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PREMIER LEAGUE: van Persie fires Arsenal into top seven

Arsenal have got their season back on track with a 3-1 victory over Stoke City at the Emirates Stadium today.

Gunners skipper Robin van Persie was the man once again as he came off the bench to score twice in the second half as Arsene Wenger's men produced their fourth home victory in a row in the league.

The first goal went to Arsenal when Aaron Ramsey created the opener with a deft chip for an on-side Gervinho who controlled well with his chest before finishing perfectly with his left foot in the 27th minute before the visitors hit back seven minutes later through Peter Crouch. A free-kick was headed across goal by Ryan Shawcross before Jonathan Walters' touch alllowed Crouch to poke home from right on the line but the foul by Laurent Koscielny was questionable in the first place.

van Persie came on for his side and managed to put them in front with 15 minutes remaining when Gervinho played in a neat ball from the right for the Dutchman to slot home from the six-yard box for his sixth of the Premier League season and 24th in his last 26 in the competition. It was also Arsenal's 200th league goal at the Emirates in their 100th appearance at the venue.

With eight minutes left, van Persie made it four in two when Gervinho was played down the right by Andrey Arshavin and used his pace to beat the Stoke defence before cutting back for his captain who knocked it in with his right foot to put an end to the Potters' brave resistance.

It was the exactly the type of win the Arsenal side needed to follow on from their late victory at Marseille midweek and sees them go to seventh on the table, just two points behind fifth-placed Liverpool, whilst Stoke dropped to ninth with their third defeat of the season.

TRIBAL ASKS: Have Arsenal now got things back on track for a Champions League finish or are they still too weak in defence?

Arsenal: 3 (Gervinho 27', Robin van Persie 73'/82') Stoke City: 1 (Peter Crouch 34') Emirates Stadium, North London - 59,671

Yellow cards:ARS - nil STO - Dean Whitehead 31', Andy Wilkinson 55'

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Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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