Stoke City reinforced their status as Arsenal’s bogey-team, at the Britannia Stadium at least, as they stunned the north Londoners with a three-goal opening salvo that proved too much to overcome.
Peter Crouch poked the home side into an immediate advantage before Bojan, very impressive on the day, doubled the advantage and Jonathan Walters scored a third inside the opening 45 minutes.
It was reminiscent of the destructions Arsenal suffered at the hands of Chelsea and Liverpool last season and heaped the pressure on Arsene Wenger once again after a brief period of respite for the manager.
Stoke had moved into a four-goal lead before Bojan’s goal was ruled out with a late flag, and the Gunners immediately got a one back after Santi Cazorla converted from the spot in the absence of Mikel Arteta.
There was a chance Cazorla’s goal may not be a mere consolation when Aaron Ramsey found the net for the visitors, but a famous comeback was not to be as Stoke held on for maximum points.
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Following this defeat, Arsenal remain two points outside the Premier League’s top four positions but could be for points adrift by the end of this round of fixtures with West Ham, Manchester United and Southampton yet to play.
Stoke, meanwhile, moved themselves further away from danger with the relegation zone now some five points behind Mark Hughes’ side.
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