Report & Highlights: Stoke City 1-3 Arsenal – A bittersweet day for the Gunners
Two stoppage time goals give Arsenal a crucial victory in the title race but at a cost, with Aaron Ramsey suffering a serious injury.
The win moves Arsene Wenger’s side to within three points of leaders Chelsea with ten games remaining, but this evening’s victory was overshadowed by a horrific looking injury to youngster Ramsey.
Sagna – Vermaelen – Campbell – Clichy
Fabregas – Song – Ramsey
Eboue – Bendtner – Nasri
Midway through the second half, Ryan Shawcross hammered into a challenge with Ramsey just inside the Arsenal half. Both players went immediately to the floor and Ramsey was left with what looked like a very badly broken leg. Shawcross was immediately shown the red card by referee Peter Walton and the Stoke man was in tears as he left the pitch.
Arsenal, however, battled on and with the game heading into injury time and the score still deadlocked at 1-1, Arsenal were awarded a penalty for a handball by Danny Pugh. Up stepped their captain Cesc Fabregas, who slotted past Sorensen into the corner to give them the lead.
Minutes later, the visitors found the killer third goal to wrap up the points. Rosicky struck a shot from the edge of the area. Sorensen got down well to his right to make the save, but Fabregas followed in sharply to turn the ball back across goal and there was Vermaelen to tap the home into an empty net.
It was little more than Arsenal deserved after dominating the final hour of proceedings, but they were slow to a start and yet again they were undone by a Rory Delap throw-in. With just over seven minutes on the clock, Delap’s long throw-in was headed on towards the far post by Shawcross and Danny Pugh stooped to head home from a couple of yards.
Immediate thoughts will now turn to the well being of Aaron Ramsey but after tonight’s victory, Arsenal can again look towards the end of the season still in the hunt for honours.