Loading...
Loading Live Scoring...
*All times CAT (GMT+2)

Football | Barclays Premier League

Podolski strike sees Arsenal sink Stoke



A contentious goal from substitute Lukas Podolski allowed Arsenal to beat Stoke City 1-0 at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday.

The Germany international's 78th-minute free-kick was deflected into the Stoke net off defender Geoff Cameron at a time when an Arsenal player was in an offside position.

But the goal was allowed to stand and the win moved the sixth-place Gunners to within a point of Everton and Tottenham Hotspur, the two clubs directly above them.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger made five changes to the side that had drawn 2-2 at home to Liverpool in mid-week and two of those were enforced by injuries suffered by defenders Thomas Vermaelen and Kieran Gibbs.

That enabled a recall for France centre-back Laurent Koscielny and an instant debut for transfer deadline day signing Nacho Monreal, the Spain left-back who reportedly cost £8.3 million from Malaga.

Stoke had also shared a 2-2 draw in mid-week, at home to Wigan Athletic, and manager Tony Pulis made two changes, restoring Ryan Shotton and Andy Wilkinson to his starting line-up.

Arsenal made a lively start but Stoke made sure they always had plenty of men back and limited the home side to a series of long-range efforts that were either off-target or blocked by defenders.

Eventually the pressure was converted into clearer opportunities and Stoke had goalkeeper Asmir Begovic to thank on three occasions before halftime.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain should have scored from the first one, however, as Stoke uncharacteristically made a mess of clearing Jack Wilshere's corner.

The ball fell to the teenager right in front of goal but his shot was right at the goalkeeper.

Bosnia-Herzegovina international Begovic then made a smart stop at his back post to keep out Koscielny's header, before palming away another shot from Oxlade-Chamberlain after Wilshere had set him up with a fine defence-splitting diagonal ball.

Stoke's Jon Walters was hurt in an aerial challenge with Monreal but played on following the application of a huge bandage.

The second period mirrored the first as Arsenal dominated possession but could not convert it into clear chances and Wenger made a double change in the 68th minute when Podolski and Santi Cazorla replaced Oxlade-Chamberlain and Abou Diaby.

The change worked as Podolski finally broke the deadlock from a free-kick 12 minutes from fulltime after Andy Wilkinson had been booked for fouling Walcott on the edge of the penalty area.

The former Cologne player saw his shot deflected past Begovic by Cameron but a raised flag halted the home side's celebrations.

Referee Chris Foy consulted one of his assistants, who had spotted that Walcott was offside when the kick was taken.

But Foy ruled that the England forward had not been interfering with play and awarded the goal, to Stoke's clear annoyance.

Cazorla fired a good chance to make it 2-0 over the bar before Koscielny was hurt by a sliding challenge from Ryan Shawcross in the final minute.

Stoppage time also saw a flare-up between Stoke substitute Michael Owen and Arsenal captain Mikel Arteta.

Shop

Gerrard: My Autobiography
Steven Gerrard is a hero to millions, not only as the inspirational captain of Liverpool FC, but as a key member of the England team.
R161.00
Rafa: My Story
Revelatory memoir from the greatest sportsman in the world today.
R182.00
Mitre Monde Soccer Ball - White
Voted as one of the UK's favourite match balls
R219.00


Comments

More expert analysis and opinion from Sport24
The opinions expressed by Sport24 experts and bloggers are theirs alone, and do not necessarily represent those of SuperSport

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Other Live Streaming

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Sports Talk



Carol Radull
How do you pay tribute to Thierry Henry?
If you’re a fan of the classic musical “The Sound of Music” then you will be familiar with the...

Dr Errol Sweeney
Some refs invite criticism
Why is it that some referees appear to invite criticism? Why is it that some referees put a...

Neil Tovey
Backing Tinkler for the big time
With Vladimir Vermezovic having jumped ship, Orlando Pirates find themselves in a state of flux.

Chima Emmanuel Aguma
Wenger in or out? I say out!
After Arsenal’s loss to Stoke City this past weekend, the call for Arsene Wenger to step down as...

Sunday Oliseh
Football's new undisputed best club?
When Barcelona appointed Pep Guardiola as head coach in 2008, their primary objective was to stop...

Arjun Vidyarthi
Make or break time
Ten years ago today, I remember Andy Gray's iconic commentary at Anfield, when Steven Gerrard...