Full-time - 90'
1 - 3
17:30 +00:00, February 27, 2010
Britannia Stadium, England
Referee: Peter Walton
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FULL-TIME. Stoke 1-3 Arsenal. The Gunners are well and truly in the title race after battling back from 1-0 down, but the game has been overshadowed somewhat by the horrific injury to Aaron Ramsey - almost certainly a serious leg break. Pugh opened the scoring for Stoke but Bendtner's first-half header levelled things before two goals in stoppage time - a Fabregas peanlty and Vermaelen tap-in - secured all three points for Arsenal.
Eduardo looks to curl a left-footed effort in. The ball rebounds out to Wilkinson and Fabregas cynically brings him down. He's a lucky boy to escape there.
Arsenal still pushing, and Stoke look absolutely knackered!
It's all wrapped up for the Gunners as Vermaelen nets his seventh of the season - the defender has been prolific.
Stoke 1-3 Arsenal. Great save from Sorensen from Rosicky's shot but Fabregas is quickest to the rebound and he slides it across goal to an unmarked Vermaelen to tap in.
Penalty appeal from Bendtner as Collins pushes him over. A good shout really but the ref had no intention of giving another.
It's no more than Arsenal deserved - they've been completely dominant in the second half.
As things stand, the Gunners are just three points behind league leaders Chelsea - they are right back in the title hunt.
Seven minutes of stoppage time to play.
Stoke 1-2 Arsenal. They've surely stolen all three points at the death now. Calmly slotted into the bottom right corner, though Sorensen got a hand to the ball.
Fabregas to take...
Bendtner's shot struck the arm of goalscorer Pugh.
Penalty! Arsenal have a 90th minute spot-kick.
Rory Delap was just named Stoke's man of the match as Arsenal stream forward.
Bendtner and Walcott combine well on the edge of the area but Stoke are staying strong at the back.
But he's fired wide after Song's pass! It was a great chance wasted by Eduardo.
Eduardo is clean through...
Clichy has the ball down the left for Arsenal, Bendtner holds it up well after receiving the ball from the left back.
Whelan and Tuncay try to engineer a counter-attack for rapidly tiring Stoke but it's broken down by a swarm of Arsneal defenders.
Great ball from Fabregas and Campbell is agonisingly close to getting his foot to the ball at the back post.
Rosicky wins a free-kick himself this time after Wilkinson's robust challenge.
ARSENAL SUB: Eduardo on for Nasri
Lawrence does well to draw a foul from Rosicky after looking like he was ehading down a blind alley.
Rosicky tries one from distance but he's dragged it wide. Good control to set up the chance but a poor strike.
Stoke are unbeaten in seven Premier League matches, their longest unbeaten streak in the top-flight for nearly 29 years. It is their best run of form since going 10 games unbeaten in the old Division One in 1974.
STOKE SUB: Tuncay on for Fuller.
Fuller penalised for a challenge on Vermaelen though it looked like a genuine 50-50 contest for the ball to me.
Arsenal with a throw-in deep into Stoke territory. if only they had Rory Delap...
Nasri brings the Gunners forward again, they're streaming towards the Stoke goal.
Whitehad had just whipped an outstanding ball into the box but there were no Stoke players in the danger zone.
STOKE SUB: Lawrence on for Whitehead.
Fabregas desperately looking for the killer ball but he chips a poor effort towards Bendtner - collected by Sorensen.
Walcott did okay against Sunderland last week and started to look a little like the player who tore apart Croatia in 2008. Arsenal fans will be hoping his pace can cause Collins some problems.
ARSENAL SUB: Walcott on for Eboue.
Bendtner flagged offside and it was close but a good decision. He had taken the ball around Sorensen as well so lucky for Stoke that the assistant flagged.
Eboue and Sagna bring Arsenal forward again, as they have done so often in this match. But again there's no final penetration.
Lovely touch by Fabregas on the edge of the box but he can't quite guide it towards Bendtner.
Nothing comes of it though and Arsenal clear their lines.
Stoke have a throw-in and Eduardo warms up on the sidelines as living proof that players can recover from such horrific injuries.
It must be incredibly tough for the players to refocus after an incident like that but that's what they must do.
ARSENAL SUB: Rosicky on for Ramsey
Ramsey stretchered off then as sympathetic applause rings around the Britannia.
There are no replays being shown because it was obvious from the challenge. Very reminiscent of Eduardo's injury and it really is devastating news for the Wales winger and Arsenal.
Shawcross looks distraught as well, all the players can see how bad an injury it is. They all look upset. Tragic for Ramsey who has been one of Asrenal's most impressive young players this season.
Ryan Shawcross was the man who fouled him, he's been sent-off and he's in tears.
It's Aaron Ramsey wand I can't really describe it but it's pretty obvious what has happened. It looks horrible and Vermaelen looks distraught.
There's a leg break here I think - it's a horrible challenge.
Good effort from Fuller, managed to edge between Campbell and Sagna and got a left-foot shot away - comfortable for Almunia though.
Fabregas floats it in but Vermaelen can't direct his header towards goal. It's wide and there will be no addition to his six goals this season.
Campbell brought down going on the march in Stoke's half. And it's a free-kick.
Free-kick taken but it's easily defended by the Gunners.
It's a booking for Song for tugging him back - looked fairly innocuous to me to be honest. But it's his tenth of the season which means an automatic two-match ban.
Foul by Song on Delap.
Eboue accelerates though the middle, but it's all a bit narrow for Asrenal. They're probing but Stoke's resistance is resolute.
Huth will move central and Collins will go left-back.
STOKE SUB: Collins on for Faye.
Fabregas fancies a crack himself but there's no save from Sorensen this time. It was optimistic from the Spain midfielder and it's well over the bar.
Great effort from Eboue. Powerful strike from 25 yards and Sorensen tips it over the bar. Good save.
Almunia is nowehere near it! He completely flapped at the ball but the referee has given a foul anyway.
Delap dusts off the ball and chucks it in...
But Stoke have it back and Fuller puts his shoulder into Vermaelen to earn a throw-in.
Fabregas looks for the cross but too long for Bendtner - incredibly Clichy kept it in play, showing incredible acceleration.
Lovely flick from Eboue to Fabregas and he continues to run down the right-wing at pace.
Sorenesen looks long to Sidibe who gets the flick on but it's too strong for Fuller.
A dangerous cross from Eboue from the right. But there were no Arsenal players gambling and Sorensen gathered the ball.
Arsenal on 65% to Stoke's 35% in the second half thus far.
Sagna bursts down the right and finds Eboue who went down like an absolute sack of spuds inside the box. He felt a slight arm in the back and hit the deck immediately. An embarrassing penlaty appeal.
It's not third time lucky for Stoke though, as Almunia claims it easily.
And one more...this time Bendtner knocks it out of play.
And another one, after Campbell headed it out.
Almunia looked like hew as going to come and then wisely changed his mind. Headed out for a Stoke corner.
Stoke have a throw-in just inside the Arsenal half and the main man Mr Delap tries to steal a couple of yards.
A busy start from Arsenal and they're looking very sharp.
Clichy with an effort from distance, into the grateful grasp of Sorensen. Clichy's only goal for the gunners came in the league defeat to Stoke last season.
Big penalty appeal turned down by referee Peter Walton. Aaron Ramsey went through the middle and looked to have been barged in the back by Faye. Not sure about that decision.
Ramsey wins the ball in midfield. He plays the ball to Eboue and Arsenal are picking their way around the Stoke penalty box.
Stoke have looked to press on in the opneing couple of minutes but Arsenal have the ball again.
Ramsey with a chance to break for Arsenal, good movement from Eboue but he ran into problems and gave away a free-kick.
Campbell launches an early long ball forward, that was a good old fashioned left-foot hoofer.
Right the players are back out onto the pitch and we're ready for the second half.
HALF-TIME. Stoke 1-1 Arsenal. Well, they did it again with a throw-in! Delap's delivery was flicked on by Shawcross for Pugh to knock in his first goal on his first start of the season. After the goal, Arsenal were dominant and deservedly equalised through Bendtner's superbly taken header. Grab yourself a cup of tea and I will see you in 15 minutes. Game on.
Nasri and Ramsey combine and the Welshman tries to tee up Fabregas but it's too short for the captain to latch onto.
Two minutes of added time to be played.
Ramsey escapes a couple of challenges and Arsenal keep hold of possession.
Arsenal averaged 3.2 goals per league game until Robin van Persie's injury in November (they netted 36 goals in their opening 11 matches). Since then their ratio has dropped to 1.7 per game.
Whelan floats the free-kick in but its headed out and Eboue breaks with the ball at speed. He finds Bendtner who passes to Fabregas and then Clichy. But the French left-back's cross was disappointing.
Saying that, looking at the replay he has got the ball.
Fabregas with a poor tackle from behind on Shawcross and there's a bit of handbags there.
Stoke on the attack with Delap down the right, it's pinballed around in the box and after four failed attempts Arsenal finally clear.
Straight into the wall from Cesc - disappointing.
Fabregas definitely fancies this one...
Song and Eboue link up and Arsenal have a free-kick right on the edge of the box. Eboue was fouled and it's a dangerous position.
Ramsey tries to find Eboue but he's blocked out. A dodgy kick from Sorensen is fortunate not to go straight back to an Arsenal player.
Cesc Fabregas has 12 league goals this season. The Arsenal record for Premier League goals by a midfielder is held by Robert Pires, who hit 14 in three consecutive seasons (2002/03, 2003/04 & 2004/05).
Whelan searches for Delap down the right who finds Fuller on the edge of the box. He bamboozles Arsenal's defenders with some intricate footwork but can't quite escape the clutches of Vermaelen, Campbell and Almunia who manage to retrieve the ball between them.
Sagna finds some space down the right but his cross doesn't get past the first man.
Free-kick for Arsenal just inside Stoke's half and it's Fabregas to take. It was a cracking cross from the Gunners' midfielder maestro for the goal.
Huth heads away for Stoke, he's playing at left back today.
It was Arsenal's first attempt on target and it was in the back of the net.
Stoke 1-1 Arsenal. Fabregas crosses the ball in and Bendtner rises highest to head back across goal and into the far corner. Great finish.
GOAL! Nicklas Bendtner
Fabregas plays in Sagna down the right but rather than crossing he looks back to his captain.
Nasri has another chance and Arsenal are pushing forward incessantly now. Bendtner down the left works some space but yet again, Stoke's defence remains solid.
Ramsey threads it through to Fabregas, who finds Nasri. Impressive footwork by the Frenchman to weave into the area but he's crowded out again.
Wilkinson tries his luck from distance on the volley - it would have been the goal of his career if that one had dropped in. It didn't. Well wide.
The Britannia has got to be one of the hardest places for teams to come and get a result in the Premier League. The atmosphere is in a perma-state of high intensity.
Fabregas curls one in and...amazingly it almost finds the top right corner. Sorensen looked a little nervy but he rightly watche sit out.
Delivery comes in from Fabregas and Sorensen punches it away. The ball comes back across goal and it's turned out for another Arsenal corner.
He works some space and hits it from distance and it's dangerous - Sorensen is forced to tip it out for a corner.
Vermaelen looks long for Bendtner but it's dropped into Fabregas in space...
Arsene Wenger's side have lost four of their last seven league and cup games.
Shawcross looks miles offside from Fuller's header but Song is playing him on. Arsenal clear their lines though.
Delap throw in, is that up to six/seven now?
Pugh's waiting at the back post again but it's just past him this time.
And Rory 'the missile' Delap has another chance to lift it into the box...
Free-kick for Stoke after a foul from Vermaelen but a disappointing delivery. The balls into the box are more dangerous from throw-ins than free-kicks!
Here come Arsenal on the break now, Ramsey and Fabregas combine but the Gunners captain is hustled off the ball.
It's headed out though, good defending from Vermaelen.
Throw-in for Stoke, guess who's taking it?
Arsenal's last league win at Stoke was on January 20 1982.
Clichy looks over the top for Sagna but the ball is difficult for him to control.
Fuller chases down a long ball but Campbell hits a controlled back pass towards Almunia.
Another nice move from Arsenal but Faye tackles Eboue superbly inside the area.
Sidibe beats Campbell in the air, but the ball goes out for a goal-kick.
Song advances for Arsenal and begins a beautiful one-touch move with Fabregas and Sagna. But again Stoke defend resolutely.
Stoke have won their last four home league games against Arsenal. That run includes last season's Premier League clash plus three top-flight games in the early 1980s.
Bendtner with an outrageous effort from distance. Nowhere near from the Denmark striker.
Free-kick Arsenal, a brave diving header from Campbell and he was inches away from Fuller's boot finding his forehead.
But it's given away.
Whitehead on the charge for Stoke...
Seven of Stoke's starting line-up played 120 minutes on Wednesday so I think Arsenal could well be looking a little more ominous in the second half.
Here come Veermaelen and Campbell but it's a poor delivery from Fabregas.
Sagna and Eboue link up well and the Guners have a corner after some good work down the right.
Eboue goes down and Arsenal have a free-kick just inside the Stoke half.
But there's a sea of red and white bodies back to defend. There contesting every ball and closing down well.
Arsenal trying to build an attack now with Clichy and Fabregas. Finally the Gunenrs have the ball on the ground. Sagna and Ramsey now combine well.
Arsenal's vulnerability shines through again.
Amazing, surely Arsenal must have been working on defendeing those in training?!
Stoke 1-0 Arsenal. They've only gone and done it again. Delap's throw-in flicked on by Shawcross and Pugh is at the back post to head it in unmarked.
GOAL! Danny Pugh!
here's another throw-in opportunity - that will be the third time I've said that in the opening six minutes.
Fabregas comes into the area but he's muscled off the ball, then Clichy gets the ball back but he's over-hit an attempted through-ball to his captain.
It's been very un-Arsenal so far.
Arsenal finally coming into Stoke's half with intent, but they can't get the ball down to start passing.
He finds Sidibe but his header is wide.
Fuller beats Ramsey in the air and now Delap has another chance to chuck the ball in the mixer.
Stoke have not lost in 11 games, seven of which have been in the league. Their last league defeat was at the Britannia against Birmingham.
Sagna and Almunia clash and the French right-back looks sore after that collision.
But he's taken it short with no-on expecting it - the ball is pumped forward to a crowded box, but it's too long for Shawcross.
Time for a Rory Delap throw-in.
An early scare here for the Gunners, they're struggling to get hold of the ball.
Stoke have the ball down the right early on and Fuller skips past Vermaelen.
Campbell wins an early aerial battle against Fuller.
And we're off...
Right we're just about ready to kick things off, the noise is deafening at the Britannia.
The players are out on the pitch, I'm interested to see Campbell vs Fuller, marking the burly striker will be a tough task for the former England defender.
Stoke are likely to be pretty tired, they played 120 minutes to beat Manchester City in the FA Cup on Wednesday, while Arsenal are well rested.
The Gunners have a real chance to close the gap here, if they win they will be just three points behind Chelsea after that 4-2 defeat to Manchester City earlier.
Ricardo Fuller has scored on his last three starts against Arsenal - including the winner in the FA Cup.
ARSENAL line-up: Almunia, Sagna, Vermaelen, Campbell, Clichy, Eboue, Fabregas, Song, Ramsey, Nasri, Bendtner.
Subs: Fabianski, Rosicky, Eduardo, Vela, Walcott, Silvestre, Traore.
STOKE line-up: Sorensen, Huth, Shawcross, Abdoulaye Faye, Wilkinson, Delap, Whelan, Whitehead, Pugh, Sidibe, Fuller.
Subs: Begovic,Lawrence, Beattie, Kitson, Diao, Sanli, Collins.
Here's some team news...
Stoke have a decent record against Arsenal,they won against the Gunners at home in the league last season and in the FA Cup this year. The Potters may just fancy their chances.
Hello all and welcome to live text commentary of Stoke v Arsenal at the Britannia Stadium.