Stoke City 1-4 Arsenal: Gunners shoot toward fourth
- Giroud scores in each half
- Ozil just after the break
- Two assists for Bellerin
Olivier Giroud scored twice as Arsenal won at Stoke City for the first time in seven tries with a 4-1 victory on Saturday at the bet365 Stadium.
Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez also scored as the beneficiaries of well-worked team goals, and Hector Bellerin had two assists for Arsenal in snapping a six-match winless run (3D-3L) at Stoke.
The win boosts the Gunners to within a point of fourth-place Liverpool.
Peter Crouch scored Stoke’s lone goal, leaving the Potters 16th in the Premier League table.
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After a dull quarter-hour, the game found a bit of life when Nacho Monreal headed a cross off the far post.
It didn’t open up the entertainment, however, unless you include a number of hard fouls and tackles.
Arsenal did enjoy the possession, and Alexis Sanchez created some danger before lashing a shot into the side netting in the 34th minute.
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Giroud broke the deadlock in the 42nd minute, tapping in a point-blank goal off a square ball through the six from Hector Bellerin.
Ozil was on the end of a gorgeous 1-2 move with Alexis Sanchez to make it 2-0, passing to the Chilean and darting through the 18 to collect and finish.
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Stoke nearly pulled one back when Marko Arnautovic cut into the left of the box near the end line and chopped a pass back toward Mame Biram Diouf, but the ball was behind the big striker and he could not adjust his head to catch the drilled pass.
Substitutes Peter Crouch and Saido Berahino were called upon to change the game, and the former scored a handball goal in the 67th minute to make it 2-1.
The atmosphere was elevated, and Stoke had several opportunities to level the match only to misfire with passes or shots.
Sanchez carried a Bellerin pass into the 18 and made it 3-1 soon after, giving the Gunners a two-goal lead with less than 15 minutes remaining in the 90.
Jack Butland saved Aaron Ramsey’s low shot moments later.