Squillaci header gives Arsenal win at a cost

Written by Chris Wheatley


Sebastien Squillaci’s eighth minute header gave Arsenal all three points against Stoke, but the win came at a cost after injuries to Theo Walcott and skipper Cesc Fabregas.

French defender Squillaci scored from close range following a dominant opening spell of play by the Gunners. However, they dropped off and allowed Stoke to come back into the contest in the second half.

But Arsene Wenger’s men held on for the win to move within a point of the Premier League leaders Manchester United, while Stoke remain in mid-table on 33 points – six clear of the relegation zone.

Sagna – Djourou – Squillaci – Clichy
Fabregas – Song – Wilshere
Walcott – Bendtner – Nasri

Arsenal made a storming start and should have gone ahead in the second minute when Jack Wilshere finished a mazy run with a pass to Cesc Fabregas, who played in Theo Walcott but the forward hit his strike off the post with keeper Asmir Begovic beaten.

A minute later Fabregas’ high ball was headed down by Nicklas Bendtner to Walcott who fired wide of the mark.
Arsenal were rewarded for their early pressure on eight minutes when they took the lead.
Stoke could not clear a corner and Bendtner’s ball back into the area was headed in from close range by defender Squillaci.

Fabregas was forced out of the action on 14 minutes and it affected the tempo of Arsenal’s play.

However, Stoke barely threatened until the 36th minute when Jon Walters’ knocked the ball down to John Carew and the on-loan Aston Villa hitman’s half-volley from 25 yards was brilliantly saved by Wojciech Szczesny.

Stoke improved after the break and almost levelled on 48 minutes when Ryan Shawcross’ header from a Jermaine Pennant cross deflected off Johan Djourou and dropped wide of the goal.

Robert Huth headed over inside the area from a long Rory Delap throw-in on 58 minutes.

Arsenal did create chances with Wilshere firing at Begovic and Walcott firing wide from eight yards with just the Stoke keeper to beat on 64 minutes.

Pennant fired a free-kick into the side-netting on 89 minutes for Stoke but they could not find a way through giving Arsenal three three points ahead of Sunday’s Carling Cup final against Birmingham.

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I don’t like this match as it gave us an inkling of what BRUM tactics will be like at Wembley. Thsi team is suffering from “2nd halfitis”, strugglignt o score, desperately defending with opponents over-running our MDIFIELD and a toothless strikeforce with “Invisible Man” as Lone Striker. Worse, we are too predictable and Pulis reshaped the team with Wenger having no answer to counter Pulis to regain the initiative as in 1st half. We are certainly struggling to score goals, and the worrying part is that this “goal scoring” deficiency can be cruelly exposed by BRUM and maybe our downfall… Read more »

too bad! We need our best players at this point in the season.

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Some people will never be satisfied, namely merlin, we can’t expect to dominate every game. The result was what we wanted… three points.


too many (must win) games taking toll…

it was obviolsy wenger`s tactic to score a goal and keep passing the ball without giving it away. he wants his players not to be so tired ahead of sunday. three points are three points, none will remember how tha game was played, but how it ended ๐Ÿ˜€ chesney is the best ๐Ÿ˜€ not too much work to do, but when he was needed, he responded well. what a save for the carew shot i expect this to be the lineup for sunday: chesney sagna-kos-djourou-gibbs song-wilshere nasri bentner-chamakh-arshavin rvp cesc and denilson to come in 2-0 arsenal ๐Ÿ˜€
french gooner

merlin, go and support the spuds.have a look at the table.you say we cant score.weve scored more goals than anybody in the league.we needed 3 points and got them.i for one will rather have us play attacking football and take risks than play a wrestling match like those pie eating thugs from stoke .we defended very well when we had too and won the match.as for birmingham we beat them twice and im sure theyre more scared than us.lets bag that league cup.im a proud gooner !!!

yesh..yesh..French gooner…can’t debate logically and any criticism of Wenegr will render you an automatic S*CUMS supporter. I will not hold my breathe till April during Easter Weekend where all semi-finals are played and wheat are separated from the chaff. Come back and tell in April how the table look like will you. Go to my thread at Arsenal Times “WIll we score 130 goals in 2010/11 season?” and observe the trend since August 2010 where during December to February, the team is struggling to score more than 2 goals per match. Wenger’s philosophy is absed on Attacking Football, not defence… Read more »
Let’s compare our Unbeaten 2003/04 season as follows: Played 38 W26 D12 L0 = 90 points Our results against Top-6: 01- Arsenal… 2 Everton 1 [Henry, Pires] 02- CITEH….. 1 Arsenal 2 [Wiltord, Freddy] 03- ManLeeds.. 0 Arsenal 0 04- Liverpool. 1 Arsenal 2 [og, Pires] 05- Arsenal… 2 Chelski. 1 [Edu, Henry] 06- Arsenal… 2 S*CUMS 1 [Pires, Freddy] 07- Everton… 1 Arsenal 1 [Kanu] 08- Arsenal… 2 CITEH…. 1 [og, Henry] 09- CHelski… 1 Arsenal 2 [Vieira, Edu] 10- Arsenal… 1 ManLeeds 1[/color] [Henry] 11- Arsenal… 4 Liverpool 2 [Henry[3], Pires] 12- S*CUMS…. 2 Arsenal 2 [Vieira, Pires]… Read more »

what is Merlin on about? anyone actually read his post? it looks boring…


he needs some coke.