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Football: Walters puts dent in Arsenal's title bid

Published on Mar 2, 2014 5:52 AM
Stoke City's Jonathan Walters celebrates after scoring a penalty against Arsenal during their English Premier League soccer match at the Britannia stadium in Stoke-on-Trent, central England on March 1, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

STOKE-ON-TRENT, United Kingdom (AFP) - Arsenal's Premier League title challenge suffered a major setback as they crashed to a shock 1-0 defeat at Stoke following Jon Walters' late penalty on Saturday.

Having missed four of his previous six penalties, Republic of Ireland international Walters showed nerves of steel to slot home with 14 minutes remaining after Laurent Koscielny was adjudged to have handled inside the area.

Leaders' Chelsea's victory at Fulham meant the Gunners now trail Jose Mourinho's team by four points as they made the worst possible start to a month manager Arsene Wenger had claimed in the build-up would define their season.

Arsenal have now won just once in their last eight trips to the Britannia Stadium and, although this was the first time they had come up against Mark Hughes in the home dugout, the game retained the same feisty edge it became famed for when his predecessor Tony Pulis was in charge.

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