Home » EPL, Latest » Match Report: Stoke 1 Arsenal 1

Arsenal moved a step closer to securing Champions League football for next season with a point that they more than earned, but Arsène Wenger left the Britannia Stadium angered by Stoke’s continued jeering of midfielder Aaron Ramsey.

The fallout from Ramsey’s horrific double leg fracture, suffered in a challenge with Ryan Shawcross just over two years ago and which kept him out of the game for nine months, still lingers, and while Wenger declared himself untroubled for being mocked, he was less forgiving when it came to the treatment of the Wales captain.

The Arsenal manager said: “I don’t think that you can be especially proud to boo Aaron Ramsey, because I don’t see what he has done wrong in his behaviour, and that’s a story where the fans of Stoke stand behind that player [Shawcross] but they shouldn’t go as far as booing Aaron Ramsey.”

“[The Stoke fans] have a relationship with me but I don’t have one with them. I personally have enough experience to cope with that. It doesn’t bother me too much.

“The only thing I think sometimes when I go off at the end of the game when people insult you, are angry or hateful, if you could get just a little picture and send it home to you to show your son or your daughter and see if you do it again, if you are proud.”

Arsenal had lost three of their last four visits here, but after Robin van Persie’s 35th goal of the season was cancelled out Peter Crouch’s early opener, they did more than enough to have won.

With only a couple of minutes gone, Ramsey was clutching his jaw before a Dean Whitehead tackle on Alex Song brought a yellow card and plenty more protestations. To underline the point, Stoke’s fans celebrated their opening goal with chants of “1-0 to the rugby team”.

The visitors might have felt aggrieved at the unfairness of it all when they fell behind after just nine minutes, with Laurent Koscielny and Kieran Gibbs powerless to stop Crouch glancing in a header from Matthew Etherington’s cross from the left.

Arsenal had already threatened through Yossi Benayoun, and it was no surprise that it was the impressive Israeli who helped set up the equaliser. Benayoun robbed Ryan Shotton and pulled back for Tomas Rosicky, whose cross picked out Van Persie at the far post for the Dutchman to stab in.

The visitors continued to dominate and a fine passing move that cut through the hosts should have pulled them in front shortly after the interval, but Van Persie headed straight at Stoke keeper Asmir Begovic.

For all their possession, there were all too few chances for the visitors, but they did have a penalty claim when Benayoun went down under Glenn Whelan’s challenge in the area.

But other than a Sagna strike, which was held by Begovic, and a Thomas Vermaelen free-kick that flew well wide, Arsenal rarely threatened in the closing stages.

They had an anxious moment late on when a long throw from Rory Delap reached Crouch, despite the striker being surrounded by half-a-dozen Arsenal players, before Sagna hooked the ball away to safety.

Stoke manager Tony Pulis did not attempt to play down the abuse that Ramsey received but also highlighted the Arsenal fans’ booing of Shawcross.

“It is very difficult for us all. I go to grounds and get abused. It’s not just Arsène,” Pulis said. “Is it acceptable? The powers that be have got to decide that.”

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