The Straits Times
www.straitstimes.com
Published on Feb 03, 2013
 

Disputed Podolski strike sees Arsenal sink Stoke

 
 

LONDON (AFP) - A contentious goal from substitute Lukas Podolski allowed Arsenal to beat Stoke City 1-0 at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday.

The Germany international's 78th-minute free-kick was deflected into the Stoke net off defender Geoff Cameron at a time when an Arsenal player was in an offside position. But the goal was allowed to stand and the win moved the sixth-place Gunners to within a point of Everton and Tottenham Hotspur, the two clubs directly above them.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger made five changes to the side that had drawn 2-2 at home to Liverpool in mid-week and two of those were enforced by injuries suffered by defenders Thomas Vermaelen and Kieran Gibbs.

That enabled a recall for France centre-back Laurent Koscielny and an instant debut for transfer deadline day signing Nacho Monreal, the Spain left-back who reportedly cost £8.3 million (S$16.1 million) from Malaga.