Result: Lukas Podolski gives Arsenal win over Stoke City

Arsenal edge a 1-0 win over Stoke City due to Lukas Podolski's deflected free kick.

A deflected free kick from Lukas Podolski was all that separated Arsenal and Stoke City in their Premier League match this afternoon as the Gunners ran out 1-0 winners.

New Arsenal defender Nacho Monreal in action on his debut against Stoke on February 2, 2013© PA Photos

The visitors were the first to force a save from the opposition keeper when Peter Crouch controlled Ryan Shawcross's long ball forward before unleashing a half-volley that Wojciech Szczesny needed to save.

The rest of the half was the Asmir Begovic show, however. The Stoke keeper denied Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain a golden opportunity from point-blank range before pulling off another fine save from Laurent Koscielny's back header.

Begovic was called upon again just before the break, denying Oxlade-Chamberlain for a second time with a fingertip save.

The Gunners continued their pressure in the second half, with Jack Wilshere setting up Olivier Giroud 10 minutes after the restart only for the Frenchman to fire his effort over the bar.

Lukas Podolski scores a deflected free-kick against Stoke on February 2, 2013© AP Photos

Arsenal finally broke the deadlock with under 15 minutes of the match remaining as Podolski's free kick deflected off Geoff Cameron and into the net.

Santi Cazorla almost killed the game off 10 minutes from time after taking on the entire Stoke defence, but Begovic got a crucial touch to the Spaniard's close-range strike.

New Arsenal defender Nacho Monreal in action on his debut against Stoke on February 2, 2013
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