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January 17, 2016

STOKE, England (AP) — Arsenal came away with a goalless draw from a traditionally tough fixture at Stoke to retain its Premier League lead on goal difference on Sunday.

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Both teams were indebted to their goalkeepers at Britannia Stadium, with Stoke's Jack Butland saving from Olivier Giroud at the start of each half and Arsenal's Petr Cech producing a great double save after the break to deny Joselu and Bojan Krkic.

"It is a hard-fought 0-0," said Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, who was without star playmaker Mesut Ozil because of injury. "We have done better than years before at this ground and showed we can fight even when we miss certain players."

In its last five trips to the Britannia, Arsenal has lost three matches and drawn the other two, failing to deal with Stoke's long-ball and direct threat.

Stoke has changed its approach this season under Mark Hughes, but Arsenal still had a tough test in bitterly cold conditions.

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"It shows our progress," Stoke manager Mark Hughes said. "Teams have found it difficult to get points here. We are showing everyone we have belief in our ability."

It was the first time since November 2012 that Arsenal has drawn 0-0 away from home in the Premier League.

Arsenal couldn't capitalize on Leicester's 1-1 draw at Aston Villa on Saturday and is tied on 44 points with Claudio Ranieri's team. Manchester City is a point behind in third after its 4-0 thrashing of Crystal Palace on Saturday.

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