With little chance of finishing in the EPL's top four, Arsenal must win the Europa League to qualify for next season's UEFA Champions League - a target that looks essential for under-fire Gunners boss Arsene Wenger as he fights to save his job. The game's first chance belonged to Stoke, the team with the greater need of three points, as Mame Biram Diouf laid the ball back to Xherdan Shaqiri, who shifted the ball onto his preferred left foot and curled it inches wide of David Ospina's right-hand post.
After Arsenal's 3-0 win, the German finally replied - and it was worth the wait.
The Gunners scored three in a sparkling final fifteen - but the first half ranked among the worst every played at the Emirates.
Arsenal ran out 3-0 winners versus Stoke thanks to a brace from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, and a penalty from the returning Alexandre Lacazette.
The Gabonese worldwide then had the chance to complete his hat trick after Ndiaye barged over Lacazette in the box.
On 75 minutes Mesut Ozil went to kick the ball in the box but Martins Indi got a slight touch of the ball before Ozil hit the floor.
In the second half, Stoke remained resolute in their defending and were only exposed on few occasions on the counter-attack.
"It's a big game", said Wilshere looking ahead to CSKA. Aubameyang later explained the reason for giving away the penalty and how the penalty would be "good for his confidence", as Lacazette had just returned from an injury. Despite PEA being a confirmed super-striker, Wenger has now suggested that the Gabon hitman could be pushed out on the wing to accommodate Alexandre Lacazette in a central role.
Gilberto Silva was part of the Arsenal side that went unbeaten during the 2003-04 season on their way to winning the Premier League.
"I don't think they're a team in decline", added Lambert. The weight of these ingredients, I don't know.
"It's just the fact it's Easter and people have been away". Wenger finally made a switch as the fit-again Lacazette came on for Welbeck, while Diouf, having taken a knock, was replaced by Saido Berahino.
"He said "what I see is that you stretched your leg and made a foul on Ozil".