Podolski sees off Stoke

Arsenal gave their hopes of a top-four finish a boost with a 1-0 win over Stoke City, but needed a deflected free-kick to beat the outstanding Asmir Begovic.

Last Updated: 03/02/13 at 15:47 Post Comment

Nacho Monreal (l): Joins in with celebrations after Podolski's winner

Nacho Monreal (l): Joins in with celebrations after Podolski's winner

Free £50 bet

Daily Offers and Promotions, sign up for a free £50 matched bet

Arsene Wenger's side dominated for much of the game and created several clear-cut chances, only to be denied by fine saves from Stoke's stubborn goalkeeper.

However, the Bosnian was left helpless when Lukas Podolski's free-kick 12 minutes from time deflected off Geoff Cameron and into the back of the net.

The result sees Arsenal close to within a point of fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur, who play on Sunday, while Stoke remain tenth.

Arsenal made a high-tempo start, with Theo Walcott's pace proving an early thorn in Stoke's side and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain trying his luck with a shot that flashed wide.

The visitors took 20 minutes to get into the game and eventually had half-chances of their own through Peter Crouch, Ryan Shawcross and Glenn Whelan.

But Arsenal soon returned to the ascendancy and would have led at half-time had it not been for a trio of excellent saves from Begovic.

First, the Bosnian stopped a close-range snap-shot from Oxlade-Chamberlain, before palming a point-blank Laurent Koscielny header to safety.

However, his best stop came five minutes from the break, when Jack Wilshere released Oxlade-Chamberlain, who opened up his body and sent a right-foot shot towards the far corner, only for Begovic to divert it wide with a strong hand.

The break came at the wrong time for Arsenal and they struggled to regain their momentum for the first 20 minutes of the second period.

However, the introduction of the rested Santi Cazorla and Podolski from the substitutes' bench gave them fresh impetus and they soon set up camp in and around Stoke's box.

It looked like the breakthrough would not come, but after Andy Wilkinson brought down Walcott on the edge of the box, Podolski produced the winner courtesy of a helping hand from Cameron.

Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

More Match Results

There are no results at present.

Barclays Premier League

Position Team P GD PTS
1 Arsenal 0 0 0
2 A Villa 0 0 0
3 Burnley 0 0 0
4 Chelsea 0 0 0
5 C Palace 0 0 0
6 Everton 0 0 0
7 Hull City 0 0 0
8 Leicester 0 0 0
9 Liverpool 0 0 0
10 Man City 0 0 0
11 Man Utd 0 0 0
12 Newcastle 0 0 0
13 QPR 0 0 0
14 Southampton 0 0 0
15 Stoke City 0 0 0
16 Sunderland 0 0 0
17 Swansea 0 0 0
18 Tottenham 0 0 0
19 West Brom 0 0 0
20 West Ham 0 0 0

Updated Tue, 15 Jul 2014

Footer 365

Transfer news: Fulham sign midfielder Adil Chihi on free transfer

Fulham have signed Morocco international Adil Chihi on a one-year deal, with the option of a further 12 months.

Premier League: Darron Gibson makes Everton comeback after nine months out with cruciate injury

Darron Gibson made his comeback after nine months out with a serious knee injury in Everton's friendly against Tranmere.

Premier League: Brendan Rodgers insists Liverpool will move on without Luis Suarez

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers insists there is no bad blood between the club and the outgoing Luis Suarez.

Mail Box

Defending Woodward With Perspective

One Mailer is telling us to hold fire on our Woodward criticism, whilst we also have some wonderful PFA Team of The year geekery, a well done to Vieira and much more...

Why The Obsession Over The Captaincy?

Asks the morning mailbox, before hastily returning to the debate over who should replace Steven Gerrard. Plus, thoughts on Ed Woodward's spending plans and more...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property