Robin van Persie came off the bench to inspire Arsenal to a fourth straight Premier League win at home.

Gervinho had seen his clinical first-half strike from Aaron Ramsey's pass cancelled out by a close-range goal from former Spurs striker Peter Crouch.

But Van Persie swooped just six minutes after coming on as a second-half substitute to convert Gervinho's cross.

Wenger defends decision to rest Van Persie

The Dutchman added a third goal when he diverted a shot past Asmir Begovic after another Gervinho pass.

The win sees Arsenal leapfrog Stoke to go seventh in the Premier League table and maintain a winning sequence at Emirates Stadium that is now five games in all competitions.

It was somewhat harsh, though, on the visitors, who had defended with strength and in numbers and looked good value for a point - until the introduction of Van Persie.

By winning, Arsenal brought to an end a run of four consecutive defeats in games after Champions League matches. Stoke's third straight away Premier League defeat followed a strong win over Maccabi Tel-Aviv in the Europa League on Thursday.

Analysis

This was more like the Arsenal of old towards the end but the introduction of Van Persie made a huge difference.

Gervinho had already had a sight of goal when he drifted in behind the visiting defence after 15 minutes only for Begovic to collect the ball after he miscontrolled it with his chest.

But the Ivorian gave Stoke's keeper no chance midway through the half, collecting Ramsey's clever lofted pass and keeping a cool head to slot home his second goal in Arsenal colours.

The strike should have been the signal for the home side to get on the front foot but the opposite happened, with Stoke gaining more possession and being rewarded for their efforts with an equaliser.

Arsenal players protested about the free-kick awarded against Laurent Koscielny for a foul on Crouch but they failed to defend it properly, losing three 50-50s in their own box as the visitors restored parity.

The goal was the 18th Arsenal have conceded in the Premier League this season, meaning they have now conceded more in their first nine games than they did in the whole of the 1998-99 campaign.

First Ryan Shawcross peeled off at the back post to return the ball across goal, where it was flicked on by Matthew Upson to Jon Walters, who nodded it goalwards for Crouch to side-foot home from three yards.

Van Persie happy to start on bench

Van Persie's made an almost instant impression after his introduction in the 66th minute, converting Gervinho's cross following his powerful run down the right wing.

The duo repeated the trick eight minutes from time, with Gervinho advancing down the left wing this time and firing a pass into Van Persie, with Begovic failing to keep out the Dutchman's shot.

The Gunners skipper, who has recently stalled over a new contract, has now scored eight of his side's 15 goals this season.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger:

"It was a gamble to play him (Van Persie) but he has a special quality. He can open teams up and maybe when he plays, the confidence of other players grows.

"He is a very intelligent player and his record is just incredible. He was on the edge, but we knew we would get 20 or 30 minutes out of him.

"We took over in the final quarter of the game and it was a deserved victory at the end of a tough week.

"There is still a lot to do but the crowd is behind the team, they stayed with us during a difficult spell, and the team is playing with a lot of spirit."

Pulis critical of Stoke defence

Stoke manager Tony Pulis:

"The second and third goals are disappointing because we don't like teams getting in behind us and they did that both times.

"I thought our lads were very good for an hour and we tired after that. The free-kick we scored from was something we have been working on and we executed it very well.

"But Arsenal have got players who cost £16m on the bench, and that's why they are where they are.

"We've had a lot of games already this season and we've shown a fantastic attitude in all of those games."

Lineup, Bookings (2) & Substitutions (6)

Arsenal

  • 13 Szczesny
  • 04 Mertesacker
  • 06 Koscielny
  • 11 Santos
  • 20 Djourou
  • 08 Arteta
  • 14 Walcott (Arshavin - 71' )
  • 16 Ramsey
  • 17 Song
  • 27 Gervinho (Frimpong - 90' )
  • 29 Chamakh (Van Persie - 66' )

Substitutes

  • 21 Fabianski
  • 07 Rosicky
  • 23 Arshavin
  • 26 Frimpong
  • 30 Benayoun
  • 09 Park Chu-Young
  • 10 Van Persie

Stoke City

  • 01 Begovic
  • 17 Shawcross
  • 20 Upson
  • 28 Wilkinson Booked
  • 06 Whelan
  • 12 Wilson
  • 18 Whitehead Booked
  • 24 Delap (Diao - 60' )
  • 26 Etherington (Jerome - 74' )
  • 19 Walters
  • 25 Crouch (Jones - 74' )

Substitutes

  • 29 Sorensen
  • 04 Huth
  • 30 Shotton
  • 15 Diao
  • 40 Palacios
  • 09 Jones
  • 33 Jerome
Ref: Mason
Att: 59,671

Match Stats

Shots

9 5

On target

5 2

Corners

10 1

Fouls

9 13

Live Text Commentary

90:00 +4:08 Full time

Full Time The referee blows his whistle to end the game.

90:00 +0:08

Mikel Arteta takes a short corner.

89:48 Substitution

Substitution Yao Gervinho goes off and Emmanuel Frimpong comes on.

89:30

Yao Gervinho takes a shot. Save by Asmir Begovic.

84:03

Unfair challenge on Robin van Persie by Glenn Whelan results in a free kick. Wojciech Szczesny takes the direct free kick.

81:19

Assist on the goal came from Yao Gervinho.

81:19 Goal scored

Goal! - Robin van Persie - Arsenal 3 - 1 Stoke Robin van Persie finds the back of the net with a goal from close in to the bottom right corner of the goal. Arsenal 3-1 Stoke.

77:52

Glenn Whelan fouled by Clarindo Andre Santos, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Glenn Whelan.

77:13

Cameron Jerome gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Wojciech Szczesny. Direct free kick taken by Wojciech Szczesny.

76:54

Kenwyne Jones takes a shot. Save by Wojciech Szczesny.

76:06

Clarindo Andre Santos gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Dean Whitehead. Glenn Whelan takes the free kick.

74:24

The referee blows for offside. Indirect free kick taken by Matthew Upson.

73:27 Substitution

Substitution Cameron Jerome comes on in place of Matthew Etherington.

73:27 Substitution

Substitution Kenwyne Jones comes on in place of Peter Crouch.

72:41

The assist for the goal came from Yao Gervinho.

72:41 Goal scored

Goal! - Robin van Persie - Arsenal 2 - 1 Stoke Robin van Persie finds the back of the net with a goal from inside the six-yard box to the bottom right corner of the goal. Arsenal 2-1 Stoke.

71:50

Mikel Arteta takes a inswinging corner to the near post, clearance made by Peter Crouch.

70:59

Robin van Persie takes a inswinging corner from the right by-line played to the near post, clearance by Glenn Whelan.

70:39 Substitution

Substitution Andrey Arshavin comes on in place of Theo Walcott.

65:58

Short corner worked by Mikel Arteta.

65:47 Substitution

Substitution Marouane Chamakh leaves the field to be replaced by Robin van Persie.

63:22

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Matthew Etherington by Clarindo Andre Santos. Matthew Etherington takes the direct free kick.

59:28 Substitution

Substitution Salif Diao is brought on as a substitute for Rory Delap.

55:50

Free kick awarded for a foul by Alex Song on Jonathan Walters. Asmir Begovic restarts play with the free kick.

55:20

Corner taken right-footed by Mikel Arteta from the left by-line to the near post, clearance made by Glenn Whelan.

54:20

Clarindo Andre Santos restarts play with the free kick.

54:20 Booking

Booking Andy Wilkinson is shown a yellow card.

54:13

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Theo Walcott by Andy Wilkinson.

52:01

Outswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Mikel Arteta.

51:11

Unfair challenge on Mikel Arteta by Glenn Whelan results in a free kick. Laurent Koscielny takes the free kick.

47:20

Outswinging corner taken by Mikel Arteta from the right by-line.

45:56

Long range effort from Jonathan Walters misses to the left of the goal.

45:01

The second half kicks off.

45:00 +2:20 Half time

Half Time It is the end of the first-half.

45:00 +1:28

Mikel Arteta takes a outswinging corner. Yao Gervinho takes a shot from just outside the penalty area which clears the crossbar.

45:00 +1:02

The ball is sent over by Mikel Arteta, Marouane Chamakh takes a shot. Blocked by Matthew Upson.

41:01

Rory Delap concedes a free kick for a foul on Laurent Koscielny. Direct free kick taken by Mikel Arteta.

39:03

Unfair challenge on Peter Crouch by Laurent Koscielny results in a free kick. Ryan Shawcross restarts play with the free kick.

37:53

Inswinging corner taken by Glenn Whelan from the left by-line played to the near post, Marouane Chamakh makes a clearance.

35:30

Free kick awarded for a foul by Aaron Ramsey on Dean Whitehead. Free kick crossed right-footed by Glenn Whelan from right wing, clearance by Laurent Koscielny.

33:35

The assist for the goal came from Jonathan Walters.

33:35 Goal scored

Goal! - Peter Crouch - Arsenal 1 - 1 Stoke Peter Crouch scores a goal from inside the six-yard box high into the middle of the goal. Arsenal 1-1 Stoke.

32:52

Laurent Koscielny challenges Peter Crouch unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Glenn Whelan.

31:01

Mikel Arteta takes a outswinging corner from the right by-line to the near post, clearance by Peter Crouch.

30:11

Per Mertesacker takes the direct free kick.

30:11 Booking

Booking The referee shows Dean Whitehead a yellow card.

30:03

Dean Whitehead gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Mikel Arteta.

29:21

Johan Djourou concedes a free kick for a foul on Peter Crouch. Marc Wilson takes the direct free kick.

28:22

Free kick awarded for a foul by Peter Crouch on Laurent Koscielny. Free kick taken by Wojciech Szczesny.

26:23

The assist for the goal came from Aaron Ramsey.

26:23 Goal scored

Goal! - Yao Gervinho - Arsenal 1 - 0 Stoke Yao Gervinho grabs a goal from close range low into the middle of the goal. Arsenal 1-0 Stoke.

25:16

Unfair challenge on Alex Song by Andy Wilkinson results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Mikel Arteta.

23:07

Mikel Arteta challenges Rory Delap unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick crossed by Andy Wilkinson.

22:39

Jonathan Walters is ruled offside. Indirect free kick taken by Per Mertesacker.

21:45

Shot from just outside the box by Aaron Ramsey misses to the left of the target.

21:03

Marc Wilson gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Theo Walcott. Free kick crossed right-footed by Mikel Arteta from right wing, Matthew Upson manages to make a clearance.

17:19

The referee gives a free kick against Dean Whitehead for handball. Wojciech Szczesny restarts play with the free kick.

16:11

Rory Delap challenges Alex Song unfairly and gives away a free kick. Aaron Ramsey restarts play with the free kick.

14:54

Free kick awarded for a foul by Matthew Upson on Marouane Chamakh. Aaron Ramsey restarts play with the free kick.

11:13

Long range shot by Mikel Arteta goes wide right of the target.

10:22

Jonathan Walters has an effort at goal from the edge of the box that misses to the right of the target.

8:31

Mikel Arteta takes the outswinging corner, Headed effort from deep inside the penalty area by Marouane Chamakh misses to the left of the goal.

5:18

The ball is sent over by Johan Djourou.

3:37

The ball is sent over by Rory Delap, save made by Wojciech Szczesny.

2:55

Matthew Etherington has a shot on goal from outside the box which misses right.

1:37

The referee penalises Clarindo Andre Santos for handball. Direct free kick taken by Andy Wilkinson.

1:27

Glenn Whelan concedes a free kick for a foul on Alex Song. Per Mertesacker restarts play with the free kick.

0:13

Foul by Peter Crouch on Laurent Koscielny, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Johan Djourou. The official flags Theo Walcott offside. Asmir Begovic takes the free kick.

0:00

The game begins.

Live data and text provided by our data suppliers