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Arsenal vs Stoke City. Premier League.

Emirates StadiumAttendance59,964.

Arsenal 3

  • T Walcott (42nd minute)
  • M Özil (49th minute)
  • A Iwobi (75th minute)

Stoke City 1

  • C Adam (29th minute pen)

Arsenal 3-1 Stoke: Theo Walcott and Mesut Ozil lead comeback win

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Arsenal climbed to the top of the Premier League after coming from behind to beat Stoke 3-1 at the Emirates on Saturday.

Charlie Adam gave Stoke the lead from the penalty spot in the 29th minute after Granit Xhaka caught Joe Allen with an elbow.

Arsenal replied before the break through Theo Walcott before Mesut Ozil put them ahead shortly after half-time with a lobbed header over Lee Grant.

Substitute Alex Iwobi made sure of the points when he slid a shot past Grant in the 75th minute.

The win sees the Gunners go top on goal difference ahead of Chelsea, who host West Brom on Nissan Super Sunday, and stretches their unbeaten run in the league to 14 matches

Arsene Wenger stuck with the same side that thrashed West Ham last weekend, with Hector Bellerin returning on the bench after a month out with injury. Allen replaced Jon Walters for Stoke, who made a positive start.

Marc Muniesa saw a well-struck volley from 30 yards tipped over before Xherdan Shaqiri spurned an opportunity to shoot when in space inside the box.

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LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 10:  Theo Walcott of Arsenal celebrates scoring his sides first goal during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Stoke C
Image: Theo Walcott celebrates the equaliser

Arsenal threatened when Walcott saw a low effort saved by Grant, but Stoke had the best early chance when Allen sliced wide as he ran on to Marko Arnautovic's pass in the area.

The hosts were forced into a change shortly afterwards as Shkodran Mustafi was replaced by Bellerin, who offered more attacking threat down the right than Gabriel.

However, they fell behind in the 29th minute as Xhaka clumsily elbowed Allen in the box and Adam converted the penalty.

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Arsene Wenger gives his thoughts on Arsenal's 3-1 win against Stoke

Arsenal struggled to mount any sustained pressure in response, and although Bellerin saw a shot deflected over, Arnautovic also went close at the other end as he was denied by a last-ditch block by Nacho Monreal.

When the equaliser did arrive it was thanks to some slick passing as Alexis Sanchez slipped a brilliant ball through for Bellerin and his cross was turned in by Walcott.

Sanchez and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain then fired over as the Gunners finished the half on top.

Mesut Ozil scores Arsenal's second against Stoke
Image: Mesut Ozil scored Arsenal's second against Stoke

They took the lead early in the second half as, with Erik Pieters just returning to the pitch after receiving treatment, Oxlade-Chamberlain clipped a ball over the defence for Ozil, who lobbed a header over Grant.

While the Gunners largely looked in control with the lead, Stoke did come close to equalising on a couple of occasions.

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Mark Hughes speaks following Stoke’s 3-1 defeat at Arsenal

Mame Biram Diouf headed wide from a good position 10 yards out before Peter Crouch forced Petr Cech into a low save from a corner, immediately after coming on as a substitute.

But Arsenal made sure of the points in the 75th minute as Sanchez was fouled on the left corner of the box, the referee played advantage and Iwobi collected the loose ball and finished past Grant.

Walcott almost added a fourth but Grant pulled off a sharp low save to tip the ball away and keep it at 3-1.

Player ratings

Arsenal: Cech (6), Gabriel (6), Mustafi (5), Koscielny (6), Monreal (6), Xhaka (5), Coquelin (6), Walcott (7), Ozil (7), Oxlade-Chamberlain (7), Sanchez (7).

Subs: Giroud (5), Iwobi (7), Bellerin (7).

Stoke: Grant (5), Johnson (5), Muniesa (5), Martins Indi (5), Pieters (5), Allen (6), Imbula (5), Shaqiri (6), Adam (7), Arnautovic (6), Diouf (5).

Subs: Crouch (5), Sobhi (5), Ngoy (5).

Man of the match: Hector Bellerin.

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