Arsenal secure solid win over Stoke

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Arsenal climbed to top of the Premier League table after a 3-1 win over Stoke at the Emirates Stadium.

Mark Hughes is still in search of his first managerial win at Arsenal after watching his side pull the game level at 1-1, but Per Mertesacker and Bacary Sagna left Geoff Cameron's 26th minute strike as merely a consolation for the Potters.

Mesut Ozil made his Emirates debut for Arsenal and after Theo Walcott pulled out in the warm up, 18-year-old Serge Gnabry was welcomed into Arsene Wenger's team.

Meanwhile, Marko Arnautovic made his full Stoke debut at the expense of Matthew Etherington in Hughes' only change to the team that drew 0-0 with Manchester City last weekend.

The game had barely even started when Arsenal were awarded a free-kick in the fourth minute. Ozil fired a hard shot at Asmir Begovic and the Stoke goalkeeper could only parry the ball and Aaron Ramsey fired in the rebound for his fifth goal in seven games.

Stoke found it hard to create chances with Kenwyne Jones alone up-front, Charlie Adam tried to force some offence when he ran down the wing and put in an early cross but it was agonisingly out of Jones' reach. 

Arsenal managed to deal with everything Stoke threw at them in the opening 20 minutes, but Arnautovic was out to impress on his debut and after his shot struck the woodwork, Cameron maintained his composure to slot the rebound past Wojciech Szczęsny for his first goal in English football.

But just ten minutes later Ozil was again involved as Mertesacker got his head on the end of the German's corner to take the Gunners back in front leading into the interval.

Kieran Gibbs was straight out in the second half to try his luck in front of goal but Begovic had his shot covered before Olivier Giroud forced another fine save from the Stoke goalkeeper.

Stoke had a short period of possession with Jones, Jon Walters and Marc Wilson all linking up well but to no avail.

Both sides had chances within seconds of each other with Ozil and Wilson both forcing saves from Begovic and Szczesny.

Ozil was again on hand to help Arsenal go 3-1 ahead, the former Real Madrid midfielder hit a teasing cross into the Stoke box and Sagna rose to head the ball past Begovic for his first goal of the season.

Stoke had no answer after Arsenal took the lead, and the Gunners finished the game on top.

Stoke next host Norwich at the Britannia Stadium on Sunday whilst Arsenal travel to Wales to face an in-form Swansea City.

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