Arsenal went top of the Premier League after they cruised to a 3-1 win over Stoke at the Emirates Stadium.

Birthday boy Charlie Adam gave the visitors a dream start slightly against the run of play when he tucked away a penalty on 29 minutes after Joe Allen was fouled by Granit Xhaka.

Charlie Adam celebrates scoring

But Arsenal were level just before the break however when substitute Hector Bellerin – who replaced the injured Shkodran Mustafi midway through the half – provided the assist for a lovely Theo Walcott goal on his 250th Premier League appearance.

The Gunners took the lead four minutes after the restart when Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain found Mesut Ozil whose delicious lobbed header gave Lee Grant little chance. Questions will be asked of Gianelli Imbula who played the German star onside.

The three points were secured 15 minutes before the end when substitute Alex Iwobi found the net following a good decision from referee Lee Mason to play advantage after the sensational Alexis Sanchez was fouled on the edge of the area.

It all means Arsene Wenger’s side leapfrog Chelsea – who host West Brom on Sunday – on goal difference while Stoke fall to 10th position.