Absolute cracker of a game with both result and performance from Arsenal keeping our chances of a top four finish well and truly alive.
Because of the history between Arsenal and Stoke, despite the fact the Potters have little to play for, I was not alone in thinking that this may be the toughest of the three remaining Premier League games for the Gunners this season, so the lads needed to be on the ball and they were right from the start.
In an almost completely dominant first half Arsenal looked like getting the job done nice and early but with a Monreal header crashing off the post being the closest of a fair few chances, the momentum seemed to have ebbed away, but just as Stoke seemed to be on the up and enjoying some rare possession we struck.
It was a great move finished by a tap in from Giroud with Bellerin getting the assist after a burst down the right and ball across the 6yd line. Great credit should go to Coquelin as well for his slide rule ball to set the Spaniard on his way.
Arsenal needed that goal after the way we had played and while it was well deserved it was met with as much relief as joy. Now could we push on and get the win? I have to damit that I was worried for the first five minbutes after the break. Our intensity had dropped while Stoke’s was up.
Arsenal responded though, and Ozil doubled the lead with a real gem, a one-two with Alexis Sanchez which was a joy to watch and maybe should have killed the game. Stoke do not like us though and they rallied well after Crouch and Bertahino came on and when the lanky robot pulled one back it was all in the balance, with the usual rough tackles and elbows flying..
It was a handball and would have been hugely controversial but the Gunners made sure we had no complaint by going on to score another two, through Giroud and Alexis, in a very imprerssive show of fight and desire which really keeps the hopes of another top four finish alive.
Over to you Liverpool, no pressure. COYG.