Robin van Persie’s 35th goal of the season cancelled out Peter Crouch’s opener as Arsenal picked up a 1-1 draw at Stoke.
While Arsenal knew a victory would have tightened their grip on third place in the EPL and they controlled the game throughout, a draw does their hopes of Champions League football next season little harm.
At a venue they have rarely enjoyed, they fell behind early on through Crouch’s header. But Van Persie touched in for his second goal in eight games.
Elsewhere, in London, Newcastle’s bid for Champions League qualification suffered a reality check as Wigan eased their relegation fears with a thumping 4-0 win over the Magpies.
Newcastle had dared to dream of winning a place in European football’s elite competition after moving into the top four of the EPL last week with their sixth straight win. However Alan Pardew’s side were stunned 4-0 (Victor Moses 13th & 15th mins, Shaun Maloney 36th, Franco Di Santo 45th) by Wigan, who moved three points clear of the relegation zone.
Other results :-
Everton 4-0 Fulham
Sunderland 2-2 Bolton
Swansea 4-4 W’hampton
West Brom 0-0 Aston Villa
Norwich 0-3 Liverpool