Arsenal are now unbeaten in ten league games whilst Stoke have yet to win away in 2011 but the visitor’s after a quiet first half made it a nervy second period for the Gunners as they clung on to their one goal advantage.
The one goal that mattered came after only 8 minutes from the unlikely source of Sebastien Squillaci who headed home Nicklas Bendtner’s dinked cross.
Stoke offered little in that first 45 minutes but pressed Arsenal after the break but failed to get the breakthrough. Gunners keeper Wojciech Szczesny denied John Carew and Robert Huth headed over the bar.
But even five minutes of added time, which had the Gunners faithful anxiously blowing the referees whistle, was not enough for the Potters to grab a battling point.
Manchester United still have a game in hand on Arsenal but for boss Arsene Wenger he will be waiting anxiously for the reports on his injured pair of Fabregas and Walcott particularly with the Carling Cup final on Sunday.
Referee: Peter Walton
Venue: Emirates Stadium
Arsenal scorers: Squillaci 8
22 Clichy (yellow card)
04 Fabregas (Arshavin 14)
14 Walcott (Denilson 71)
17 A Song
52 Bendtner (Chamakh 80)
12 Wilson (yellow card)(Wilkinson 87)
19 Walters (yellow card) (Fuller 78)