A lively contest at the Britannia Stadium eventually ended in a draw as Arsenal were denied a second half penalty by referee Chris Foy.

Peter Crouch's smart header put Stoke City ahead, but Robin Van Persie levelled for the Gunners, who tried to pass the ball throughout an interesting contest.

Stoke's approach was more direct, but Arsenal coped well even though goalkeeper Wojcieh Szczesny made a late save to deny Republic of Ireland international Jonathan Walters.

Yossi Benayoun, impressive for the Gunners, appeared to be fouled in the closing stages by Glenn Whelan, but Foy waved play on and Arsene Wenger was disappointed that another spot-kick wasn't given to his team.

"It will go on the tape of all the penalties we have not got this season. I believe that it was a game where we have shown great character, great battling qualities. It was a game of two different approaches - one very direct in the air and one who tries to play on the ground. Both teams are good at what they do and that's why I think it was still an interesting game.

"We had good chances, especially in the first half. In the second half I felt our fluency dropped a bit in midfield - we still had chances though, especially a penalty that was not given.

"Overall we deserved at least a point and I can only give credit to my players for their battling qualities and the way they responded to what Stoke offered us - full commitment, well-organised, direct. We did not always cope with it in the past, but I felt we did in this game."

Stoke boss Tony Pulis was happy that his team frustrated another top outfit. "We're unbeaten against the big six club in the Premier League at the Britannia Stadium and that's the first time we've done that in the four years since we got promoted.

"It's fantastic to be able to say that the likes of Chelsea, the Manchester clubs, Liverpool, Tottenham and now Arsenal have all come here and not won.

"That's a great testament to the players and to the supporters for giving us such excellent backing. We can now add that to the fact that we reached the last 32 in Europe and the quarter finals of the FA Cup for a third successive season.

"But we're not finished yet and if we can finish on a high note then we can make it our best season at this level."

City's manager added: "I was very pleased with the point. It was probably a fair result in the end, and when you consider all the games we've played this season, the commitment of the players was outstanding against a top,top team."

"We made a bright start to the game, but Arsenal came back well and for a period in the first half that's as well as they've played here.

"Asmir made a couple of good saves and I was glad to get them in at half time at one apiece because Arsenal moved the ball around so well.

"We sorted one or two things out and the second half was more even, but right at the end Jon Walters had a couple of chances to get a winner."

Goalie Wojcieh Szczesny