Pennant scored one and assisted one against his former club
By Michael Da Silva
Stoke extinguished Arsenal's Premier League title dream with a deserved win at the Britannia Stadium.
Kenwyne Jones bundled home a pinpoint free-kick by Jermaine Pennant who then capped a driving run with a shot that deflected off Johan Djourou.
Robin van Persie struck from the edge of the box to give the Gunners hope but the visitors conceded two minutes later when Jonathan Walters slotted home.
Arsenal, three points behind Chelsea, can still clinch second place.
The north London side, who possess the best away record in the division, knew that nothing but a win would do if they were to keep alive their hopes of pulling off the unlikeliest of late title drives.
Van Persie, so often their talisman on the road, came close to opening the scoring after only six minutes when he latched on to Aaron Ramsey's cute through ball, but fired over from 10 yards.
Pulis applauds Stoke commitment
Pennant caused a moment of indecision in the Arsenal defence when he hooked the ball wide from the edge of the box after visiting goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny could only half clear Rory Delap's awkward cross.
Predictably, the Gunners were the more sophisticated side in possession, but Stoke's counter-attacking strategy had their opponents stretched on a number of occasions.
So it was not entirely a surprise when the FA Cup finalists took the lead through Jones in the 28th minute.
An off-colour Andrey Arshavin was guilty of conceding a needless free-kick when, rather than keeping Pennant in the corner, the Russian needlessly shoved the winger to the ground.
Pennant whipped the resultant free-kick into the near post and Jones evaded the attention of Djourou to bundle home the simplest of finishes beyond the wrong-footed Szczesny.
The visitors, unsettled by the goal, found themselves two behind five minutes before the break and it was Pennant, a menace to his former club all afternoon, who scored.
Pennant forced Ramsey to surrender possession and ran at the back-peddling Bacary Sagna before unleashing a shot that took a significant deflection off Djourou's foot and looped over Szczesny.
The Polish keeper got a hand to the ball and perhaps should have prevented it dipping under the crossbar.
Walters almost added a third two minutes later when he hassled Sagna into an uncharacteristic error before curling an effort from a tight angle beyond Szczesny but against the bar.
Arsenal continued to dominate possession in the second half but their lack of end product was a frustration to manager Arsene Wenger, who was becoming increasingly animated on the touchline.
The half-time introductions of Nicklas Bendtner and Marouane Chamakh, and subsequent move to a 4-4-2 formation, did little to cure the Gunners' inability to craft clear-cut opportunities.
Their frustration threatened to boil over at times, with Jack Wilshere shown a yellow card after an altercation with Pennant midway through the second-half.
Arsenal not strong enough - Wenger
Once tensions had thawed, Wenger's side set about trying to salvage something from the game but Van Persie was denied by a top-class save from Potters keeper Asmir Begovic.
Bendtner waltzed into the penalty area and laid the ball to Van Persie, who had ghosted into a great position eight yards out, but the Dutchman's low shot was saved expertly by Begovic with his legs.
Van Persie finally got his goal, his eighth in consecutive away games, in the 81st minute when he held off the challenges of two Stoke defenders to strike a low right-foot shot which Begovic allowed to squeeze under his body.
Stoke, however, restored their two-goal advantage two minutes later when Djourou was only able to half clear Andy Wilkinson's low shot, allowing Walters to nip in unchallenged and stroke the ball home from eight yards.
Arsenal's defeat heralds the end of their title dream for another year but, for Stoke, the result is ideal preparation for Saturday's FA Cup final clash against Manchester City.
But The Potters will be made to sweat over the fitness of centre-back Robert Huth ahead of the Wembley showpiece, after the German was forced off with a knee injury.
90:00+4:07 The game is over, as the referee blows his whistle.
90:00+2:48 Handball by Nicklas Bendtner. Free kick taken by Asmir Begovic.
90:00+0:12 Robin van Persie fouled by Salif Diao, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Johan Djourou.
86:47 Effort from just outside the box by Bacary Sagna goes over the bar.
85:49 Theo Walcott fouled by Ryan Shawcross, the ref awards a free kick. Theo Walcott has an effort direct from the free kick.
83:04 Substitution (Stoke) makes a substitution, with Salif Diao coming on for Kenwyne Jones.
81:26 GOAL - Jonathan Walters:Stoke 3 - 1 Arsenal Jonathan Walters gets on the score sheet with a goal from inside the box to the bottom right corner of the goal. Stoke 3-1
80:30 Assist on the goal came from Marouane Chamakh.
80:30 GOAL - Robin van Persie:Stoke 2 - 1 Arsenal A goal is scored by Robin van Persie from just inside the area low into the middle of the goal. Stoke 2-1 Arsenal.
79:19 Substitution Tomas Rosicky joins the action as a substitute, replacing Alex Song.
78:48 Effort on goal by Robin van Persie from just inside the box goes harmlessly over the target.
75:34 Inswinging corner taken by Danny Pugh from the right by-line, Unfair challenge on Wojciech Szczesny by Ryan Shawcross results
in a free kick. Wojciech Szczesny takes the free kick.
75:22 Glenn Whelan takes a shot. Wojciech Szczesny makes a save.
73:25 Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Robin van Persie from the right by-line, Abdoulaye Faye makes a clearance.
73:02 Corner taken by Theo Walcott from the left by-line, Ryan Shawcross makes a clearance.
72:48 Corner taken by Robin van Persie from the right by-line, clearance made by Kenwyne Jones.
72:39 Robin van Persie takes a shot. Asmir Begovic gets a block in.
71:45 Substitution Danny Pugh joins the action as a substitute, replacing Jermaine Pennant.
71:02 Jermaine Pennant fouled by Jack Wilshere, the ref awards a free kick. The ball is delivered by Jermaine Pennant, Rory Delap
produces a header from deep inside the six-yard box which goes wide of the right-hand post.
70:34 Booking The referee cautions Jermaine Pennant for unsporting behaviour.
70:29 Booking The referee books Jack Wilshere for unsporting behaviour.
68:43 Marouane Chamakh concedes a free kick for a foul on Kenwyne Jones. Andy Wilkinson takes the free kick.
67:20 Jermaine Pennant concedes a free kick for a foul on Robin van Persie. Free kick crossed by Jack Wilshere, Glenn Whelan makes
63:44 Unfair challenge on Laurent Koscielny by Kenwyne Jones results in a free kick. Laurent Koscielny takes the direct free kick.
62:33 Dean Whitehead concedes a free kick for a foul on Jack Wilshere. Free kick taken by Kieran Gibbs.
Correction - 61:08 Rory Delap takes a shot. Laurent Koscielny gets a block in.
61:08 Jonathan Walters takes a shot. Blocked by Laurent Koscielny.
60:13 Asmir Begovic takes the free kick.
60:13 Booking Nicklas Bendtner goes into the referee's book for unsporting behaviour.
60:07 Jermaine Pennant fouled by Nicklas Bendtner, the ref awards a free kick.
59:08 Andy Wilkinson is ruled offside. Free kick taken by Wojciech Szczesny.
57:24 Robin van Persie takes a shot. Comfortable save by Asmir Begovic.
56:22 Foul by Robin van Persie on Jermaine Pennant, free kick awarded. Asmir Begovic takes the direct free kick.
52:21 Marouane Chamakh has an effort at goal from just outside the penalty box which goes wide of the left-hand post.
51:21 Effort from a long way out by Nicklas Bendtner goes wide right of the goal.
50:04 Substitution Abdoulaye Faye replaces Robert Huth.
46:07 Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Jermaine Pennant, Robert Huth has a header from close in and clears the crossbar.
45:01 The referee gets the second half started.
45:01 Substitution Aaron Ramsey leaves the field to be replaced by Marouane Chamakh.
45:01 Substitution Nicklas Bendtner comes on in place of Andrey Arshavin.
45:00+1:28 The referee blows for half time.
45:00+0:57 Corner taken right-footed by Andrey Arshavin, clearance made by Ryan Shawcross.
44:27 The assistant referee flags for offside against Robin van Persie. Asmir Begovic restarts play with the free kick.
41:31 Unfair challenge on Jack Wilshere by Dean Whitehead results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Aaron Ramsey.
40:58 Jonathan Walters takes a shot.
39:27 GOAL - Jermaine Pennant:Stoke 2 - 0 Arsenal Jermaine Pennant finds the back of the net with a goal from outside the area to the top right corner of the goal. Stoke 2-0
36:13 Foul by Robin van Persie on Ryan Shawcross, free kick awarded. Asmir Begovic restarts play with the free kick.
34:05 Unfair challenge on Dean Whitehead by Jack Wilshere results in a free kick. Asmir Begovic takes the direct free kick.
31:42 Jack Wilshere takes a shot. Dean Whitehead gets a block in.
30:54 Jonathan Walters takes a shot. Save by Wojciech Szczesny.
27:12 Jermaine Pennant provided the assist for the goal.
27:12 GOAL - Kenwyne Jones:Stoke 1 - 0 Arsenal Kenwyne Jones grabs a goal from close range to the bottom right corner of the goal. Stoke 1-0 Arsenal.
26:30 Andrey Arshavin challenges Jermaine Pennant unfairly and gives away a free kick. A cross is delivered by Jermaine Pennant,
22:32 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Jermaine Pennant by Laurent Koscielny. Direct free kick taken by Asmir Begovic.
20:07 Bacary Sagna has an effort at goal from just outside the box which goes wide of the right-hand upright.
15:41 Effort on goal by Jonathan Walters from 18 yards. Save by Wojciech Szczesny.
14:38 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Dean Whitehead by Jack Wilshere. Glenn Whelan takes the direct free kick.
13:55 Theo Walcott has an effort at goal from the edge of the area that misses to the right of the target.
12:51 Shot from just outside the area by Jermaine Pennant misses to the right of the target.
8:02 Inswinging corner taken by Andrey Arshavin from the left by-line, Laurent Koscielny produces a right-footed shot from inside
the area that clears the bar.
5:49 Robin van Persie produces a left-footed shot from inside the area that goes over the bar.
3:16 Glenn Whelan takes a shot from a long way out clearing the bar.
2:36 Kieran Gibbs challenges Jermaine Pennant unfairly and gives away a free kick. Asmir Begovic restarts play with the free kick.
1:02 Andrey Arshavin has an effort at goal from just inside the box that misses to the left of the goal.
0:00 The referee gets the game started.
Live text and data provided by The Press Association.
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