Three goals from Arsenal in the last 15 minutes were enough to fend off relegation threatened Stoke City. In front of a sparse crowd at the Emirates the Potters were battling well on a ground they have never won at in the 10 years they have been in the Premier League.
Chances in the first half were limited however as Xherdan Shaqiri came close for the visitors in the fourth minute with his shot bending just wide of the post. Arsenal were booed off at halftime after there only chance was Aaron Ramsey’s close range effort clipped the crossbar.
Stoke came close in the second half through Shaqiri again when his corner hit the post but apart from that the Potters barely troubled David Ospina’s goal. Arsenal stepped it up with a few more clear cut chances but the deadlock was broken 15 minutes from the end of the match after Bruno Martens Indi brought down Mezut Ozil, however replays showed that Martens Indi got a toe on the ball before making contact with Ozil. Since the ball rolled forward instead of to the side it may have looked like Ozil got the touch to the referee. Aubameyang dispatched the penalty confidently but Stoke still contested the decision. Since then Stoke manager Paul Lambert has said the use of VAR should be used in the Premier League.
5 – Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has now scored five goals in the Premier League; the most by any Arsenal player in their first six appearances in the competition. Alive. pic.twitter.com/Ha3tfxFvSb
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) April 1, 2018
Minutes later the Gabon striker got his second after firing home after a Ozil corner but then passed up on the opportunity to claim his hat trick after a second and much less controversial penalty was given after Badou Ndiaye bundled down substitute Alexandre Lacazette and the Frenchman scored a nearly identical penalty to Aubameyang sending Jack Butland the wrong way.
3-0 certainly did flatter Arsenal but it is the same old story for the Potters in that they play to go a good standard but are just lacking that final pass and cutting edge in the final third but luck was certainly not on their side in this encounter. Stoke have only won 1 of the 10 games they have played under Paul Lambert and time is running out for them to save their Premier League status.