Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil scored the other goals as Arsenal closed the gap to fourth-placed Liverpool to just a point
ARSENAL gave their top-four hopes a huge boost as they thrashed Stoke 4-1 with an accomplished away performance.
Importantly, they vastly improved their goal difference, which is now equal to that of fourth-placed Liverpool, with the Gunners just a point behind.
Olivier Giroud put the visitors ahead just three minutes before half-time when he finished off a flowing move to sweep home.
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The much-maligned Mesut Ozil made it 2-0 ten minutes into the second half after he was beautifully picked out by Alexis Sanchez in the box.
Substitute Peter Crouch then had the home fans dreaming of a magnificent comeback when he scored, albeit with his hand, from a Marko Arnautovic ball into the box.
But the Potters’ joy was short lived. Sanchez, who was carrying an injury, fired home for 3-1, with Bellerin again getting the assist.
And Giroud wrapped up an impressive away victory when he slotted home his side’s fourth goal.
Now it’s over to Liverpool.
Facts, Stats, Goals and Lols
May 21 – Southampton (A) – PL
May 16 – Sunderland (H) – PL
May 21 – Everton (H) – PL
May 27 – Chelsea (N) – FA Cup
Dream Team Ratings
Stoke: Butland, Johnson, Shawcross, Martins Indi, Pieters, Cameron, Whelan, Shaqiri, Allen (Crouch, 60), Arnautovic (Sobhi, 81), Diouf (Berahino, 61)
Subs (not used): Muniesa, Adam, Walters, Grant
Goals: Crouch (67)
Arsenal: Cech, Holding, Mustafi, Koscielny, Bellerín, Coquelin, Xhaka, Monreal, Özil, Sánchez, Giroud
Subs (not used): Gabriel, Ramsey, Ospina, Walcott, Iwobi, Welbeck, Elneny
Goals: Giroud (42, 80), Ozil (56), Sanchez (76)
Booked: Mustafi, Holding
What They Said
Goalscorer Olivier Giroud: “Everything was not so easy today, we knew it would be a tough game but we have been efficient up front and compact and aggressive at the back.
“It’s a great win today, and we have more finals to come.
“Obviously we have to do the job, but I will be a big fan of West Ham tomorrow, they have all my support.
“But we have to do our job and see if the other results go.
“We are going to keep the faith.”
Defender Rob Holding: “Crouch got that goal, their fans got a bit louder, but we got them on the break and polished them off.”