New Delhi: There seems to be no relief in sight for Arsene Wenger and his Gunners. On Saturday, Stoke City inflicted more trouble to struggling Arsenal with a 3-2 win at Britannia Stadium.
The Premier League encounter witnessed Peter Crouch opening the scoring in the very first minute, which was followed by two more goals before the half-time. The former Liverpool striker's opening salvo was consolidated by goals from Bojan Krkic and Jonathan Walters strikes.
After 15 games last season, Arsenal were five points clear at the top of the table and were in contention for the title. But, this season, they are now 13 points behind leaders Chelsea, who also lost their game at Newcastle.
Arsenal did try to resurrect their fortunes with relentless attacks in the second half. But they could scored only two goals, thanks to a Santi Cazorla penalty in the 68th minute and Aaron Ramseys'strike two minutes later.
It was too little too late for London club as Stoke City hold on to the 3-2 lead to capture all three points. The match also witnessed Arsenal defender Calum Chambers sending off for two bookings. This season, he has received as many as eight yellow cards, the same number the whole team managed last season.
The defeat was their fourth this season and are now provisionally at sixth place with 23 points.
For Mark Hughes' side, it was a welcome win after three successive defeats – to Burnley, Liverpool and Manchester United. With 18 points, they are now in 12th place.
In another fixture, a dominant Liverpool side were denied three points by visiting Sunderland at Anfield after a scoreless draw. The match-ups between Tottenham Hotspurs and Crystal Palace, and Hull City and West Brom also ended in goal-less draws.
However, Queens Park Rangers climbed out of relegation zone with an emphatic 2-0 win over fellow strugglers Burnley. Leroy Fer and Charlie Austin scored for the winners.
Earlier, Chelsea suffered their first defeat of the season after Papiss Cisse double inspired Newcastle United to a 2-1 win at St Jame's Park. Chelsea legend Didier Drogba, coming on as a substitute, scored the lone goal for Jose Mourinho's side. Despite the loss, Chelsea are still leading the table with 36 points, six more from defending champions Manchester City, who have a late kick-off against Everton at home.