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Arsenal Woes Continues

Arsenal Woes Continues

Arsenal slumped to a shock 3-2 defeat against Stoke City after a disastrous first half at the Britannia Stadium.

The Gunners fell behind to a Peter Crouch goal within seconds of kick-off, before Bojan and Jon Walters both struck ahead of half time.

Bojan then saw a goal disallowed after the interval and Arsenal rallied as Santi Cazorla converted a penalty and Aaron Ramsey volleyed home.

But Calum Chambers was sent off for a second bookable offence late on and Stoke held on to claim all three points in a thrilling game.

Stoke made the dream start as Crouch – restored to the starting XI as part of three changes made by Hughes – capitalised on Arsenal’s failure to deal with Steven N’Zonzi’s right-wing cross to slot home from six yards.

Arsenal should have levelled in the 10th minute as teenage right-back Hector Bellerin teed up Olivier Giroud with a cross from the right, but the France striker could only head wide at the far post.

Argentinian goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez pulled off a superb diving stop down to his left to keep out Mame Biram Diouf’s diving header after a Bojan free-kick had been flicked into the Senegal international’s path by Walters.

But Arsenal failed to heed the warning signs and were made to pay as Walters linked up with Bojan again in the 32nd minute to double Stoke’s lead.

The Republic of Ireland international whipped in a superb right-wing delivery and Bojan stole in ahead of an Arsenal defence that failed to react to turn the ball beyond Martinez.

Walters was at the heart of almost every Stoke attack and got his reward for a typically industrious display on the stroke of half-time.

Crouch rose highest to meet Bojan’s corner, with his deflected header falling to Walters to lash home at the far post.
In the end it was a case of too little, too late for Arsenal as their second-half rally came to nothing. Stoke deserved the win for their first-half performance alone, with the Gunners having no way to stop the physical approach of the Potters.

Bojan was immense while Peter Crouch and Steven N’Zonzi were also superb before the break, and in truth Mark Hughes’ team should have been 4-0 up before the two Arsenal goals.

Arsene Wenger does not seem to be learning his lessons, and you have to wonder quite how long he has left at the helm if results continue in this way.

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