Arsenal weekend round up: Top of the league, Gnabry start and Bendtner is back

All the news and gossip from the weekend at The Emirates.

Goals from Aaron Ramsey, Per Mertesacker and Bacary Sagna gave Arsenal a 3-1 victory against Stoke City, and saw Arsene Wenger's side reclaim top spot in the Premier League.

A late change to the starting line-up saw teenager Serge Gnabry start in place of the injured Theo Walcott, and the young German looked comfortable before being replaced with 17 minutes remaining.

Ramsey put the Gunners ahead after just five minutes, scoring after Mesut Ozil's free-kick had been saved by Potters' 'keeper Asmir Begovic. Ozil also played a significant part in his side's other goals, as his set-pieces were headed in by Mertesacker and Sagna after Geoff Cameron had briefly levelled for Mark Hughes' side.

Arsenal fans will also have been pleased to see Mikel Arteta return from injury, replacing Ozil with 10 minutes to play.

The result means Arsenal are top of the league.

Arsenal celebrated 100 years based in Islington in today’s game, something Arsene Wenger was proud to talk about prior to kick off:

‘’It's our home, Islington. That's where we feel at home, we know people from the council because we met them. I have the right to walk my sheep down there - don't forget that's very, very important! I was very happy when we found the possibility to keep our new stadium in Islington because we looked everywhere with the desire to stay in Islington and the fact that hopefully in the next 100 years Arsenal will stay there is fantastic.’’

Nicklas Bendtner made the bench for the game today. After nearly two years away from the Arsenal team he was given the nod today after proving his fitness in boot camp.

Piers Morgan was on his usual top form throughout the game on Twitter. He tweeted a sarcastic suggestion that he always had faith in Aaron Ramsey and that his criticism of the player is the reason behind his current uptake in form.

Reported free agent striker target Ciprian Marica is going to turn down Arsenal for North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur.

Arsenal have been strongly linked with a move for the former Schalke 04 striker this summer, as they seek striker options to act as back up for Olivier Giroud.

Arsenal are being tentatively linked with January moves in excess of £30 million each for German internationals Julian Draxler and Marco Reus of Schalke 04 and Borussia Dortmund respectively.

Finally, and it is reported that Santi Cazorla could return from his injury a lot earlier than expected. The Spaniard was supposed to be out until after the international break but it is reported he could actually return in time for the game with Napoli in the Champions League on the 1st October.

Thomas Vermaelen is set to start against West Brom in the Carling Cup this week, in another injury boost.

images: © Ronnie Macdonald, © wonker

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