Stoke City 3
- Fuller 2,
- Fuller 78,
- Whitehead 86
- Denilson 42
The Gunners went down 3-1 at the Britannia stadium in a fourth round tie, and Wenger conceded that his youthful side could not cope with Stoke's physical style.
But with crucial Premier League games against major rivals Aston Villa, Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool in a 14-day spell coming up, Wenger clearly was concentrating on his club's title ambitions.
Wenger had no reproaches to make when the match was over. If Stoke's style is direct, it works mostly because the crosses are well-placed and the forwards effective.
But Stoke were the stronger side in the second half and so it was no surprise to see Wenger make a triple substitution midway through the half. Such boldness had won the Third Round tie at West Ham earlier this month.
Arsenal then threw on the big guns, with Andrey Arshavin, Eduardo and Aaron Ramsey replacing Emmanuel-Thomas, Theo Walcott and Francis Coquelin in the 70th minute.
The new faces made an initial difference, with quick passing moves, but Stoke responded with greater resilience, and were back in front after 78 minutes.
Mamady Sidibe surged down the right and fired over a cross that evaded Campbell and was headed home by a gleeful Fuller as the home support erupted.
Stoke sent on Tuncay and Salif Diao for Fuller and Delap, and grabbed their third after 85 minutes when Whitehead finished off more good work from wideman Matthew Etherington.