Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored a brace to see the Gunners earn a 3-0 win over Stoke. 

By 90Min
April 01, 2018

Arsenal beat Stoke City 3-0 at the Emirates Stadium, as Arsène Wenger's side produced an impressive end to the fixture to overturn the Potters.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang opened the scoring late on for Arsenal, calmly slotting home a penalty after a clumsy foul in the penalty area by Bruno Martins Indi. 

The Gabonese goal machine doubled his side's lead soon after with a precise finish before substitute Alexandre Lacazette sealed the win with another penalty late on.

The Potters took a surprisingly positive approach to the opening moments, closing down their opposition players at every opportunity, as Arsenal looked to dominate the game. 

Within the first five minutes, the visitors had the first chance of the match. After some neat interplay around the penalty area, Xherdan Shaqiri bent a fine effort just wide of the post from 20 yards.

Arsène Wenger's side shook off their early scare and began to look more assured on the ball - with Jack Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey linking up well in midfield. 

However, with 10 minutes on the clock, Arsenal was yet to have a shot at goal, and the Emirates Stadium crowd began to become frustrated with their side's lack of cohesive play.

The Gunners fans finally had something to shout about midway through the first half. Clever play from Ramsey found Wilshere in the box, who's bundled one-two saw his teammate's chipped effort dip just over Jack Butland's crossbar. 

The home side began to find their stride, with Mesut Özil causing the Potters' defense problems with his tenacious dribbling skills.

As the half-time whistle approached, the discontent in the stadium was palpable - as the north London side continually squandered possession. 

Calum Chambers then had a fine opportunity to give his side the lead, but his header from Özil's pinpoint cross drifted wide of the Stoke goal. Soon after, Chambers drifted another header over from a similar position.

The second half started like the first, with Arsenal's frustrations growing as Stoke seemed confident in soaking up the pressure and breaking up the play when necessary. 

Arsenal had a good opportunity to take the lead in the 56th minute, as Özil and Wilshere combined neatly to find Danny Welbeck, whose powerful effort soared over the top of the crossbar.

Moments later, Arsenal's pressure began to pay dividends, as Mohamed Elneny saw a close-range shot blocked, before Nacho Monreal's rebound drew a solid stop from Butland. 

Wenger's men began to grow in confidence again, as the Potters started to make defensive errors. Substitute Lacazette lifted the home fans, as he looked to make an impact.

As the game entered its final quarter of an hour, Shaqiri produced a heart-in-mouth moment for the Gunners, as he twisted and turned on the edge of the box before curling a dipping effort into goalkeeper David Ospina's hands. The Switzerland international then hit the post from a corner, with a stunning effort almost gifting his side the opener.

Aubameyang should have scored moments later, as he surged through on goal from a glorious Ozil pass, only to see Butland stand tall and repel his tame effort. Lacazette had a near-post effort scrambled wide by the visiting defense, before Chambers missed yet another golden opportunity from the resulting corner, missing from five yards out when unmarked in the area.

In the 74th minute, Arsenal's increased pressure saw them rewarded, as they were awarded a penalty following a clumsy tackle by Bruno Martins Indi or Özil. Aubameyang sent Butland the wrong way with the spot kick, deftly rolling the ball into the bottom right corner of the net, before performing a celebratory forward flip in front of the relieved home fans.

As the game approached its final 10 minutes, Arsenal looked to build upon its lead. Substitute Henrikh Mkhitaryan forced Butland into a smart save with a close-range effort before Stoke stormed on the counter-attack and Mame Biram Diouf curled a slow shot just wide of a scrambling Ospina's far post.

Soon after, Butland made two terrific saves from the Arsenal attack. The England international first blocked Mkhitaryan's effort from a tight angle, before tipping Özil's thunderous drive over the bar. 

The Gunners then sealed the win in the 85th minute. Mustafi flicked on Özil's corner, finding Aubameyang who finished with precision from close range.

Arsenal rounded off the win in the 89th minute, as Lacazette fired home a penalty after Badou Ndiaye felled the France international in the penalty area. The Gunners saw out the win comfortably, with the away side's loss keeping them in grave danger of relegation, as they still lie in 19th place in the Premier League table.

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