Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has condemned Stoke City supporters who directed tasteless chants at midfielder Aaron Ramsey during his side’s goalless draw yesterday.
Sections of the home crowd taunted the Welsh midfielder by singing “Aaron Ramsey, he walks with a limp”, referring to the horrific broken leg the 25-year-old suffered under a challenge from Stoke defender Ryan Shawcross in February 2010.
There has been a fiery edge to the fixture ever since, while winning in the Potteries would appear to be a psychological hurdle for Arsenal, who have lost three and drawn three of their last six top-flight fixtures at the Britannia Stadium.
“I don’t listen too much. I focus on the game. I shut my ears and that is the best way to deal with it,” said Wenger. “I don’t know what to do about it, I have no influence over it.
“When they [supporters] get together sometimes they forget that individual responsibility. Maybe when you go home and watch it on television, you will be less proud.”
The hard-earned point returned Arsenal to the Premier League summit on goal difference from Leicester, although successive draws have allowed Manchester City to make up ground and move to within a point of the Gunners.
It could have been worse for Arsenal had goalkeeper Petr Cech not pulled off a double save to deny Joselu and then Bojan in the second period, while a late Jonathan Walters header was cleared off the line by Ramsey.
Stoke counterpart Jack Butland was also in the thick of the action and was on hand to tip over an Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain drive in the first-half and then thwart in-form striker Olivier Giroud either side of the break.
“We did well to battle,” added Wenger. “We had to have a physical response and show solidarity, fighting spirit and togetherness. We wanted to win but looking at our history here it is a positive result.”
Wenger also confirmed that playmaker Mesut Ozil, who missed the clash due to a foot injury, should be fit to feature against London rivals Chelsea at Emirates Stadium on Sunday.