky overhits a pass down the right wing for Sagna, who manages to reach the ball but can't do much with the cross.

  69. 9

    'Swing Low, Sweet Chariot' can be heard ringing around the Brit.

  70. 8

    Arsenal haven't had much opportunity to get the ball down and play in these opening stages.

  71. 6

    Rosicky presses hard on Whelan in the Stoke penalty area but the ball goes out for a goal kick.

  72. 5

    Wilshere gives away a free-kick as he clips the heels of Charlie Adam wide left. Adam drills in the set-piece from long range but it's straight at Szczesny.

  73. 3

    Walters tries to nick the ball past Koscielny but Arsenal clear for a throw. Then Mertesacker heads the resulting throw-in away.

  74. 1

    Free-kick to Stoke after a foul by Giroud, and the hosts pump the ball forward looking for Crouch.

  75. 1

    Arsenal kick us off.

  76. Stoke are in their traditional home kit of red and white stripes, and white shorts. Arsenal are wearing their yellow and blue away kit. The Potters fans in good voice already.

  77. The conditions might favour Arsenal today - the Britannia Stadium pitch looks pristine and there's barely a breeze. Teams on their way out now.

  78. Stoke are a 4/1 shot with Sky Bet to claim victory today, with Arsenal 7/10 favourites and the draw priced up at 13/5. Here's some Price Boosts - Peter Crouch and Santi Cazorla are both 9/1 to score the first goal, while a 1-0 Stoke victory is 14/1 and a 2-0 Gunners triumph is 15/2.

  79. Arsenal beat Stoke 3-1 when the teams met at the Emirates in September - Geoff Cameron equalised after Aaron Ramsey's early opener, but goals from Per Mertesacker and Bacary Sagna earned the Gunners all three points. The last meeting between the teams at the Brit, in August 2012, ended goalless.

  80. The referee today is Chester's Mike Jones. He was in charge of Stoke's 4-0 defeat at Everton in late November, but hasn't been the referee for an Arsenal game since their 3-1 home win over Norwich in April.

  81. Arsenal defender Bacary Sagna has taken time out from his pre-match preparations to speak to us: 'Every game will be important come the end of the season. I think it's a big step, we have to win today if we want to go back to the top. It's always been difficult for any team to come here because they fight right until the end. We want to focus on ourselves though. I think this is the season to achieve something because we started well compared to recent seasons. We want to be as consistent as possible.'

  82. Some interesting Opta stats on home and away form... only five teams in the Premier League have taken more points on home soil than Stoke have at the Britannia this season (21). However, just one club has earned more points away from home than Arsenal (26) this season - and that's their rivals Tottenham (29).

  83. Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has been talking to us before kick-off: 'We have Kieran Gibbs coming back, and Ozil is back in the squad as well. We are quite stable compared to the last game. It is important today; we are in March, so that means from now on the games become even more important.' When asked if he expected a tough test at Stoke, he responded: 'I believe it is traditionally a difficult place for everyone!'

  84. Arsenal also make just one change following the 4-1 victory over Sunderland at the Emirates last Saturday. Kieran Gibbs has made a quicker-than-expected return from the back and hamstring injury that saw him limp off against Bayern Munich. He comes in for the injured Nacho Monreal (foot). Mesut Ozil and Thomas Vermaelen are fit again, but are only on the bench. Nicklas Bendtner and Carl Jenkinson make way from the substitutes against the Black Cats.

  85. So for Stoke, Peter Odemwingie has failed to shake off a calf injury - Steven Nzonzi, an unused substitute in the 1-0 defeat at Manchester City last time out, takes his place. On-loan John Guidetti is back on the bench having been ineligible against parent club Man City.

  86. Here are the Arsenal substitutes: Fabianski, Vermaelen, Flamini, Ozil, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Gnabry, Sanogo.

  87. The Stoke bench is as follows: Sorensen, Muniesa, Palacios, Guidetti, Etherington, Wilkinson, Ireland.

  88. And here's how Arsenal line up today: Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs, Arteta, Wilshere, Rosicky, Cazorla, Podolski, Giroud.

  89. Here's the confirmed Stoke team: Begovic; Cameron, Shawcross (captain), Wilson, Pieters; Walters, Nzonzi, Whelan, Adam, Arnautovic; Crouch.

  90. Arsenal have won seven and lost just one of their last 10 Premier League games against Stoke, but the Gunners have failed to win on their last three trips to the Britannia Stadium - drawing two of those encounters and losing the other.

  91. There are just three points separating Stoke from the drop zone going into this game, although they can't slip into the bottom three today. Arsenal could regain top spot if they get a better result than Chelsea, who are away to Fulham.

  92. Stoke striker Jon Walters has been speaking to us before kick-off. Here's what he had to say: 'It's another big team coming here, and hopefully we can cause an upset. We've got a very busy and important month coming up. They're pushing to be as high in the league as they can, while anywhere from 10th downwards are looking over their shoulder at the relegation spots - so we need the points on the board just as much as Arsenal.' When asked if he expected a spicy affair, Walters added: 'Hope so!'

  93. Confirmed team line-ups should be with us shortly. You can get in touch with me throughout the afternoon by emailing jon.holmes@bskyb.com or tweeting me at @jonboy79. I look forward to reading your views, and I'll post some here too.

  94. Good afternoon and welcome along to our live coverage of the Premier League clash between Stoke City and Arsenal at the Britannia Stadium. It's 15th against second, with the Gunners hoping to go back to the top today.

Matches

Table

Barclays Premier League

Barclays Premier League
Pos Team P Pts
1 Chelsea 16 39
2 Manchester City 16 36
3 Manchester United 16 31
4 West Ham United 16 28
5 Southampton 16 26
6 Arsenal 16 26
7 Tottenham Hotspur 16 24
8 Newcastle United 16 23
9 Swansea City 16 22
10 Everton 16 21
11 Liverpool 16 21
12 Stoke City 16 19
13 Aston Villa 16 19
14 West Bromwich Albion 16 17
15 Sunderland 16 16
16 Crystal Palace 16 15
17 Burnley 16 15
18 Queens Park Rangers 16 14
19 Hull City 16 13
20 Leicester City 16 10