STOKE CITY further enhanced their impressive home record against Arsenal in what turned out to be a pulsating encounter at the Britannia Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
A stunning opening 45 minutes ended with Mark Hughes’ side three goals to the good, but a second half fight-back from the Gunners ensured a tense and nervy finale.
Peter Crouch got the ball rolling for the impressive hosts after just 19 seconds, before Bojan rounded off a superb passage of play with an intelligent volley to double the lead midway through the half.
Jonathan Walters, who teed up both Crouch and Bojan for their earlier efforts, then seemingly put the game beyond doubt with a thumping effort from close range right on the stroke of half-time.
Some stern half-time words from Arsene Wenger helped inspire the visitors, who were fortunate not to fall four behind when Bojan had an effort harshly ruled out for an off the ball incident, before the Gunners were handed a lifeline in the 68th minute.
Referee Anthony Taylor awarded a controversial penalty after French midfielder Mathieu Flamini went down under a light challenge from Mame Diouf.
Spanish international Santi Cazorla stepped up and fired the ball home, despite Asmir Begovic getting a hand on his low and powerful strike.
90 seconds later, the stadium was stunned into silence when Aaron Ramsey rifled home a fabulous volley from the edge of the penalty area, having been left unmarked from a corner.
The buoyant and far more confident visitors had a spring in their step, but once again, there was another twist in the game when Callum Chambers saw red following a second bookable offence.
Wenger threw both Danny Welbeck and Joel Campbell during the second 45 minutes in a bid to salvage something for his side’s efforts, but it ultimately proved in vein, as the Potters held on to record a thoroughly deserved and hugely welcome three points.