EPL Gameweek 21: Arsenal vs Stoke City - As it happened...

Welcome to our live coverage of English Premier League match between Arsenal and Stoke City being played in London.

EPL Gameweek 21: Arsenal vs Stoke City - As it happened...

With the win, Arsenal have replaced Tottenham  -- who lost to Crystal Palace 1-2 yesterday, at fifth place with 36 points. Third place Manchester United (37 points) and fourth place Southampton (36) play in thirty minutes time at Old Trafford.

MATCH REPORT


FULL-TIME: Arsenal 3 - 0 Stoke City

90+2' - Quick end to the match with nothing worthy happening in the two added minutes of additional play. All three points for the Gunners and Mark Hughes once again return home empty handed.


90' - Shawcross' executes a perfectly times tackle to deny Sanchez. Two minutes added.


89' - From a Walters long ball, Arsenal find themselves scrambling in defence as Bellerin's header puts Ospina in a spot of bother.


87' - Crouch gets a decent cross from the left, but his apparent back-heel misses attempt misses the ball. An onrushing Whelan also misses the ball.


85' - Cazorla picks out Ozil from a straight run, but the German's right footed drive fails to hit the target. It's been all Arsenal in London today.


84' - Tempo of the match slows down with Arsenal happy to roll ball around. Ozil finally gets in front of the attacking quartet, ahead of Sanchez, Ramsey and Walcott.


81' - Clear signs of exasperation for Stoke management on the sidelines as Potters on the field once again allow Arsenal to create another chance.


80' - Ozil conceded a throw-in, then a foul. But from the re-start, Sanchez gets into the opponent half allowing Walcott to have a sigh at the goal. It misses the target.


79' - A spell of good play from the visitors. They continue to prove Arsenal defenders with swift, wise runs using the flanks.


77' - Stoke score but was ruled off-side. Cameroon was on spot after Whelan lofted the ball inside the Arsenal box. Cameron nudges with his head, but it was overruled.


75' - Everything is not right for Stoke today. Begovic almost allowed Sanchez to allow another after his goal-kick landed on the Chilean's path.


73' SUB for Stoke. Stephen Ireland replaces Bojan Krkic. SUB for Arsenal. Mesut Ozil gets his game after three months of injury lay-off, and Olivier Giroud is off.


72' - A little period of possession for Stoke. But Mertesacker is leading the Arsenal defensive line rather commandingly today.


70' - Bojan gets his team-mates moving, creating a chance. He lays the ball from the left, for Whelan. But Whelan fails.


69' - SUB for Arsenal. Theo Walcott on for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.


67' - From yet another quick attack, an over confident Cazorla tries chipping Begovic but the ball sails past the roof netting.


66' - Sanchez show on in London. He ran half the pitch before delivering it for a waiting Giroud. But the Frenchman fails to hit the target.


64' - On the other end, Chamberlain gets his attempt on the goal from a swift counter attack blocked by a Stoke defender.


63' - From the re-start, Crouch tried to win back the ball by tackling from behind and got a booking.


61' - Crouch gets a sight on the goal, but his effort fails to test Ospina.


60' - Stoke defenders hackle Sanchez but the referee allowed advantage with Girooud in control of the ball. For the foul, Cameroon gets a booking.


58' - Poor effort from Arnautovic. His tried to curl but the it was always going off the target.


57' - Coquelin trips Sidwell just outside the Arsenal box. Free kick to Potters.


55' - Some wayward passes from Arsenal players allow Shawcross to create a Stoke move, only to be cut short in the Arsenal half.


53' - Bull of a run from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. His intimidating run allows Arsenal to create yet another chance but his move fails to connect with team-mates.


52' - Yellow Card for Steve Sidwell. Just arrived in the centre and earned a booking.


49' - GOAL!! Alexis Sanchez scores his second of the day. Bad goal-keeping effort from an otherwise efficient Begovic. Sanchez's free-kick was only creeping towards the goal after deflecting the wall. But the goalie failed.


47' - Arsenal win a free-kick in a dangerous position after Shawcross foul.


46' - Second half actions started. And soon, Arsenal get their first shot of the half, winning a corner from the effort.


Double change for Stoke during the break. Erik Pieters making way for Marc Muniesa and Steven N'Zonzi replaced by Steve Sidwell.


HALF-TIME: Arsenal 2 - 0 Stoke City


45+4' - Oxlade-Chamberlain misses the target from a long-ranger.


45+3' - Arsenal continue to dictate terms from the centre without doing much to create opening.


45' - Peter Crouch, who has scored eight goals against the Gunners, gets his first aim at the goal. Ospina gets his body behind the ball and coolly collects the ball.


44' - Five minutes confirmed for additional minutes. Now, the play is in midfield, with both the sides focusing on retention rather than attacking in this dying final minutes of first half.


43' - An animated Crouch asks Koscielny to get on his feet after the duo collided resulting in Arsenal players fall, or possibly feigning a foul.


42' - Monreal is up on his feet and Arsenal are 11 again.


41' - From the re-start, Stoke got the ball moving inside the opponent half and a teasing pass from the right flank almost caught Arsenal defenders napping.


37' - Mathieu Flamini is warming up as club legend Thierry Henry looks on from the stand.


36' - Another injurys scare for Arsenal. Nacho Monreal is being attended by medics after a collision with Peter Crouch. A worried on the sidelines.


33' - GOAL! Second goal for Arsenal. Sanchez gets his 17th of the season, 11th in the league to give full control of the match today. It was fabulous interplay between Rosicky and Sanchez, before the latter produces a fine finish with his right foot... low hit on diving Begovic's left.


31' - Monreal, Sanchez and Rosicky play a tidy passing game around the Stoke goal-mouth. But soon, Stoke defenders got the ball cleared away.


30' - Arnautovic and Rosicky involve in a physical tussle with Arsenal winning a free-kick on the left.


28' - From the goal-kick, Arsenal move forward resulting in yet another opportunity. But Stoke players defended well enough to thwart the attack.


26' - From the first time in the match, Stoke are starting to create meaningful attacks from the right... involving, Walters, Whelan and Bojan. They win a free-kick just outside the box, and Bojan lays if for Whelan. But Whelan's long ranger fails to hit the target.


25' - Whelan's free-kick from the centre fails to reach any of the Stoke attackers inside the Arsenal box. From the following play, Ospina was tasted... in a rather awkward manner.


24' - Rosicky concedes a free-kick to Stoke following a bad tackle inside their own half.


23' - Frenetic defending from the visitors as the midfield pair of Cazorla and Ramsey are creating some beautiful moves.


21' - Another beautiful move from the home side. Giroud got a clear sight on the goal from a creative move, but Begovic on spot.


19' - Arsenal win their third corner but fail to translate it into any meaningful move.


17' - Sanchez receives an earful from the referee for his attempt to control an aerial ball with his arm.


16' - A rather enthusiastic Crouch caught off-side from a long ball inside the Arsenal half.


15' - Sanchez is doing the hard-work. From the centre, he goes past three Stoke players then releases it for Chamberlain, whose fails to hit the target from outside the box. In between, Debuchy has been stretchered off with a likely shoulder injury.


14' - Cazorla had a mazy run before releasing the ball for Rosicky, who then served to Bellerin inside the Stoke half.


13' - SUB for Arsenal. Hector Bellerin on for injured Debuchy.


12' - Arsenal are playing with 10-man as Debuchy is out of play.


11' - Walters wasted a good opportunity to deliver a cross-field pass for his team-mates. But the cross went off the rather. In between, medics are called into to attend to Mathieu Debuchy, who was chasing that cross from Walters.


10' - Potters win a throw-in on the left flank, from their they start their probe.


8' - Then, the goal-scorer gets into defensive duties. The Frenchman thwarted a dangerous looking Stoke move in the half.


6' - GOAL! Laurent Koscielny scores with a clear header from the corner. Another assist from Sanchez.


4' - Early pressure from Arsenal players, especially Rosicky -- on the run from the right. And another good work from Begovic, which resulted in the second corner of the match.


3' - Good interplay between Pieters and Bojan from the left side, but the ball out of play resulting in Arsenal goal-kick. Fist touch for Ospina.


2' - Early hit on the target from Sanchez. Begovic palmed it away for a corner. Nothing came off Cazorla' corner for the Gunners.


1' - Arsenal start the proceedings from the centre and have rolled back the back to their half. Soon the visitors won back the ball. Then, Mertesacker is holding the ball for a prolonged time, before releasing it inside the opponent half.


Five minutes to the kick-off and players are out. Jonathan Moss will officiate the match. Arsenal are in their traditional red and whites, while Stoke are in shades of blue.


David Ospina for Arsenal and Phillip Wollscheid for Southampton are making their respective EPL debuts today.


Here is the team-sheet:

Arsenal XI: Ospina, Debuchy, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal, Coquelin, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Rosicky, Cazorla, Alexis, Giroud

Subs: Szczesny, Bellerin, Flamini, Ramsey,  Ozil, Campbell, Walcott 

Stoke City XI: Begovic; Cameron, Wollscheid, Shawcross, Pieters; Nzonzi, Whelan; Arnautovic, Bojan, Walters; Crouch

Subs: Butland, Muniesa, Ireland, Wilson, Moses, Adam, Sidwell


The eminent return of Mesut Ozil is the highlight of today's Arsenal-Stoke City match-up in London. But there are other more important things for either side to focus on.

For the home side, a win will ensure that they overtake their London rivals, Tottenham, in the fifth place. In fact, a draw will be good enough to help themselves gain a position from their current sixth position.

However, stakes are bigger for Arsene Wenger. Gunners, who have won each of their last 12 league and cup matches against the Potters at home, are in an awkward position this time.

Mark Hughes' side are looking for an improbable league double against the once mighty Arsenal. They have won the first leg 3-2 last month at Britannia Stadium. And the confidence in Potters ranks are rather high. Also with their star players – Victor Moses, Marc Muniesa and Bojan Krkic – available for today's fixture, Hughes will be optimistic.

If that happens, the anti-Wenger chorus will be louder.

Luckily for Wenger, Aaron Ramsey, Mathieu Flamini and Olivier Giroud will also be available for selection. If he manages to field a full strength team involving these stars, alongside inspirational Alexis Sanchez, beating Stoke at home should not be a problem. And a win today is necessary to keep their dreams of a top-four finish.

Being said that, Potters' five wins out of seven this season have have come against clubs in the top half, including away to Manchester City and Tottenham. So, expect a thriller in London.


Welcome to our live coverage of English Premier League match between Arsenal and Stoke City being played in London.

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